5 Applications of AR in FMCG

Technology is constantly evolving, and businesses today must adopt them to grow in their respective sectors. One such example of technology that companies are today looking up to is AR or Augmented Reality. AR technology uses different computer-generated sensors like GPS, Graphics, video, audio, etc., and enhances an individual’s perception of the real world at that particular moment.

Moreover, in an industry like FMCG, which is highly saturated and needs to stay updated with upcoming trends and changing consumer needs, AR can play a vital role. AR opens a wide array for FMCG to enhance consumer engagement, promotions and standing out from competitors.

Augmented Reality is not new when it comes to FMCG or Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Industry. Its been around a decade when companies started reaping the benefits of AR technology in this industry. Let’s look at some of the applications how AR is currently being used in this industry.


1. AR in Product Packaging


In an industry like FMCG, where companies face stiff competition and cannot differentiate highly in terms of pricing, product packaging plays a significant role in attracting consumers. In today’s technology-driven world, AR could be of real help when it comes to product packaging. AR can take your packaging to the next level by adding a digital layer to your physical packaging. It can help companies interact with consumers, deliver value-added content and add that human component to their packaging. 

FMCG companies can use their packaging space to deliver different types of content like educational, entertaining, informative, etc., to add value and interact with their consumers. Not just this, with the use of AR, FMCG companies can even turn their boring packaging into an amazing experience.  In 2011, Heinz Ketchup used AR for packaging in their Tomato Ketchup products allowing consumers to unlock “pop-out recipe booklets” on scanning Heinz products using the AR-based free app created by Blippar. Not just this, AR in the packaging of FMCG can also be used to deliver a powerful story and thus help in building a stronger bond with the consumers like it was done by the renowned Australian wine brand- 19 Crimes. The company uses an AR feature, “Living Labels”, in their wine packaging. When scanned through the phone, this feature tells stories of different infamous convicts convicted in the year 1990. 

2. AR for Promotion

A successful promotional campaign is the one that stays in the minds of the consumers and creates a buzz around the brand. AR can be a very useful tool for designing a creative campaign, especially in today’s time, when digitization is increasing and a large number of consumers spend most of their time on their phones. 

Marketers can use AR to engage with consumers at different touchpoints like after sales, pre-sales, launch time, etc., through any or both digital and print media. All companies have to do is make their image scannable and deliver creative content which leaves a lasting impact on the consumer. The use of AR for promotion could help companies enhance their brand recall and increase sales conversion rates.

In collaboration with Instagram, Pepsi launched its 360 degrees, integrated #summergram campaign in 2019 to promote its brand and raise the overall brand perception. In this campaign, using AR technology, Pepsi launched over 200 filters and stickers on Instagram, which were easily accessible on scanning the QR code on Pepsi bottles. The Pepsi bottles also had sassy “summer-themed statements” and icons to attract the consumers. 

This campaign generated over 1 billion impressions for Pepsi and grew sales by over 4% in just two months from its launch. 

3. AR for Consumer Experience


Consumer experience is significant for any brand in the FMCG industry. A good consumer experience can later build consumer loyalty towards the brand and ultimately results in increased sales. 

In a world where consumers prefer to purchase products online, it becomes difficult to visualize the product’s dimension, quality, etc. This is where AR steps in and helps consumers to visualize the product. AR thus enables customers to get a better idea of how a product might look in real life and enhances the consumer experience. This technology then also facilitates the consumer’s purchasing decision and encourages him for further interaction with the brand. 

L’Oreal is one such company that is using AR to enhance the consumer experience through their Virtual Make-up try-on tool. Keeping in mind how hard it is for customers to visualize different shades of products in the cosmetics industry, L’Oreal came up with this tool to help consumers visualize and experience various products that L’Oreal offers and choose the best that suits them. This application can be easily accessed from anywhere through your mobile or laptop and lets you try over hundreds of L’Oreal’s make-up and hair colour products with zero commitment. All you have to do is simply select the product you want to try, click “Tap&Try” and see your new look through a photo or live and swipe through different shades of product to find the best for you.

4. AR and Sponsorships

Sponsorships are another area where a lot of FMCG companies invest in. These companies usually sponsor significant events like sports tournaments, live shows, TV shows, big college fests, etc. They can use AR technology to create more engagement in the event and build brand connection in the minds of consumers. 

One such example of using AR was by the renowned soft-drink company Coca-Cola in the year 2018 when they were the official partners of the FIFA World cup.

During FIFA, the company built an AR-based experience at a Zurich train station in Switzerland for one day. A big screen was installed at the station, and passers-by had the opportunity to play alongside Xherdan Shaqiri, a swiss professional football player. The technology also allowed the passer-by to click a photo with a star after every virtual kick. 

This one-day campaign gained much popularity through social media and built the overall brand experience of the company, Coca-Cola. 


5. AR for increasing Consumer Engagement

In the world of the internet, companies are fighting for consumer’s attention, and this where exactly AR steps in and makes it easier for brands to engage with consumers. According to a study, with AR, companies have around 75 seconds to gain consumers’ attention, while they only have 4-7 seconds while using non-AR methods to engage. 

Companies currently are using AR technology to engage with customers through various ways like fun related activities with a chance to earn redeemable rewards points, using AR-based filters on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram that could later be shared on social media, providing value-added content through their packaging, using loyalty campaigns, etc. 

Companies are also using AR-based applications to enhance the in-store experience of the consumers. This is done through AR-based guides, Informational videos, etc., which can be accessed by simply scanning QR codes or images through their smartphones.


According to research conducted by Zappar and Mindshare, it was found that the level of visual attention delivered by AR is 45% higher than what is produced by TV.

Keeping this and the regular usage of the internet and smartphones in mind, we can conclude that AR could become a game-changer in the world of FMCG, especially in terms of how companies chose to interact with the consumers. 

Moreover, this is just a tip of an iceberg since AR technology is still evolving. Even though a lot of companies are already leveraging the technology, many more companies can be seen using it in the near future. And with the advancement of technology, a whole new unexplored area will be available for the companies to experiment and bring new experiences to the table.

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