How Virtual Reality Affects eCommerce

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Virtual Reality is creating a new playing field in the retail industry, and eCommerce business owners are trying to invest in VR technology with the help of App development companies to ensure that they improve their user’s shopping experience. Surprisingly, 77.24% of online shoppers abandon their carts before completing a purchase. This indicates that retailers need to do a lot more to convert the customers by offering their choice and purchasing online items. Virtual reality could provide the answer to this.

Brief Introduction to Virtual Reality & Why the eCommerce world is interested

Virtual Reality, otherwise known as immersive multimedia or computer-simulated reality, can be defined as creating a virtual, three-dimensional environment presented to our senses in such a way that we experience it as if we were there. Combining the power of technology with experience design gives the users an immersive experience. There is plenty of room for VR to flourish in the next few years as consumers become aware of the technology. Virtual reality is expected to generate $150 billion in revenue by 2020, and statistics show that around 22.4 million Americans are already virtual reality users.

The biggest hurdle faced by eCommerce business owners is reassuring customers that the product they are considering purchasing is actually what they are looking for. A mere listing of all products on the websites is not enough to impress the consumers and sustain the ever-increasing demands. VR and eCommerce go hand in hand since they’re both offer real-world experiences that have been digitally replicated. VR has already started to make online retail spaces where it has significantly enhanced the shopping experience through immersive experiences that increase the customer’s favourability to shop. 

Ways Virtual Reality Can Benefit eCommerce:

Virtual Showrooms

As per research, 85% of consumers prefer to shop in physical stores, which would be tough for an eCommerce business owner. Once, it was tough for eCommerce stores to offer the same level of experience that brick and mortar stores could offer. Now, this scenario is changed since businesses have leveraged the power of Virtual Reality. Retailers are looking to build virtual showrooms or virtual stores where Consumers wander through a virtual store instead of being stuck in a static product page. By offering the magic of VR, your customers can experience all of this instead of simply reading about it.

Product Testing:

Customers have an innate desire to try before they buy and 58% of people like to purchase a product after being allowed to test it first. Offering them a 360-degree product view helps the eCommerce business owners to bridge the gap between physical and online retail stores. VR also provides online merchants with new possibilities for cross-selling, upselling, and tracking customer behavior patterns. It enhances the customer experience by giving them a walkthrough in an immersive virtual store rather than restricting them to a static product page. This also provides an excellent insight into customer preferences and helps make your marketing more personalized.

User Engagement:

Emotional factors highly influence customer purchasing decisions, and Virtual Reality provides a next-gen level of interaction for customers where it is getting connected to the user. VR technology helps users read the product description and dimensions and understand how it will physically look. With just a click through the VR headset, users can view the products for themselves. An eCommerce/retail-specific survey revealed that an astonishing 66% of shoppers are interested in buying items using VR. This is proof of Virtual reality becoming the next frontier in offering ravishing customer engagement. 

Gives a Reason to revisit Your Store:

Need to give a valid reason for your customer to revisit your eCommerce store? Virtual reality can be the perfect tool to have this done. After experiencing the power of virtual shopping, consumers stated that they would prefer to shop again. In general, VR shopping is ideally developed with a particular reason to enhance the shopping experience. eCommerce business owners should offer the customers an immersive online shopping experience similar to being physically inside a store.


Virtual Reality is addressing the fundamental challenges faced by the eCommerce industry in recent times. This solution helps recreate the brick-and-mortar physical and emotional feel online, boosting the consumer’s purchase decision and potential growth in sales revenue. Thanks to the cost-effective VR solutions like Google Cardboard that can turn smartphones into headsets, and Oculus Rift is gradually becoming more affordable for business owners to implement the same in their retail business.

About the Author:

Author Profile _ SakshiSakshi Sharma is a mobility strategist at SDI, a Silicon Valley app and web development company. Based in the heart of California, SDI offers unique solutions for first-time entrepreneurs, startups, and enterprises. If you would like to work with them on a project, please email your vision to [email protected] or find her on Twitter.

How Virtual Reality Affects eCommerce

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