Augmented RealityAR Apps

How Brands Are Using Augmented Reality This Holiday Shopping Season

Looking for gifts will be made simpler and more fun this year thanks to augmented reality shopping apps and experiences.


Do you remember those days, when shopping for Christmas and New Year gifts was an exhausting affair? Running around from store to store, seeing the item you wanted snatched by someone’s hand right under your nose… Certainly, most of us have these memories, and each year we wish we didn’t have to go through all that anymore. This year your wishes will come true, thanks to the latest holiday shopping trend: augmented reality shopping.

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How Augmented Reality Shopping Changed Our World

Every time we have to go shopping, we have two big doubts in mind: will I find what I like? And will the items I like fit me or my house? Online shopping has made things easier, in the sense that you do not have to waste time going to a brick-and-mortar store. Mobile shopping through dedicated apps took things one step further: shopping on the go, wherever you are and whenever you see an item you like.

But the two key questions above still remained, until augmented reality made them disappear. Through augmented reality shopping apps, you don’t just look at the photos of the products, you “add” them, either to your body or to your room, and have a clear, realistic view of how well they fit.

Top Brands and Augmented Reality Holiday Shopping

Most major brands in retail have adopted augmented reality and incorporated it in their shopping apps. Cosmetics, fashion, and even furniture brands are now keeping their customers engaged and loyal through their AR apps which offer, besides the possibility of testing how their products look and feel, useful tutorials and how-to video sessions.

And this holiday season, all these brands promise to make shopping for gifts simpler and more fun than ever.


The largest online store in the world was not among the first adopters of augmented reality shopping, but they probably wanted to make sure that the technology is ripe to handle their huge number of app users and customers.

Starting from November, the online shopping giant has added the “AR view” option to their shopping app. Right now, this option is only available for iPhone 6S and more recent models running on iOS 11. With the AR view, customers can overlay the 3D image of thousands of items onto their home environment and see how they would fit. Amazon Echo devices are among the products included in what is, undoubtedly, just the beginning of augmented reality shopping on Amazon.


LEGO uses augmented reality for both in-store experiences and as a shopping app. In the first instance, the special AR kiosks installed in various stores allow clients to scan a kit of LEGO pieces and see a 3D image of the assembled toy. This memorable experience will prove equally exciting for adults and children alike and is part of the latest brand loyalty strategy developed by the toy maker.

The newly launched app allows users to experience building real life LEGO sets in an augmented reality environment, with the addition of exciting animations. Some of the most memorable interactions children can experience in the app is a safe encounter with a dragon spewing fire and ringing the alarm bell of a moving train engine.

lego augmented reality app

Toys “R” Us

Being forced to file for bankruptcy in September has not stopped one of the largest toy manufacturers in the US from trying to find new ways to attract customers. For this holiday shopping season, Toys “R” Us has developed an augmented reality mobile app, Play Chaser, which can be used in brick-and-mortar stores to trigger various exciting AR experiences, unlock games and access unique content and collect stars. Play Chaser is available for both Android and iOS devices.

This gamification approach fits like a glove to the brand image and promises to create a pleasant holiday shopping experience for parents, who will be able to keep their children busy while looking for gifts and waiting in the checkout line.

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“See It In Your Space” is the augmented reality shopping slogan of retail brand Target.  The new addition to the company’s mobile site already features hundreds of pieces of furniture and home decorations, but next year the company promises to add thousands of products from various brands. The working principle of this app is simple: by taking a photo of the room, the app scans through the products available at this moment for AR viewing and recommends the best placement of the item.

Target augmented reality shopping

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