How Customers Experience Brands When Using Augmented Reality

Luo, Hongchen (2022) How Customers Experience Brands When Using Augmented Reality. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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As Covid-19 pandemic forces the shift of traditionally physical experiences to digital forms and promotes digital adoption among customers, augmented reality (AR) has been actively adopted to counterbalance the loss of offline shopping experience, thereby improving conversion rates and reducing return rates. However, despite the increasing popularity of AR in both marketing research and practice, the influence of AR on customer experience is yet to be fully investigated. In addition, despite the high priority of brand experience in marketing practice, the shift towards online environment and the rapid development and commercialisation of new technologies are complicating the improvement of brand experience. However, the literature remains incomplete in regard with how AR influence brand experience. Therefore, this study seeks to link these two research fields by investigating how customers experience brands when using AR.

Through an in-depth review of the literature on AR marketing and brand experience, several relevant constructs are identified, and relationships proposed in regard with spatial presence, shopping experience measured by utilitarian and hedonic value, brand experience, and purchase intention. The framework theorises how customers’ sense of presence in AR drives shopping experience, the role of utilitarian and hedonic value in such relationship, and how brand experience contributes to customers’ purchase intention. Primary quantitative data was collected by means of a laboratory experiment and analysed using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM).

The findings demonstrate that customers’ sense of presence when using AR leads to both utilitarian and hedonic shopping value. The hedonic value then translates into a stronger brand experience, thereby inducing purchase intention. Such findings suggest that AR is substantial in enhancing brand experience and stimulating purchasing intention, and that practitioners should consider employing AR marketing tools to provide superior brand experience and drive business outcomes. Also, the findings shed light on the relevance of brand experience in the study of AR marketing and the importance of AR, as a brand-related stimulus, in improving brand experience.

Despite the widespread conviction in AR’s ability to create unique brand experience, few empirical studies could be found to-date. To narrow this theoretical gap, the present study provides empirical evidence on the process in which the use of AR drives brand experience, as well as customers’ behavioural outcomes. In addition, this study provides brands with evidence-based guidelines for how to leverage AR to deliver superior brand experience in digital environment.

Keywords: Augmented reality, Brand experience, Customer experience, Shopping experience, Spatial presence

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Luo, Hongchen
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2023 09:54
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2023 09:54

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