Any retailer knows that the key to creating — and then replicating — successful ecommerce campaigns is measuring their effectiveness. Whether they track revenue or total customer acquisition, retailers have a number of metrics at their disposal to help them estimate the marketing ROI of any “conventional” ad they launch.
Augmented reality (AR) campaigns, which are growing in popularity (mobile AR ad placement, for example, is predicted to go from $1.36 billion in 2020 to $6.68 billion by 2025), are no different.
Even though AR is a relatively new medium, that doesn’t mean that retailers that use it are left in the dark when it comes to evaluating the performance of their campaigns. Quite the opposite. Through AR analytics such as impressions, engagement rate, and dwell time, businesses can measure the exact impact their AR experiences have on their customers — and their bottom line.
Proven benefits of AR for ecommerce
One of the main advantages of AR campaigns over conventional ones is how well people receive them. In a recent study from Ericsson, almost three-quarters of consumers said they are more likely to notice an ad that incorporates AR elements versus one that doesn’t. Crucially, around 70% also noted that they would like to see more AR ads in the future. Considering that most people hate ads, this is huge.
“I’ve been in advertising a long time and I’ve never heard of 70% of people asking for more ads of any kind in any context,” said Jake Moskowitz, head of data strategy and the Emodo Institute at Ericsson.
The fact that people enjoy looking at AR ads means that they generally spend more time interacting with them and are more likely to remember them. Our own research shows that the average dwell time on an AR ad is 75 seconds — 4 times longer than the average dwell time on mobile video. Furthermore, AR experiences typically result in 70% higher memory recall.
Users that really like an AR ad may choose to show it to their family or friends. According to Media Post, people share more than half of AR ads they see with others, making AR campaigns one of the easiest ways for brands to encourage word-of-mouth.
AR can also boost ecommerce conversions. Shopify has reported that using 3D models in AR has allowed some brands to increase their conversion rate by 250%. Even more impressive are the results that were seen by the home furnishing company Houzz. Since it implemented an AR app that allows customers to visualise products in their own homes, Houzz has seen an 11x increase in conversions.
AR analytics metrics to track
Looking at the above benefits of AR, incorporating this technology into your ecommerce strategy may seem like a no-brainer. But how can you actually prove that AR campaigns are working for your business?
The immersive nature of AR can make the metrics you’ve previously used seem redundant. The good news is that, as we have mentioned already, there are plenty of other metrics you can track to measure the efficacy of your AR campaign, be it an AR-enhanced product page, an immersive ad, or a social media filter.
Below are all the AR analytics metrics we provide in our own AR commerce unit, and which you should think about tracking too. Remember that there isn’t one specific metric that is better than others at indicating the success of your campaign. Rather, the power lies in taking a more holistic approach. By looking at all the different data points available, you can draw powerful conclusions about your AR campaigns.
The following AR analytics metrics are useful for tracking shopper interactions on your site’s product pages:
- Clickthrough rate: The percentage of users who clicked through to view a product in 3D or AR. An important metric, the clickthrough rate tells you how many people are interested in visualising your products in 3D/AR.
- Conversion rate: The conversion rate when a product was viewed in AR compared to when it was only viewed as a 2D photo or video. The Australian shoe brand Rollie Nation saw a 39% monthly growth in conversions after integrating AR into their ecommerce strategy.
- Dwell time: How long 3D/AR viewers spent on a page compared to non-3D/AR viewers. This metric lets you know by how much time AR increases engagement. For instance, we found that after enhancing their product pages with 3D/AR, one of our furniture clients increased their dwell time by 1 minute compared to similar product pages without 3D/AR. And Rollie Nation experienced a 28.45% increase in time shoppers spent on the product page after incorporating AR.
- Add to basket rate: The percentage of visitors who added a product to their basket after seeing it in 3D/AR compared to non-3D/AR viewers. This metric tells you the number of users that considered purchasing an item after viewing it in 3D/AR vs non-3D/AR viewers. The women’s fashion and accessories brand Rebecca Minkoff found that shoppers who interacted with a product in AR were 65% more likely to add the item to their carts.
- Interaction rate: How many site visitors took photos or videos using the 3D/AR experience. This metric tells you how engaged your shoppers were. In general, retailers that use AR see a 19% increase in interactions.
- Unique/Return users: How many 3D/AR shoppers were new/return users vs non-3D/AR viewers. Another crucial metric, this one lets you know whether your 3D/AR experience encouraged people to return to your store.
- Return rate: The number of customers who returned products after seeing them in AR compared to non-3D/AR viewers. This metric tells you whether or not visualising products in 3D/AR can reduce product returns. After the pet brand Gunner Kennels developed 3D models of its dog crates that customers could view in AR, their returns decreased by 5%.
3D display ad metrics
The following AR analytics metrics are important for 3D display ads, like Google Swirl:
- Impressions: How many people were shown your 3D ad.
- Engagement: The percentage of users that engaged with the 3D ad, whether by rotating the 3D model or expanding the ad. The 3D Google Swirl ad we developed for MG Motor drove an 8x (800%) higher engagement rate when compared to rich media and a 25% higher engagement rate than automotive vertical benchmarks.
- Clickthrough rate: The number of people that clicked on the ad after they were shown it.
- Full-screen: The number of viewers that made the ad full-screen. This metric indicates high engagement with the ad.
- Interaction time: How much time people spent interacting with a 3D ad, for example, rotating the product in the ad or zooming in and expanding the creative. Overall, people spent 4,600 hours interacting with the MG Motor 3D Swirl Display ad.
Social commerce metrics
The following AR analytics metrics are crucial for understanding how your AR social commerce campaigns are performing.
- Impressions: The number of people that saw your campaign. The AR filter we created for Maybelline’s ‘#LiftMyMood’ campaign, which had users trying different lip shades as a way to boost their mood, resulted in more than three billion impressions.
- Opens/Scans: How many times a user either opened or scanned an AR effect. The AR filter we developed for NYX Professional Makeup’s “Haunted Dollhouse” campaign transformed users into five different “haunted” dolls to show them what they would look like wearing a particular makeup look. The experience was opened 2.1 million times in the US.
- Captures: How many people captured an AR experience by taking a photo or video of it.
- Shares: The number of users that shared an AR experience or effect with their friends and followers.
- Engagement Rate: How many users interacted with the AR experience, for instance, liked it, commented on it, or shared it.
- Dwell Time: How long on average people looked at the AR experience.
- Unique Users/Return Users: How many return users (i.e., people who have interacted with your brand before) and unique users (i.e., people who are new to your brand) saw and engaged with your AR campaign.
- Conversions: The percentage of people that saw your campaign and completed a desired action, for example, entered a contest, shared it with their friends, or made a purchase. The AR experience we developed for ViacomCBS to publicise ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run’ in the US resulted in 181,000 entries being made to weekly sweepstakes and a 29% lift in sales.
Measuring your AR campaign with AR analytics
As AR continues to evolve, it is likely that the number of metrics available to brands for tracking their campaigns will also increase. However, even right now, AR analytics provides measurable and accurate user engagement data that can give businesses a good indication as to whether their AR campaign is working or not.