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Augmented reality (AR) app use in the beauty product industry and consumer purchase intention

Yining Wang (Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Eunju Ko (Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Huanzhang Wang (Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Article publication date: 25 March 2021

Issue publication date: 3 January 2022




Due to the lack of relevant literatures on the application of mobile augmented reality (AR) service in beauty industry, the purpose of this study is to explore the impact of the mobile AR service on consumers' purchase behavior and brand awareness in beauty industry. And this study also wants to identify the different effects of the relationship among flow experience (concentration, playfulness and exploratory behavior), decision comfort and purchase intention moderated by different levels of consumer characteristics (individualism and fashion innovativeness).


This study set up a research model based on SOR model. The study used AR mobile app named “Youcam Makeup” as stimulus to do the questionnaire survey. First, the authors describe the way to use this AR mobile app and make sure each participant experience this app for about 5 min to understand AR well and finally, finished the questionnaire. SPSS and AMOS were used to do data analysis.


The results of this study showed that first, in the field of fashion and beauty makeup, compared with the ability to control or modify virtual contents – the perception of vividness, reality and aesthetics – are more relevant to consumers. Second, besides the playfulness that AR provides, AR technology can also encourage exploratory behavior in consumers, which will directly affect their intention to purchase. Finally, when using mobile AR technology, consumers with different levels of individualism or fashion innovativeness will gain different perceptions of their purchase intention.

Research limitations/implications

First, the study targets millennial female consumers. The future studies can be conducted on consumers of different age groups. Second, the sampling of this study is insufficient; if it had more samples, the results would be more accurate. Finally, AR is integrated into people's lives; therefore, to not be limited to millennial consumers, demographic characteristics need to be applied to future research.

Practical implications

This study provides a theoretical basis for marketers to formulate marketing strategies. First of all, marketers can use this technology to provide consumers with a more vivid and specific online shopping experience. Second, technical developers can focus on developing the features of AR with the strongest consumer perception based on the results of this study. Finally, this study researched consumer traits that can deepen understanding of both emerging technologies and consumer behavior as compared to research only on mobile AR services. Marketers need to understand the characteristics of consumers when making marketing plans and expand the characteristics of AR technology corresponding to the characteristics of consumers to attract consumers with different attributes.

Social implications

By using interactive technology, the brand can be closer to consumers and provide help and fun for consumers when they consume online. AR can also lead to future tool reuse behavior, thus establishing long-term relationships with consumers. More than that, AR can be used with the mobile phone, which can be used anytime and anywhere, eliminating space and time constraints. Therefore, the brand can establish cheap and extensive technology as a marketing strategy. Also, it can become one of the most common marketing tools.


This research fills the gap in the literature on mobile AR technology in the beauty industry. Such knowledge will not only facilitate the online development of brands but also help support retailers' development in the beauty industry, providing necessary capabilities for the expansion and application of this new technology. With regard to marketing strategies, the study on consumer characteristic provides the knowledge foundation for marketers to create marketing strategies, which is easier for them to formulate marketing schemes favorable to the brand for varying consumers.



This work was supported by Global Research Network program through the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017S1A2A2041810).


Wang, Y., Ko, E. and Wang, H. (2022), "Augmented reality (AR) app use in the beauty product industry and consumer purchase intention", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 110-131.



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