Technology is increasing at an uncommon fast rate. Some of the biggest trends influencing the retail industry today are rising technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), with lots of the biggest retailers starting to respond and fit appropriately to these technologies.
Customers may probably use AR and VR to explore and interact with potential products or purchases in the future. Virtual Reality, together with augmented Reality, allows retailers to transform how they interact with the consumer. The retailers who are implementing and transforming with technology are those who may probably succeed.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are set to change the shopping experience and transform the market in the same way the internet did.
By 2025, the market for AR and VR in retail will attain about $1.6 billion, according to Goldman Sachs. These statistics revealed that two-thirds of internet users would show interest in virtual reality, and about 63% said such technologies would transform the way they shop.
VR in the retail industry is still in its early stage. But, the affirmation of something new and innovative is already attractive. It allows audiences to stick to areas of contemporary in an era where technology rules.
Virtual Reality in retail is used to plan, design, research, and improve customer experience. It provides various benefits when considering how to attend to consumers’ wants and needs, particularly when changing regularly.
VR in retail provides a competitive benefit by regularly upgrading itself with current patterns and trends. It achieves all these while also developing a fun shopping experience.
How VR Improves The Online Shopping Experience
Users can Explore Virtual Showrooms
To include a new level of interest to the online shopping experience, retailers can look to develop virtual showrooms or virtual stores. These platforms give customers a virtual experience similar to heading out to a physical store as you can get from your home’s comfort.
One of the significant players in this rising technology is Lowe’s Holoroom, a tool that sets the pace for virtual showrooms. To be explicit, Lowe’s Innovation Labs convey that visualizing a home improvement project is challenging, but by using a virtual showroom, customers can adequately visualize their ideal result.
In summary, it gives the user a mocked-up version of how their home could look when equipped with several items or products. The complete scene that users see is a virtually generated version of a home. The immersive experience enables them to become spatially conscious of how several products would work together.
Since 2014, this technology has been available from Lowe’s Innovation Labs, but the kinks have been improved over the years, and the VR product has regularly increased in popularity.
It’s not only home design industries that can benefit by using the help of these technologies. Big consumer markets and stores worldwide, like eBay Australia and the Myer department store, have already implemented virtual reality shops to their roster.
The main idea is that consumers would experience an enjoyable, immersive shopping experience from the online ones they currently have. Summarily, they would put on a headset at home and instantly find themselves amid a virtual superstore.
Here they have the liberty to browse the virtual products in an almost similar way to how they would if they were in a physical store typically.
Customers can Virtually Visualize Products
Offering consumers the opportunity to visualize how a product would look before they can buy it is the very “try before you buy” innovation, which several companies are trying to establish. Instead of concentrating on VR (i.e., a computer-generated world), technology companies are penetrating the realms of AR.
Augmented Reality (AR) is different from VR, as part of what users see is a real video and only little virtual elements overlaid. For instance, a consumer could put on a headset and immediately see the room they were formerly standing in.
AR then enables products and items to be overlaid on top of their view. Suddenly, they could see a dress in their room that they were considering buying or rather a new lamp on their desk. By enabling consumers to see how possible items would fit into their daily life, AR can offer an improved visualization than physical items in physical stores.
Swedish multinational, IKEA, has released an AR catalog app that enables you to see how specific furniture items would look in your home. Consumers can virtually visualize how these pieces will appear and, importantly, how those products or items will fit in their home based on the item or product’s dimensions.
Retail giants like Converse and Lego have also started implementing AR technology to show users how some products will look.
These new forms of virtual visualization offer a new level of interaction for customers. Rather than only reading the product description and dimensions in a bid to envision or understand how it will look physically, all they have to do is press a button and see it for themselves.
How AR Is Improving The Online Shopping Experience
Better Shopping Experience to the Customers
With the help of augmented reality apps, experts can display their products and services for shopping in a high-quality way by offering an improved visual experience to the customers and other stakeholders.
Delivery of Data, Information, and Content
AR allows the organizations to showcase the applicable data and information of their products on a real-time basis. The massive, context-based data can be accessed and displayed in the shape of extremely engaging content. This even also applies to in hand shopping experiences of several retail stores.
Brands That are Innovating With AR
Augmented Reality is of great benefit for shopping online and offline, and it has been implemented quite convincingly by brands to fit the imaginations of a user. Written below are brands that are already innovating with AR.
IKEA is likely the most common name to reckon with when shopping for furniture and electrical items. Its AR technology in retail is useful for users as it enables them to take their phones and scan a specific furniture piece and then superimpose that into your room’s image.
It can also be done for your bedroom, kitchen, lavatory, hall, foyer, lawn, etc. This assists in you saving lots of time and energy.
After downloading the app, all you have to do is hover your phone over the magazine as displayed in the video, and a scooter will automatically appear. Then, you can customize the vehicle according to your choice. You also can change the colors, add/remove accessories, search for various styles, etc.
Don’t you think this is a quirky use of AR marketing?
Everything about technology is innovation; Adidas declares the statement with its implementation of AR in eCommerce. Not long ago, it changed the game with the release of a new pair of sneakers. At ComplexCon CA 2018, the new AR feature made its debut.
Most users had to download the ComplexCon app on their smartphones to assist and guide them to head towards a destination to purchase new kicks. There were AR-powered signs in some locations, and the users are only required to point their phone towards it and then follow the instructions.
This innovation assisted them in buying shoes, even without having to contact any Adidas Originals employee physically.
Conclusion (Harness the Power of AR and VR)
The primary goal of most marketers and eCommerce companies is attracting customers to their stores. Either in a physical or online sense, using both VR and AR technologies displays powerful promise in assisting to achieve this goal.
These new devices enable shoppers to involve themselves in the commerce experience deeply, and they offer customers a new attraction to visit both online and physical stores.
Although VR and AR technology elements may sound futuristic, the pace of the trends that noted overtime suggests that they will soon be accessible to a broader consumer base. Both retailers and eCommerce companies have to ensure that they can include these technologies into their daily customer service offerings.
Currently, we can see that AR and VR technologies have come into the limelight to provide simplicity to businesses such as E-commerce, training, and entertainment, along with offering a relaxing shopping experience.
It is gradually turning to be the most preferred and accepted solution with the highest evolution in the online retail business.
As the technology attempt for AR and VR is already becoming more trendier and gradually moving to a level of extensive usage, companies in the E-commerce domain will do well to benefit from these two technologies to reach a competitive lead against their business competitors.