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Artec 3D Survey Reveals Consumer Views on Augmented and Virtual Reality in Retail

68% of Respondents Expect AR and VR to be a Common Tool for Online Shopping within Five Years

Santa Clara, Calif., December 18, 2018 – Artec 3D, a world-renowned developer and manufacturer of professional 3D scanners and software, today announces new research analyzing consumers’ views on the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies for retail applications.

Both online and brick-and-mortar retail brands are investing heavily in this technology as the next wave of innovation to connect shoppers with products. However, since the integration of AR and VR is still a novel concept within retail settings, many questions remain around how much value consumers will find in this technology. To this end, Artec 3D analyzed survey responses from more than 1,000 U.S. consumers who have purchased an online good within the last year and are familiar with the terms “virtual reality” and “augmented reality.”

The study uncovered several trends among consumers. Familiarity with AR and VR is not translating into practical usage of the technologies. Although all respondents polled understand the technology, 66% still have not used it. Despite awareness remaining low, the benefits of 3D technologies are resonating with consumers, who also have a positive outlook on the inevitable adoption of AR and VR in retail.

Utilization & Awareness Can Be Improved

  • Of the consumers that have used AR and/or VR technology, the highest application was for entertainment (10%), followed by shopping (5%).
  • Respondents within the age range of 35 to 44 years old represented the strongest (27%) among those indicating that they’ve used AR and VR for shopping applications. 
  • The following reflects consumer awareness of existing AR and VR features within the following retail apps: Amazon (37%); Wayfair (16%); Ikea (15%); Lowes (14%); Gap (10%); and Sephora (7%).

Consumers See the Value in AR and VR

  • 50% of respondents would find an interactive 3D model of a product more helpful than images when shopping online.
  • 38% would find AR and VR most helpful for shopping for large home furniture & décor; followed by clothing and shoes (18%); household appliances (14%); consumer electronics (14%); toys & baby products (9%); and bags & accessories (5%).
  • Applications within furniture and décor are particularly promising; when asked about the reasons for not purchasing home décor or furniture online, 48% of consumers disclosed it was due to wanting to see it in person, 28% stated that they couldn’t determine the quality from a photo, and 28% weren’t sure if the item would match or fit within their space.

A Positive Outlook

  • When asked when AR and VR will become common tools for shopping online, 26% of consumers stated within the next year and 43% within the next five years.
  • 18% of consumers believe that within the next year AR and VR will become common tools for shopping within physical stores, while 32% believe this will happen within the next five years.

“Although utilization of 3D technologies in the retail space is in its infancy, consumers are expecting these capabilities to be integrated within a short timeframe,” said Artyom Yukhin, president, and CEO of Artec 3D. “Choosing the right 3D scanning technology is going to be critical for retailers, as they look to build out their library of 3D models to populate AR and VR environments. The solutions they choose will need to capture objects that range in size, from those that can fit in your hand to large pieces of furniture, with high accuracy and resolution and in full color. Our handheld 3D scanners fit these needs and are intuitive, minimizing the training needed to create a professional 3D model.”

Artec 3D’s professional 3D scanning hardware and software can be used to digitally replicate real-world objects with ease, even capturing the smallest of details such as the quality of fabric or the details of a woodgrain pattern on a piece of furniture. Scans can be added into virtual environments or embedded online for consumers.