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"In-Shop" Experiences from Home with Virtual Reality

By CIOReview | Wednesday, July 31, 2019

VR experiences typically offered through goggles or wearable headgears will transform the in-store shopping experiences.

FREMONT, CA: The shopping experience is continuously getting transformed for the shoppers. Major high street shops have an online presence that provides more platforms for interaction between shop and shopper. Customers are using a range of platforms to shop due to the immense popularity and rise of mobile or m-retailing. Moreover, technologies such as Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are encouraging businesses to experiment with innovative customer experiences. Such a heterogeneous mix of real and unreal is shaping the future of shopping experience toward something which the experts refer to as VR shopping.

VR experiences are typically offered through goggles or wearable headgear that allows the user to get immersed into the virtual world. It is also possible to enable deeper engagement with the virtual world by including other senses such as tactile hand controls for manipulating and handling objects.

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In-Store Tech

In-store technology is yet improving with time. The presence of in-store Wi-Fi has increased, and some stores also offer tablets and touch screens for customers to search for items and lookup for information. Video screens displaying the features of the products are also on the rise. Magic mirrors happen to be the cutting edge tech among these incorporations, which overlays the image of the customer with the clothes they have selected while also allowing to change style and color options. However, they are less common.

Customers tend to appreciate functionality over whimsical means of interacting with the retailer. New additions are getting welcomed, especially when they are informative and intended to help the customers locate products. Consumers would even pay for these services while opt to stay engaged rather than just getting bombarded by marketing contents. Young shoppers prefer to use their phones to share images of potential purchases via Instagram or Snapchat. Current trends are pointing to the expansion of in-store communication and interactive shop-window display that uses a combination of transmitters, a combination of GPS, and other devices while Bluetooth transmission to interact with shopper’s smartphones. Such initiatives will take micro-marketing and personalization to a new level with real-time information and offers dispatched to the consumer’s smartphones as they are nearing product displays.

Creating a Virtual Impression

The incorporation of VR based marketing approach will increase as the retailers become more comfortable offering content through them. New VR headsets will offer more realistic immersive environments. Some brands are already ready with the roadmap of their virtual stores where VR-equipped customers could someday experience browsing through racks without the need to leave their home. VR will also allow them to re-visit and experience designer’s and retailer’s fashion shows, displaying events and exhibitions. Retailers can also use VR to extend the lifespan of certain promotions to specific customers.

Immersion is especially impactful while creation and re-creation of 3D environments that can be helpful for customers looking for furnishings, furniture, paint, and decorations for their homes. With the help of VR, they can realize the furniture setup even without having them in their homes. However, for any such advancement, retailers’ participation and investment will play a key role.