Advancements in online marketing are leading internet shoppers to look for a more personal way to interact with merchandise, and brands are looking for the next big thing. Augmented Reality (AR) offers consumers an interactive experience like none other before it, especially when it comes to shopping for fashion, cosmetics, and beauty products. While we know this technology is still very new, we also know that it’s catching on quickly. With Google’s recent announcement of its efforts to expand AR into its advertising and content, we know that this raises a lot of questions for marketers. Based on our experience with advertising for fashion and beauty and cosmetic brands, we’ve formulated answers to a few questions regarding potential impacts and opportunities that we see coming for marketers and brands.
  • If the experience is all about enhancement, how will this really impact online beauty and cosmetic sales? It will begin to blur the lines between the digital and in-store experience. Other platforms, take Snapchat for example, have waded into the waters of AR in the beauty industry. But, for the general advertiser, the minimum spend requirement and technical integration needed have created an unscalable wall. Now that Google has thrown its hat into the ring, we envision that this wall will begin to erode, and conversion rates for beauty brands without a brick and mortar presence will soar to new heights.
  • This raises the next question: what is the impact of AR on in-store beauty and cosmetic sales? We can’t kid ourselves. While the brick and mortar presence is still an important piece of the conversion path for beauty brands, especially for customers who haven’t fully embraced digital, AR is a huge step toward narrowing the gap. As advertisers, we have to consider younger generations and where the future of advertising is going as it relates to these enhancements in ad formats.
  • In considering the effect that AR will have on personal and tactile items such as beauty and cosmetics, will it also affect other similar brands such as fashion retail or even interior design? Given our experience in the retail and fashion industry, we foresee this being a massive opportunity for application outside of beauty, such as wedding dresses or even furniture. The primary outcome will advance the realm of digital search. Giving online shoppers the ability to “try on” a dress or lip color, or even see how a piece of furniture looks in their living room before they order it, will be a game changer when it comes to how customers choose to shop for their next lip shade, prom dress, or dining room table.

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