AR for marketing to rise in prominence this holiday season - Saks AR filter 1

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Saks and boohooMAN are turning to AR for marketing

Quick read

➨ With the end of lockdowns in most countries around the world, growth in online spending appears to be slowing as shoppers return to stores, at least in the US
➨ At the end of November, luxury retailer Saks teamed up with Yahoo Creative Studios to develop several interactive AR selfie filters, in a bid to attract shoppers over the holiday period
➨ The Saks/Yahoo Creative Studios approach is also a lesson for other brands and retailers that AR technology must be used alongside other media

The story

The use of augmented reality (AR) technology for marketing looks set to increase this holiday season as brands and retailers attempt to gain a greater share of digital sales.

With the end of lockdowns in most countries around the world, growth in online spending appears to be slowing as shoppers return to stores, at least in the US.

We will have to wait until the New Year for Q4 2021 data, but we can see from recent announcements that brands and retailers are turning to AR to attract shoppers in the highly competitive online space.

At the end of November, luxury retailer Saks teamed up with Yahoo Creative Studios to develop several interactive AR selfie filters designed to inspire shoppers to think about how they want to spend their holidays. 

All of the products featured in the AR filters also appear in the Saks Holiday Gift Guide on its website and in the Yahoo In The Know (ITK) Gift Guide.

Three filters, available on the Saks Instagram account, introduce shoppers to goggles, scarves, sunglasses and hats in different settings, including a festive holiday party, a ski slope and a seaside resort.

Shoppers can ‘try on’ the accessories via the filters before visiting the Saks and Yahoo gift guides to review and purchase them.

The Saks/Yahoo Creative Studios approach is also a lesson for other brands and retailers that AR technology must be used alongside other media.

They have created a promotional video, which also includes a shoppable holiday gift guide featuring Saks-curated products, to run on adverts placed on Yahoo-owned properties, to drive target shoppers directly to the AR holiday filters at the top of the ITK gift guide.

Product links and the video also appear across social media, while QR codes are being used to direct shoppers directly to the Saks Instagram AR filters.

All told, Yahoo Creative Studios claims videos such as these are viewed more than 1.2 billion times each month, potentially driving a significant amount of traffic toward the AR filters.

Other retailers embracing AR this holiday season include boohooMAN, which launched its first campaign using the immersive technology as part of Black Friday marketing push.

With creation and adoption also becoming easier thanks to tools such as the Blippar WebAR Software Development Kit, we are likely to see more and more AR-powered marketing campaigns over the coming weeks and months.

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Images: Yahoo Creative Studios

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