40% of Brits have used AR or VR to view a product before buying

Augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) are increasingly being used by UK shoppers to sample products before committing to a purchase, according to new research.

Nearly two fifths of consumers in the UK say they have used AR or VR to test or view a product they’re considering purchasing.

The Data and Marketing Association’s (DMA) latest report Future Trends: A New World of Experience suggests that the majority of this is taking place on AR-enabled mobile devices, as ownership of the more expensive and cumbersome VR headsets dropped from 12 per cent to nine per cent last year.

READ MORE: Apple introducing in-app purchasing to AR platform

Perhaps unsurprisingly younger shoppers are driving the adoption of these technologies, with 22 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds stating they own a VR headset, well above the national average.

“Mixed reality technologies, like AR and VR, hold huge potential for organisations to offer customers new ways to bring their brand to life, whether that’s by transporting them to another reality or enhancing the one they’re in,” the DMA’s chief executive Tim Bond said.

“However, it’s also important for marketers to always put the customer at the heart of these experiences and offer them something they will value. Brands must also consider how they can maintain consistency across the digital and physical worlds they now inhabit.”

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