Apart from getting larger audiences and being global, e-commerce has come a long way. Since differentiating solely on products is getting difficult, it is focusing more on delivering a unique experience to the shoppers. And in that attempt, it is keeping no stone unturned; VR – based e-commerce can vouch for it.
Though VR is the buzzword, some obscurities about it need to weed out. Known as immersive multimedia or computer-simulated reality, VR is a combination of technology and experience designed to create immersive environments to make users feel that they’ve truly entered simulated environments. Due to its unbridled storytelling potential, VR has already been adopted by the entertainment and travel industry. Other industries are slowly getting in terms with it.
Note that the retail industry is trying hard to engage customers through seamless omnichannel experiences, which begins with a durable focus on mobile optimization. This is especially important for ecommerce, as conversion rates on mobile devices are rising continuously. This what makes VR based Ecommerce a natural extension for the existing online sellers. With inventions like 3D printing, facial recognition software, and wearable tech picking up steam, customers expect experiential retail practices that accentuate delight factors. With 66% of shoppers are interested in buying items using VR, many experts believe that VR is going to be for Generation Z what smartphones are to Millennials.
Let’s ponder over the role that VR is likely to play in the ecommerce world in the coming future.
For online sellers, it’s extremely hard to create a significant competitive edge based upon the products alone. It will be achieved only through innovative experience – both in terms of the overall buying experience and the product evaluation process. Even though your product has the same attributes that other products have, you can put it in a different light by weaving an engaging story around it. There is enough evidence to prove that this approach increases conversion rates. And VR based e-commerce is perfectly poised to nourish this approach.
Assume that you are in the business of beauty products. With VR, you can create a full 360-degree visualization of how you ethically source each ingredient. You can showcase how environment-friendly your process is, how stringent your quality checks are, and how well you treat your employees. Your customers can experience all of this instead of simply reading about it. That’s the magic of VR based ecommerce.
Patron Tequila, the premium tequila brand, uses VR to take its audience on a journey through the product’s fruition. With the help of live-action video and 3D graphics, it delivers “The Art of Patron Virtual Reality Experience” at live events, retail locations, and on the Art of Patron website. This VR application allowed Patron Tequila loyalists a virtual tour of the brand’s distillery in Jalisco, Mexico.
Though it took 5 months to create it, the accumulation of 20, 0000 YouTube views proved how effective immersive storytelling could be for marketing.
Online buyers want to be absolutely sure about the product before buying it. It’s understandable too, as unlike physical store, they can’t touch and feel the products while buying online. Therefore, it’s extremely important to establish trust between products and buyers. With an innate ability to elaborate the details, VR based ecommerce can become a silver bullet here.
With a blend of AR and VR, online sellers can allow customers to virtually try their products without physically trying them. More importantly, these technologies can simulate the customers’ environment in which those products might be used.
Using cardboard VR viewer, online sellers can give customers, irrespective of their geographical locations, a unique personalized experience. When items are added to their cart, shoppers can see a series of related products, creating a consistent shopping experience determined by their personal preferences and shopping history.
Though it shares uncanny similarity with mobile shopping, this approach of VR based ecommerce is a slight difference between mobile shopping and the cardboard VR viewer. In the latter case, customers have the opportunity to experience the products from all the angles with the freedom to move, rotate, and zoom in on them.
By letting customers to explore every aspect of the products, it is giving new meaning to the phrase “what you see is what you get.” Along with making the customers comfortable while shopping, it is also creating positive vibes around the product – something which is a must to bridge a common “trust gap” that might have developed between products and potential customers.
Regardless of your love for VR, VR-based e-commerce is rapidly becoming a new norm. The main reason is it is allowing online sellers to put their products in front of customers no matter where they are. Brands have already tested success with AR. Now, it’s time for VR to storm. Jeff Booth was right when he announced that “interaction leads to immersion, and immersion leads to conversion.”
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