Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality – the New V-Commerce Tools
Want to buy the perfect suit for your next business meet? Well, it may sound simple until you end up stuck in traffic, face difficulties in finding a parking space and finally when you enter the shop in a hurry, you find everything except the suit that you are looking for! Of course, in order to avoid this situation, you may turn to online shopping. But even in that case, you can’t be sure if you are buying the one with the perfect fit. With virtual reality e-commerce or v-commerce, this scenario will be a thing of the past! Using a virtual avatar that looks exactly like you, you can try on the suit and see if it fits before buying. You don’t need to worry about the parking or the weather condition. This is one of the many applications that the multinational retail giant Walmart sees as part of the development of the retail industry. Walmart might not be the first company to make use of VR technology, but they are definitely one of the biggest.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are the two words that are making the rounds in the retail industry. While virtual reality creates a digital environment that replaces reality by glasses or headsets, Augmented Reality creates an additional digital layer which is applied to the reality. Heard about Pokemon Go? It works somewhat like that. You can use this technology in online retail and build a virtual store where you can not only walk around and choose items, but also see them in 3D versions. Isn’t it amazing?
Here are some companies that are already making headlines by embracing v-commerce:
- In the year 2016, eBay, in collaboration with Myer, launched the VR store. This virtual store can be used with the headsets. All you have to do is put the headset on and you are all set to shop. You can either use your voice or your gaze to browse the product categories, read the description of the products and add products to cart for final payment.
- In order to create that wow effect for their companies, major brands such as Topshop, Dior and others already make use of AR/VR in advertising.
- In 2016, Alibaba made an announcement that they are creating AR/VR services for e-commerce. Their “Buy+” VR app has made it possible for the consumers to browse and purchase from the aisles of a virtual store, irrespective of where they are actually in physical space.
The future of virtual and augmented reality in e-commerce
- With VR and AR, the biggest players in the e-commerce market will become the trend-setters and promote this idea to the mass consumers.
- The number of users of AR/VR is expected to reach 200 million globally by the end of 2018.
- Augmented and virtual reality will not be able to replace the e-commerce with v-commerce in the short run, but of course, in the future, it will be a more efficient tool for sales. Instead of replacing them all at once, the AR/VR will now work in parallel with the existing sales channels.
- By the year 2020, it is expected that the volume of the AR market will reach 120 billion dollars, where the e-commerce sale will take up to 30 percent.
- The start-up community is working on creating the shopping technology for augmented and virtual reality such as machine learning, computer vision, AR/VR content, massive data, AR/VR rooms and a lot more.
Do you want to take advantage of this v-commerce opportunity? Then do the following –
- Make alliances with leaders in the field of technology. For this, you don’t need to be a technology expert. As a retailer, look for alliances that offer access to world-class technology.
- Create a value proposition that is compelling and define the business model. You need to make sure that your customers understand from their very first encounter how technology can be used to solve their problems or make their shopping experience better.
- In order to make AR/VR a part of your digital strategy, you need to act immediately. This is high time that you think about them, as they are not far out on the horizon.
Chances are that by the year 2020, the online retailers will start using this fresh trend. So if you want to be one of them, start thinking about it today!
Digital Aptech is an award-winning web development company creating awesome VR/GR games and apps as well as e-commerce platforms. Have a similar project in mind? Give us a call now!