On the Box Thinking with Augmented Reality

October 19, 2017

Push the limits of product packaging with Augmented Reality’s multiple features.

The Rise of Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality, or AR, is at a critical juncture, with technology on the brink of widespread adoption. Media giants like Apple are throwing their weight behind AR. With a quick update to iOS 11, anyone with an iPhone or iPad can access Apple’s ARKit, a framework that allows developers to build AR experiences with speed and efficiency, and gives consumers easy access to AR-enabled content.

This technology also creates new opportunities for brands to interact with consumers, and ultimately, drive purchase decisions. In a recent survey, 72% of shoppers said that Augmented Reality content influenced them to purchase a product they would not have otherwise considered, while 40% of shoppers said they were willing to pay more for a product if they could experience it through AR [1].


There is also increased interest in Augmented Reality from retail and manufacturing sectors. According to the IDC, product manufacturers and retailers will each spend over $1 billion USD worldwide on AR and VR solutions this year [2].

While it’s clear that Augmented Reality is at a tipping point, the technology is only as useful as the content that exploits it.  Working with an experienced agency that keeps the consumer top of mind can be the difference between gimmicky information overload, and content that is clear, cohesive, and consequential.

AR Packaging Solutions for Success within Retail

Augmented Reality can be an especially powerful tool for brands competing in our cluttered retail marketplace as it’s an innovative approach to attract consumer attention and enhance one’s shopping experience. This technology is especially valuable knowing that 68% of shoppers claim they would spend more time at a retailer if they could shop with AR [1].

Retail-level product packaging can be a brand’s first line of communication and a powerful piece of advertising real estate, especially considering the amount of time consumers spend scanning store shelves. It can be difficult to communicate a brand’s key messages on-pack while trying to negotiate space with legal and regulatory claims, ingredients, nutritional panels, directions, and dosage, all in both English and French. By utilizing Augmented Reality, brands do not need to restrict themselves to the dimensions of their pack or retail shelf space. With a small on-pack digital marker and a dedicated app, brands can educate, engage, and entertain consumers without limitations.


With this technology, consumers can access extensive brand content, which can heavily influence their purchase decisions. Consumers are hungry for additional information within retail, with 65% expressing a desire to use AR to learn about additional product information [1].

Augmented Reality allows brands to be expansive with their product descriptions, using copy, pictures, and video content. Food products can provide greater detail on origin, nutritional benefits, or key claims, while beauty products can highlight heritage, performance, or third party testimonies.  AR can be especially useful for drug packaging, enlarging fine print for better readability of crucial information like dosage or restrictions. Providing this level of detail can develop trust with a consumer base while also building brand loyalty.



Augmented Reality also enables brands to boost product consumption through providing consumers with coupons, recipes and event ideas featuring their product. With this technology, brands can send consumers into retail aisles through Geo Tracking their location and sending them promotions when they are within a specific range. Largely beneficial, is AR’s ability to help increase the size of a consumer’s shopping basket through highlighting complimentary products within the manufacturer’s inventory.




Through developing compelling Augmented Reality content, brands can create unique shopping experiences to acquire new customers at retail level as well as strengthen brand awareness. Using AR, consumers can virtually try on apparel, cosmetics, and accessories and evaluate them in different environments. Car brands can offer virtual test-drives, while home and furnishing brands can allow consumers to see how their products look in their actual living space.



Brands can increase their reach through using Augmented Reality “call to action” buttons, driving traffic to their website, social media sites, and contest sites. By creating a seamless connection with other areas of a brands marketing campaign, AR packaging solutions can encourage word of mouth advertising and create incremental opportunities for third-party advocacy.


Augmented Reality content can also draw customers in with games, humor, and contests. Post-sales incentives such as collectibles or the chance to unlock new content can drive repeat purchases, while opportunities for online sharing can increase brand awareness.



Other Benefits of Augmented Reality Packaging Solutions:


Augmented Reality enables businesses to make real-time changes to packaging content without incurring the cost of completely overhauling the physical label. Brands can now update messaging, design, or offers to reflect new regulations, trends, or unique selling points.

Measurable Results:

Businesses can gain useful insights about their consumers with data gleaned directly from an Augmented Reality app. Brands can measure the ROI for each component of the AR mechanic, whether it’s analyzing what consumers found most useful on-pack, coupon redemption, click-throughs, or video views.

How do you think Augmented Reality will impact the retail landscape? Tweet us @stjoseph.

1. Retail Perceptions
2. IDC

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