WE/AR Blog How to Use the Augmented Reality for Packaging: Step-by-Step Guide
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How to Use the Augmented Reality for Packaging: Step-by-Step Guide

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By Veronika Petrenko
8 min read
01.08.2020
augmented reality for packaging

The marketing and merchandise industries have never been more blooming and augmented reality packaging is only one of many ways marketers try to make their products appeal to more consumers. Indeed, with such growth, industries experienced plenty of new problems, which they had to solve.

For instance, with the increasing number of competitors, every ice cream, cookie, or yogurt brand has to make extra efforts to capture the customers’ eyes on the shelf. The first thing people see when encountering the product — is its packaging. Ever seems so simple it is a powerful instrument to tell the brand story, its message, tone of voice, and more. AR packaging is something that can manage all these goals.

What is Augmented Reality Packaging

Augmented Reality (AR) for packaging helps relay packaging information through 3D content. While traditional packaging is somewhat limited regarding how much data it provides, AR fixes that with 3D visualizers. Even if the item seems the most ordinary initially, using the augmented technology app, it can spring in different colors, move, and change. As a result, brands quickly realized that customers remember mostly not the thing they see but the emotions it awoke in them.

The studies show that 84% of customers prefer a brand that tries to make an innovative marketing campaign. Nowadays, marketers insert QR-codes on the packages to lead their audience into the digital world, which opens more opportunities to engage them. AR packaging works the same way. By capturing the physical packaging in their smartphone’s camera and using the AR application, the customers can see the whole message the brand wanted to communicate to them.

The Content Options Brands Can Use in AR Packaging

AR application truly opens the new reality of brand communication with the customers. There are many different options that marketers can use within the application, and they include:

  • Text
  • Graphics
  • Videos
  • Animation
  • Interactive games

Every content option has its advantages, and marketers usually use them combined. Combined, they can help convey the main message the brand wants to share in the tone of voice unique to the brand.

Benefits of Augmented Reality Packaging

Being the most innovative way marketers can use to impress their target audience, AR packaging has become a favorite way of promoting that brand owners use. It impresses the audience and makes the brand hard to forget, but it has many other benefits.

Product Visualization

ar packaging for product visualization
Source: businessinsider.com

Seeing the product on the shelf is only the first part of the journey during which the customer gets to know the product. The decision to purchase it comes from understanding how this item will improve the person’s life. Visualizing all the ways customers can use the products helps the most. Here, the digital AR packaging comes to aid.

Moreover, brands can use video tutorials, animation with the different ways that products can be integrated into their lives, and even games during which they can try the product themselves. All those visualization ways can seriously influence people’s decision to buy a product.

Extends Package Real Estate

ar packaging for extends package real estate
Source: medium.com

Studies show that 93% of the customers pay attention to the product’s visual appearance when deciding on a purchase. That’s why the brand marketers always had to fit their most crucial messaging into the small territory of the package. AR expanded this territory to the unlimited. It can help brands move their customers to the virtual world that can tell the whole story of the brand and make them more familiar with it.

Flexibility and Variety of Content

One massive advantage of AR for packaging is an excellent scale of flexibility. With traditional packaging, you won’t be able to update its content without redesigning and reworking the whole thing. With AR, you can easily update the content, messaging, promotions, and other types of content. The presence in the virtual field gives marketers greater flexibility to make different choices and deliver timely content updates.

Viral Marketing

ar packaging for viral marketing
Source: instagram.com

Social media has made advertising so easier that marketers don’t even have to make efforts to bring their products to the audience — people do that for them. For example, a study found out how viral or mouth-to-mouth marketing makes 37% higher retention. Likewise, AR for packaging is a powerful tool that people would share not only on their social media but also in real life!

Increasing Brand Loyalty

Consumers tend to be loyal to the brands that offer them the best services, prove they care about their audience, and can be trusted. AR aids every function here and especially during recent times. The studies show that people tend to avoid touching products on shelves after the strike of the COVID-19 pandemic. Making an opportunity for customers to use AR packaging indicates your care for them and makes them more inclined to be loyal to your brand.

Increase in Sales

The research also shows that 97% of consumers take their shopping inspiration on social media and consult with online resources before purchasing. Therefore, when brands integrate AR into their merchandise, they can significantly increase the number of purchases. People could access the website with complete information on the product and reach it anytime.

Competitive Advantage

ar packaging jack daniels competitive advantage
Source: intotheminds.com

Nowadays, there is so much competition that people can stand in front of the shelves for hours deciding which product is better. It is especially devastating that marketers always compete with one another and make their products better. Augmented reality for packaging gives a competitive advantage to distinguish the brands to their audience.

Unique Shopping Experience

ar packaging unique shopping experience
Source: pizzahut.com

People can forget about the products they saw, but they won’t forget about their experience interacting with them. For instance, if two brownies on the shelf are almost identical, customers would rely on what packaging seemed the most intriguing and what information about the brand they liked the most. AR package is one of the ways to impress the customers and help them make the purchasing decision.

Increased Customer Engagement

Whatever a company does is aimed to make it more attractive to the target audience. The closer they are to the customers’ hearts, the better. That’s why they want to spend all the little time people will be looking at the product on the shelf with the highest quality. Augmented reality product packaging can capture the eyes of the onlookers, share more information about the product, and engage them more to push the purchasing decision.

From Offline to Online in One Touch

AR packaging can move any product from the physical to the virtual in no more than a couple of minutes. All it takes is pointing your smartphone camera to the QR code on the product or using an application on it, and you can see whatever virtual tour the brand prepared for you to get to know the product better.

Engagement with Millennials

The younger audience is more complicated to engage in buying products in the store than the older one. The Millennials like it when they are presented with something unique and innovative; in many cases, this is the only condition they make the purchasing decision. Augmented reality in packaging can impress the young generations and reassure the audience that the brand is just like they are — young and aimed for the future.

Cost-Effectiveness

Contrary to what most people think, AR packaging isn’t that expensive to implement. The company already has an existing design of the package that it wants to move to virtual reality, and the only change it has to make is to add the QR code that will trigger the AR content. The only investment you can make is adding to your team specialists that can make AR solutions in your company or paying the outsource team if you don’t want to commit, but it will pay off.

Successful AR Product Packaging Campaigns

While the brands worldwide choose to create more innovative and creative ways to engage the audience, some of the best staples we can share.

Bud AR App for Tomorrowland

Before the Tomorrowland music festival in 2019, Bud’s beer brand decided to increase its customer engagement and presence on social media simultaneously. It used the AR application developed by WE/AR Studio to encourage participants to share the videos of Bud branding on their social media and, as a result, win two tickets to Tomorrowland. With the influencers’ help, the brand had over 450,000 engagements during the first week and became the event’s sponsor.

FairTrade AR App

Unprofitable organization FairTrade managed to combine AR and marketing for a good cause. The organization offered 360 video stories to show the history of how the products on the shelves were created and made triggers on the packaging to encourage customers to scan products and see how the brand is changing lives.

OKKO Coffeeoke AR App

During the Christmas holidays, the network of petrol stations OKKO decided to bring the holiday spirit to its customers by integrating AR technology into its marketing strategy. The brand partnered with WE/AR to make a custom AR application. Customers that bought coffee at the petrol station could scan a cup and see the cute mice animation inviting them to sing holiday songs.

Mojokaii AR App

Gaming booster Mojokaii managed to make an AR application that told the brand’s story, its culture, and specific characteristics and boosted its popularity all in one. The AR app for Mojokaii allowed customers to scan their branded products and see one of the three unique stories created specifically to immerse gamers into the colorful anime-themed fantasy.

How to Add AR for Packaging to Your Marketing Strategy: Step-by-step

Implementing AR into your marketing strategy is an easy task, especially when it comes to packaging. You can already use the existing packaging options and add AR technology in various ways.

  1. Determine your goal!
    AR packaging solution you add to your marketing strategy must align with the overall goals. So whether you want to increase your popularity on social media, push forward the new products, or test the new product design — you need to understand how AR will help you with that.
  2. Prepare your story
    For the packaging solution to work out in the best way, you should pay attention to preparing everything thoroughly. First, think of the story you want your audience to see, how it will increase your recognition among the customers, and what it will say about your culture and values. Then, you will have to think of a way to combine technology with your story and existing brand packaging image — create a layout of the app and all technical requirements.
  3. Develop a solution
    Once you have everything prepared, you can forward the information to the developers and trust them to do all other work. Then, they will be able to make the AR packaging application that can appeal to your goals and show you the result.
  4. Test and analyze
    When the AR packaging app is ready, you can release it to your audience, gather the analytics, and understand how well it worked out for your goals.

The AR implementation in any brand’s marketing strategy can be manageable if only you know what results from it you want to achieve. If you’re going to make AR a constant part of your advertising campaign, you can think of hiring a team of professionals for your company. If you are not ready to risk that, you can refer to the specialists who have a vast experience in AR implementation and help you create the solution that will suit you best.


Many companies trust WE/AR to take a step forward into the future and make AR part of their brand. Therefore, we can take your project from the stage of sketching ideas and plans to test and analyze the results stage. All you need to do is contact us at hello@wear-studio.com and have a talk with one of our experts. We will work out the solution suitable specifically for your brand during the consultation.