In the coming future, those days will be gone when people have to go to a store to shop or browse online. The AR (Augmented reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) technologies have the capacity to completely transform the shopping experience. In the recent years, online shopping has seen a considerable success and has now became an integral part of our lifestyles.
Truly, online shopping comes stuffed with its very own set of advantages, yet it deprives customers of the option to ‘attempt’ things before they buy. Customers don’t get to really observe the product, feel it or assess it personally. Based on the reputation of the retailer and the product’s reviews, consumers trust that the shipped product is exactly how they saw it.
However, with the increasing popularity around Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, this situation is expected to change.
How AR and VR can transform online shopping?
Envision yourself submerging in a virtual computer-generated universe where you can utilize all these five senses (touch, taste, smell, vision and auditory sensation) to cooperate precisely as you do in reality. This is known as Virtual Reality.
Now imagine a universe where this computer-generated universe enlarges with the present world and that is Augmented Reality. Despite the fact that the present innovation isn’t equipped for touch, taste and smell extremely well, we have been gradually mastering immersion in visual and sound-related sensation.
VR in eCommerce:
Every user wants a shopping experience which has an incredible ‘wow’ factor in it. For example, you own a retail business where customers can discover, choose, checkout and pay for the products. Now assume that you reveal a virtual reality interface to your customers. Your customer wears a VR headset and they instantly find themselves in your store. They have a 3-D view of your shop.
The customers can walk around, explore and discover new products as they would do in the real world. Suppose a customer wants to know about a new phone in the shop, he focuses his sight on the phone and instantly, has the specs right in-front of him along with the price, best offers and other information they require to make a decision. The customer likes the deal and continues with the payment or can even add the phone to his cart and can do more virtual shopping.
Today VR is strongly impacting the world of retail. Every business is trying to invest more in the VR technologies to enhance their customer’s shopping experience. Let’s have a look at the role of VR in eCommerce–
- VR is offering a virtual experience to the customers in form of Virtual Showrooms to give a new scope in terms of online shopping.
- VR provides a new level of experience to the customers by providing them a better visualization than physical items in physical stores.
- VR gives reason to the customers to shop virtually in a virtual store.
- VR offers customers a chance to visualize how a product would look even before purchasing it.
AR in eCommerce:
Now lets do a small AR walk through. Let us assume that a lady wants to purchase a sofa for her living room from your shop. She opens the app and finds a nice sofa set but she isn’t sure about how the sofa would look in her living room. In this case, if your app is AR enabled, she would fire up her mobile camera and point it to the place in her living room where she wants to keep the sofa.
The minute she does that, your application puts a 3-D model of the sofa as an overlay on the live picture of the living room. Now this would enable your customer to visualize how the sofa would look in her living room. She can even rotate the camera and look where the new furniture fits best. AR can also be used in the similar way in the domain of jewellery as well.
Role of AR in eCommerce-
- AR offers its users a computer generated sensory in a real world.
- AR allows you to visualize your purchases even before purchasing the exact product.
- AR enhances your shopping experience by allowing you to try out the products ( eg. Lip-colors, clothes) before making any purchase.
- AR eCommerce personalizes your online shopping and enhances your shopping experiences.
How industry behemoths are deploying AR and VR?
Internet retail giants like Amazon are amped up for virtual reality and augmented reality. Recently, Amazon coordinated an AR shopping experience to their iOS app. Market place giants like eBay, collaborated with Australian retailer, Myers to dispatch a virtual reality departmental store. There is a great deal of energy in new startups, that are joining AR-VR with eCommerce and some of them are becoming hot targets for acquisitions.
AR-VR technologies are just set to advance over time to disturb the e-com sector. It is the third most developing stage after the desktops and mobiles for retail online shopping. As the innovation for AR/VR begins winding up more open and standardized, companies in the e-commerce sector will do well to use them in order to gain a competitive edge.