Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

Virtual reality shopping: a growing trend for all retailers

If you’re working in the retail industry, you’re probably constantly following the trends your customers love, and one of the recent trends is virtual reality shopping. For some time now, customers have been using the internet to buy their groceries or browse through their favorite eCommerce stores. Nevertheless, the combination of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is taking us to the next step in this competitive sport.

These two types of technologies completely change what we used to know as the shopping experience and the market in general. As virtual reality shopping is still in its early stages, it is seen as promising an innovative approach focused on improving the customer journey. By meeting the needs and wants of customers, retailers can now provide a competitive advantage and a fun shopping adventure.

Virtual Reality and Online Shopping

Virtual reality allows customers to enjoy shopping outside the store. Compared to online shopping, virtual reality will enable buyers to experience the product rather than see it. Even Alibaba, one of the biggest brands in the eCommerce market, has already started implementing VR into its business. Their customers will be able to explore the virtual store, pick up items and review them in 3D before making a purchase decision based solely on their look.

As they can imagine the product now, customers can enjoy an added element of personalization that allows them to fully engage and invest in your company. Keep in mind that these customers are looking for a high-quality product, which means they need to know everything before buying it. With this incredible potential, VR is expected to completely change the way we shop, do our research on products, and finally, decide what to buy.

in-store customer experience

Shop

During the pandemic, people were shopping online for access to groceries, restaurants, clothing, technology, classes or even communication tools to stay in touch with their family and friends. However, once stores began to open around the world, it became clear that hitting the store was still a fairly valuable experience for the consumer society.

It only confirmed that retailers need to find a way to get their customers into physical stores, and one innovative way to do this is with the help of virtual reality. By turning a routine, sometimes dull activity into something enjoyable and personal, virtual reality is again changing the way we shop, but this time in physical stores.

As a customer, you can easily engage with your favorite brands and products on another level. This is handy enough for larger products like cars, where you need to test the product and gather more information before making a purchase decision.

A classic example of such a company is Lexus which allows its potential buyers to enjoy a test drive without leaving the showroom. This new and exciting technology is also attractive for upcoming events or products announcement. It can be used to acquire new customers and business partners and employees.

market research and planning

man working on tablet

In addition to enhancing the in-store experience for customers, virtual reality has many benefits for retailers. One of the most practical uses is for research purposes at the initial stage. As marketing psychologists struggle to predict everything around planning a store, virtual reality allows them to test potential layouts before building them.

So, it saves both time and money and is more accurate than any existing alternative methods. By showcasing multiple products and services with the help of virtual reality, you can understand whether your idea will be successful even before it reaches the physical store. As a business owner, it gives you an understanding of the expectations of your target audience and how they want to communicate with your brand.

Another reason businesses can benefit from virtual reality in such instances is that they warm up to their potential customers and pique their interest by showing them what they can find. For example, customers in the travel industry can get their vacation options before spending money.

In other words, virtual reality is completely changing how businesses can promote their products and services. Companies are no longer spending money on creating product descriptions, photography and videography but providing an experience. Allowing customers to see your products in context simplifies sales by providing your target audience with a realistic experience instead of just describing it for them.

Augmented Reality Shopping Apps

Being able to experience products is an important factor when making a purchase decision, so it’s no surprise that retailers are looking for ways to use virtual reality to provide that type of excitement to their customers. Were. One of such recent technological innovations is the augmented reality shopping app.

This completely revolutionary approach to capture the attention of the customers allows them to engage with their favorite brand in a way that was completely unimaginable before. These are just a few companies that have implemented an augmented reality shopping app to increase customer engagement with their brand.

1. Conversation

inverse

Converse Shoes decided to personalize the whole concept of buying shoes online through their AR app. Their buyers can easily explore the brand’s inventory and try out whatever they like, and do it all from the comfort of their homes. To enjoy this fun experience, the customer has to lower their smartphone to their feet.

Then, The Shoe Sampler will superimpose the selected shoes and place them on the shopper’s foot. This way, the customer will have an idea of ​​what the shoe will look like on them. Plus, Conversation shoppers can also save photos of their digital endeavors and share them via the integrated social sharing feature. Since customers are usually on the lookout for fashion advice, this feature works excellently for brand promotion.

2. Burberry Beauty Box

Burberry

When it comes to luxury brands, don’t you want to take a closer look at the product you’ll be spending your money on? So, what if you want to buy an expensive item and can’t go to a physical store? Burberry created its own augmented reality shopping app, one of the most influential people in the beauty world.

Their Burberry Beauty Box allows nail shoppers to choose their skin tone and apply multiple nail paints with the help of AR. Then, the app provides a ready-made presence for shoppers, which helps them make their shopping decisions more quickly.

3. Warby Parker

warby parker

It is probably one of the first brands to adopt augmented reality in retail. Since there were already several eyeglass companies allowing their customers to try on glasses using their online software, Warby Parker went a step further.

They have integrated the AR app and allow their buyers to upload their photos, but the buyer holds a credit card next to their face in the picture. The reason for this is the size of the credit card, which is usually standardized. This information helps the brand to calculate the distance between the two iris of the customers and enables them to provide more accurate results.

4. De Beers

de beers

Another luxury brand that managed to impress with the implementation of AR in its marketing strategy is De Beers. This high-end jewelry maker used Augmented Reality for its Forevermark diamonds.

De Beers made an incredible impact by providing its customers with an AR experience to make a physical object more real with the eye-catching transparency of AR technology.

5. Topshop

topshop

In order to attract new customers and retain old customers, their Kinect fitting rooms were brought to their users with the help of AR. Even their Russian store in Russia displayed the innovative AR fitting room where all their potential buyers could stand in front of a mirror. Using only their hands and virtual buttons, they could superimpose the chosen clothing onto the image.

These AR fitting rooms attract an incredible number of customers to find their favorite outfits without changing the clothes they are wearing. This unprecedented experience simplifies testing for customers, but also piques their interest without their high involvement.

giving AR a shot

Your business may not be in the areas mentioned above, but that doesn’t mean that AR is something your brand should bypass. Aside from augmented reality shopping apps, there are many ways to integrate AR into your marketing efforts. After all, if customers are looking for brands that offer this type of unique experience, shouldn’t you offer them that and more?

Let’s say you’re willing to make the most of this technology. In that case, you should consider hiring a web development agency who will guide you through all the steps to get the most out of both virtual realities and augmented reality. They will create the right strategy for your business and deliver an immersive experience to your target audience.

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