An image from THE OUTNET.com's augmented reality holiday campaign.

The Outnet.com today launched its first augmented reality experience on Facebook to enable shoppers to fully immerse themselves in the brand’s holiday campaign. The social media giant in July revealed support for AR advertising.

To activate the AR effect, consumers visiting The Outnet’s Facebook account via mobile select “send message” and say. “Hi.” When the Outnet chatbot replies, shoppers click a button labeled “the party effect” through their camera, which will mirror The Outnet’s holiday campaign.

The holiday effect can be used indoors and outside, in a selfie or world mode. While in the effect, a message will appear, prompting users to search for the Outnet logo to reveal a holiday surprise activated by hovering the camera over the shared holiday campaign image of two models wearing long gowns with copy that says, “Seasons of Style: The Celebrations Start Here.”

Sales resulting from AR are expected to be $27 billion in 2018, a 92 percent increase over 2017, according to the International Data Corp. Consumer products are expected to account for $53 billion in spending via AR and virtual reality throughout IDC’s forecast period of 2017 to 2022. Virtual reality gaming continues to be the dominant use case for AR and VR this year. Over the course of the forecast period, retail is expected to post the biggest compound annual growth rate, 119.3 percent.

Several designers and retailers have experimented with AR. Tommy Hilfiger was an early adopter in 2015, providing Samsung Gear VR devices at select stores that allowed shoppers to view the Hilfiger fall runway collection in three dimensions and with a 360-degree perspective. More recently, Michael Kors was the first brand to experiment with AR on Facebook’s platform, allowing consumers to virtually try on sunglasses.

The Outnet.com, which sells discounted previous-season designer products along with its Iris & Ink private label, is the first brand under the Yoox Net-a-porter umbrella to introduce an AR experience. The AR effect can be accessed through the Outnet.com chatbot, which is an extension of the social media platform the brand launched via Facebook Messenger in February. The Outnet.com chatbot has amassed more than 6,000 users, the company said.

The experience is being promoted to existing customers though a variety of platforms, including Instagram and Facebook. In addition, The Outnet will include instructional post cards with every package delivered during the first two weeks of the AR effect’s activation.

The brand said it will encourage consumers to share a photo of themselves immersed in The Outnet filter with the hashtag #Outnet and tagged @TheOutnet.

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