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PUEB research projects

Web Augemented Reality (WebAR) product presentation and its impact on consumer behaviour

Source of funding: National Science Centre, Poland

Funding Scheme: PRELUDIUM 20

Project ID number: 2021/41/N/HS4/02462

Start date: 13.01.2022

Finish date: 12.01.2025

Amount of funding: 199 712,00 PLN

With global e-retail revenue projected to reach 6.54 trillion US dollars in 2022 and the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on physical shopping, retailers today are hard-pressed to create superior customer online experiences. This however is easier said than done as mental intangibility, which is the consumer's inability to imagine the experience of using the presented product is higher when seeing a picture on a website than in a  physical store. Research conducted on this topic so far agrees with the same as the inability to interact with the
product and imagine it made consumers more hesitant with online purchases and increased the number of returns.
An interesting solution to help consumers imagine the experience of a product sold online is augmented reality (AR). AR which has fast gained traction is essentially one where a user downloads a mobile app containing realistic 3D models of products which can then be embedded into the user’s environment. They can then walk
around the embedded 3D product model and interact with it like they would in a real store. Extant AR research has shown it to be very promising with increased purchases, brand recall, and product liking. Despite these results, AR was not adopted by the masses, with marketing practitioners attributing this to the app download barrier a user would have to go through when compared to browsing a product online. One way of overcoming this app download barrier is Web Augmented Reality (WebAR), a novel technology through which a consumer
can experience a product in AR on a mobile browser, without the need to download a separate app. This independence from apps as per the advocates of WebAR democratises AR to the masses and has already been tested in commercial usage by brands such as Coca-Cola, Huggies and Dell. Our research on AR and WebAR
however revealed three key problems.
1. The claims of increased accessibility from WebAR against app-based AR has not been tested in research
2. There exists a void in research on the acceptance of new technology such as WebAR. This effectively prohibits researchers from making comparisons between WebAR and app-based AR.
3. AR research up to date has only tested the main effects between variables with very little focus on the mediating effects between variables. The surveys were also self-reporting surveys, with room for bias.
Principal Investigator:
PhD student Kishokanth Jeganathan
Department of Trade and Marketing

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dr Andrzej Szymkowiak, prof. UEP
Department of Trade and Marketing
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