From fiction to reality. The online retail has become a very competitive market, improved customer experiences have become a key success factor for brands to win and retain customers. So far, the overall e-commerce experience has been only a click-and-buy action. While product pages have seen big improvements in terms of navigation, design and functionality, the concept by itself hasn’t changed much. The customers often get wrong expectations for the product they are ordering.
Thus, Virtual Reality (VR) seems to be a perfect fit here. Being able to see and interact with items, exploring them from various angle and zooming to see even finest details, customers get better visual information and can engage emotionally. The brick-and-mortar retail market is initially motivated by emotions rather than a rational approach, and is what e-commerce has been lacking up till now.
What’s new from Las vegas CES 2017 ?
From January 5-8 2017, the 50th CES (Consumer Electronics Show) took place, the event where next generation innovations were introduced to the marketplace. New VR immersive experiences were showcased, such as skydiving or responsive shoes for unique playing experience.
From an online retail perspective, VR took a step further with the possibility for you to simply build your own virtual store. A new technology has been created to enable product placement to happen in an immersive marketplace.
This promising features place the user (aka. the online shop owner) at the center of the “game”. It can then can build up its own online store with simple cubes units that represent tables, shelves, and displays. They are automatically visualized by the customer using the VR device.
With a simple click, the entire catalog from the designated database is downloaded to the Virtual Reality scene. This technology is to be developed and the next versions should include the possibility to actually sell items to the customer.
How is Virtual Reality already changing the face of online retail ?
Google new VR project is ambitious : letting shoppers see what they might buy without leaving home. Alphabet Inc. unit recently introduced its new 3D-scanning project called Tango. The technology uses cameras and sensors in mobile devices to overlay digital images on physical space. As VR and Augmented Reality (AR) technology rapidly improves, analysts predict the retail industry may be one the biggest beneficiaries.
Also, Chinese shopping giant Alibaba.com recently took things a step further with its Buy+ shopping platform. Buy+ allows customers to browse not just a department store, but it has recreated part of New York City around it – customers can even get a cab from Times Square to a version of Macy’s.
But VR doesn’t always have to copy the real world. eBay Australia and department store Myer have created a virtual-reality department store that, rather than imitate a regular store, had no walls, ceilings or escalators.
With the VR technology ever growing the final step will be allowing your customers to be able to do shopping at home the exact same way they would in the street. And that’s a great news! The video below show us what the close future of online retail could look like:
Virtual Reality really is the next big thing, with a technology always getting more accessible to either online retailer than end customer you definitely don’t want to ignore it . Stay tuned and you won’t miss a thing!