A Snapshot of AR in luxury!
Gone are the days when augmented reality was only used by gamers or surgeons or as a gimmick at events. Today, its found its place in the lives of consumers across the board and luxury brands seem to be exploiting the technologies many potentials to reach its customers creatively and effectively. Luxury Brands like Dior, Chanel, Armani, Bur-berry and Gucci have used augmented reality to build immersive and unforgettable experiences for its consumers. Snap Inc recently held its first international summit dedicated to luxury called ‘Crafted for Luxury’ where it showed how the platform is able to help fashion and luxury brands convey their messages and stories to the audience in a creative and immersive way with excellent results.
Snapchat is a camera-centric company, a camera that millions of people use every day for personal expression and increasingly for augmented reality. Snap and luxury brands create a deep and meaninigful connection. We both believe in the form of storytelling and building customized experiences. My job is to help luxury brands reach their audiences on snapchat and create amazing experiences that drive tangible results, said Geoffrey Perez – Global head luxury – Snapchat
Through its AR enabled services, Snapchat can help customers discover incredible products and virtual test experiences that are changing the way consumers interact with different brands, reducing friction and bringing products to life before your eyes. “AR enhances the user experience and enriches the real world. We are driven by the need to discover new and exciting territories to explore, embracing the new, both today and tomorrow, and beyond. We are convinced that there are enormous opportunities to create new, immersive and tailor-made experiences. Therefore, we believe that Snapchat is designed for luxury, said Evan Speigel, Co-founder and CEO, Snap Inc. Snapchat cameras are building these experiences to bring it to hundreds and millions of customers everyday. These are bringing products to life right before their life. “ For several years now we have collaborated with luxury brands around brand campaigns, product launches and events. Luxury inspires us with creativity, innovation and excellence and this is why we love collaborating with luxury brands. Working with luxury brands helps us to create a better camera for the community, added Evan.
Crafted for Creativity:
In a recent study by Deloitte revealed that by 2025 , 75% of the Global population will be using AR in some way. Augmented Reality has transformed the world we live in. It gives the hundreds of millions of people who use it the opportunity not only to communicate and express themselves in new ways, but also to explore and discover the world, try and buy products. You might be wondering how can luxury brands be creative with AR?. “Luxury is an experience in itself, from its content to sales spaces, through testing and purchasing the product. AR is a new layer of luxury added to the world that everyone can try and aspire to have. With the experience that Augmented Reality offers, we have the enormous opportunity to create emotional connections between our brands and our audience as we connect the physical and digital worlds. Another thing that we have learned over the last few years is that any utility that can be created around experience which leads to action”, stated Geoffrey Perez.
In April 2021, Luxury retail platform Farfetch marked the arrival of nine new styles of Chopard watch onto its site with the launch of its virtual try-on tool. It was the first luxury platform to offer this experience where Farfetch App users could understand how a watch will look in their wrist as well as have access to try on rare watches that are not available in their region. “When people are launching AR they are paying 100% attention to what is happening on the screen and what’s happening is a sight, sound and touch experience.With AR we have the opportunity to be welcomed into the world of consumers at the right time and right moment. One of the fundamental goals of marketing is connect and bringing products to life and with Snapchat you can expect the best”, said Peter Sellis, VP of Product, Business at Snap Inc
Crafted for Brands:
Susanne Gelormini, Social & Digital Media Project Manager at Swiss luxury watch brand Piaget, shared her vision for why Snap is built for luxury brands and how Augmented Reality will help bridge the gap between the physical and digital world. This may involve bringing stock from the digital environment to your boutiques, allowing customers to try on items that are not physically available, and even creating more purchase moments through AR in cinemas or pop-up stores. Piaget launched their Polo Skeleton watch selection in May 2021 using Snapchat’s latest Augmented Reality (AR) Try-on capabilities, called Wrist Tracking Technology. “ With the help of this realistic, immersive, accurate, and easy-to-navigate AR Try-on experience, Snapchatters could wear some truly special timepieces. The realistic 3D Piaget Polo Skeleton allows them to discover all of the components of the watch. with Augmented Reality, in addition to seeing the product, Snapchatters can try it on, experiment with makeup, try on different looks. Brands can add real value through profit while moving audiences through purchase”, stated Susanne.
To create awareness and excitement around the launch of their new sneaker collection, Gucci partnered with Snapchat to launch the first global augmented reality shoe try-on campaign on the platform. Leveraging the power of Snap’s AR platform and newly-launched SnapML feature in Lens Studio, Gucci was able to offer Snapchatters a beautiful and realistic try-on experience for four different pairs of sneakers! Once they had tried the sneakers, Snapchatters could go straight to product page and purchase their favorite pair of shoes, thanks to a dedicated “Shop Now” button located inside the Lens. And many Snapchatters actually used this option to purchase the sneakers right after playing with the Lens!. “As a company we recognized the power of digital which would be key to our growth. We have spent a lot of talent in digital and technology. The pandemic did further proper our digital acceleration as a plan. And now we are a digital first brand in terms of investment. Post pandemic that didn’t change and now we are a social media first brand”, said Alexis Katana, Senior Director, Global media at Gucci
In Nov 2020, Snapchat, in collaboration with Dior, a premier luxury brand announced the launch of a unique and exclusive augmented reality (AR) lens for the biggest sneaker fans. Snapchatters in the UAE could ry-on six new pairs of the B27, Dior’s newest sneaker, through the power of AR, see how they look wearing the latest kicks, and purchase them from the Dior brand profile and on Dior.com. Dior. Rasha El Ghoussaini, MENA Luxury Lead, Snap Inc. said, “Dior is an incredibly innovative partner is reimagining the digital shopping experience using AR by bringing the sneakers to its customers in the comfort of their homes during the pandemic. They are one of the very first Maisons to have embraced the utility of augmented reality while entertaining their customers. The pandemic has profoundly changed the way people consume and interact with products and Dior has fully and rapidly adapted to the new normal. Augmented reality and try-on are shaping the user experience and the future of social commerce”.
In spring 2020, Kohl’s built a virtual closet using Snap’s augmented reality technology. The digital showroom has since been updated to include ath-leisure pieces, allowing Snapchatters to browse Kohl’s loungewear as they shelter-in-place and purchase items without leaving the app. The feature is now live in the U.S. via the Snapchat carousel. It gives users the opportunity to shop their favorite styles from a curated assortment of Kohl’s products. When a user finds a look they love, they can make a purchase without ever leaving the Snapchat app. “This initiative of Snapchat helped Kohl’s deepen relationships with millennial and Gen Z customers, as the platform reached more than 75 percent of 13- to 34-year-olds. Their active daily users also interact with AR nearly 30 times a day, making Kohl’s Virtual Closet a relevant and engaging way for the Snapchat community to experience all that Kohl’s has to offer”, added Rasha El Ghoussaini,
Crafted for Storytelling
The hub of the consumer experience on Snapchat is a whole new way of communicating and talking to your friends through photos and videos. “Since the launch of Snapchat 10 years ago, we have honed our craft and led the development of new storytelling formats designed for mobile. The first of these is vertical video, also known as Stories . “In the “Discover” tab you can catch up on the Stories of your friends, Snap Stars and other trusted users”, said Geoffrey Perez – Global head luxury – Snapchat. In total, there are 10,000 million daily videos seen on Snapchat. Users reflect on how their voice sounds across the mobile universe to reach and engage new audiences. Publications develop new formats and address issues of concern to younger generations. “Discover” is where fashionistas and luxury lovers catch up on the latest trends in Fashion and go behind the scenes to see how luxury products are created. “Discover” is a closed platform, the editors who create content for the platform are selected by our teams and follow strict editorial instructions to ensure that the experience is safe for users and brands”, added Geoffery.
Sephora was a relatively early adopter of Snapchat, going live on the app in 2014, a few months after Snapchat launched its Stories feature. To build its audience, the LVMH-owned beauty retailer has hosted sweepstakes and worked with influencers .These days, the company posts about three times per week on average, focusing on products that align with Snapchat’s core demographic of younger Millennials and Gen Zers, said Devon West, Director of social media for Sephora. The retailer has also set up geofilters at all of its stores, allowing users to tag snaps they take on location with phrases like “Let’s Beauty Together.” “They do really well for us,” added Devon. The sky is the limit for the future of Augmented Reality.“We are very excited about the potential of technology to offer people new ways to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun. Instead of starting from technology and forcing people to adapt, we seek to develop a technology that enhances our essence and whose use is natural. This is why we focus so much on augmented reality as it overlays computing on the world we share”, concluded Evan.
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