Luxury Brands Embrace Augmented Reality

Augmented reality on Boucheron

Ever heard of augmented reality? If not, get ready — you’ll be hearing plenty about it soon. This tech trend is moving from TV (the yellow line on the football field indicating a first down) to your smartphone, and businesses from travel guides to department stores have begun using it to enhance your experience.

It’s also, naturally, a potential marketing tool — so it’s no surprise that luxury brands like Boucheron and BMW are embracing augmented reality in their marketing campaigns.  And the degree to which they’re harnessing AR — and the success they’re having as a result — seems to surpass merely logical expectations. Here are a few highlights:

  • After implementing AR to let customers virtually try on glasses, rings, and watches both online and in-store, the 153-year-old jeweler Boucheron increased its web traffic by 50%.
  • The watchmaker Tissot set up an AR display so that window shoppers outside London’s Harrods and Selfridges could “try on” their watches from the sidewalk.  Afterward, sales in Selfridges’ Tissot boutique rose 83%.
  • Other brands who’ve embraced AR include Garrard, which created an interface to let passers-by virtually try on a tiara outside their London store window, and Hugo Boss, which set up an augmented reality game, also outside their London store, in which players could win discounts.
  • Meanwhile, BMW shows off its cars’ interiors by having customers print out a piece of paper and hold it in front of a webcam.

As we’ve mentioned before, the trend is also slowly catching on with mainstream retail sites.  Next up is the use of AR by third party sellers.  Luxury Daily cites Jewelery Editor, a mostly-editorial luxury site, as  having plans to implement AR technology that would allow its readership to “try on” goods from a range of brands.

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