There are already 100 million people shopping with AR online and in-stores, with 95% of them saying they expect to use the same amount or more AR when shopping next year.

But how and where do consumers want to engage with brands via Extended Reality (XR)?

That’s the new frontier of XR like Augmented Reality in retail. Brands are experimenting with immersive experiences such RugDirect’s virtual See It In Your Room feature on its website. With this innovation, customers can upload a picture of their own room and see how different rugs look in the space.

Is the next frontier in retail AR “connected packaging”?

Connected packaging refers to the transforming of regular packaging into a digital experience, by scanning, tapping, or pointing with their devices to provide a whole new way for brands to connect with customers - and to collect invaluable customer data, too.

For example, Reese’s Puff’s cereal released a series of boxes with virtual synthesizer prints on them that work with its app to enable customers to make real beats with them.

Forward-thinking brands are using connected packaging to better engage customers and the variety of XR creative executions are innovating rapidly. Böen Wines, launched a connected packaging program called Tap our Cap through an app-less experience on their smartphones using Near Field Communication (NFC) tech hidden inside the cap. Wine drinkers can tap the cap of Böen Wines bottles to learn more about each product’s provenance and food pairings.

However, the new Connected Experience Report 2021, released by SharpEnd, shows that connected packaging is the next big trend in retail technology. According to the research, 53% of consumers would pay more for a connected product.

That’s huge! And this represents now only a way for a company to better engage its customers, but to generate more revenue by pairing immersive experiences with a brand packaging strategy.

Connected Packaging Survey

But how many young consumers are actually interested in engaging with branded packaging to activate these digital experiences? To find out if this is a marketing trend that just marketers love or actually reaching Gen Z and Millennials, we recently used our on-demand survey platform PULSE to ask 16-34-year-olds to ask, starting with if they have ever seen brand packaging digital packaging on any products:

To learn about this new trend, Ypulse asked Gen Z and Millennials (16-34-year-olds) a few key questions to see what younger generations have to say on this topic.

What they found was that:

70% answered that they were interested in connected packaging and 62% had seen it before


And how best should brands engage customers with connected packaging? What kinds of creative executions? Interactive packaging was the second most popular answer behind Games.

Have you seen any great examples of connected packaging?