Augmenting the brand experience
: how virtual try-ons impact consumer behavior in fashion and cosmetics retail

  • Leon Nalic (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Technological innovations are changing the way consumers interact with brands in different contexts. In fashion and cosmetics e-commerce, augmented reality (AR) applications such as virtual try-ons enable more experiential, hedonistic shopping through multi-sensory and emotional product previews. However, research on virtual try-on capabilities is limited and almost neglects to mediate psychological processes influencing key shopping outcomes such as satisfaction, loyalty, and purchase intentions. Based on prior academic literature, this study analyzes the impact of virtual try-ons on consumer behavior, specifically examining the mediating role of sensory brand experience, affective brand experience, and emotional engagement with the brand. The study surveyed 301 fashion and cosmetics shoppers from the Gen Z and Millennial generations, comparing those who used AR with those who did not. The results showed that virtual try-ons positively impact purchase intentions, satisfaction, and loyalty indirectly via sensory/affective brand experiences and emotional engagement. The sensory experience showed the strongest mediating effect, emphasizing the influential role of compelling visual and tactile previews. The findings provide actionable insights for fashion and cosmetics brands to leverage virtual try-ons to engage digitally savvy audiences more deeply through hedonistic customization and identity expression. This supports engagement and relationships in an increasingly experiential retail sector.
Date of Award1 Feb 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPaula Hortinha (Supervisor)


  • Augmented reality
  • Virtual try-on
  • Brand experience
  • Emotional engagement
  • Hedonic shopping
  • Fashion e-commerce
  • Cosmetics e-commerce
  • Consumer behavior
  • Satisfaction
  • Loyalty
  • Purchase intentions
  • Sensory appeal
  • Affective response


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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