“Why shouldn’t people be able to teleport wherever they want?” – Palmer Luckey
The things we saw in old Sci-fi movies, the vision of Stephen Spielberg is coming to life. We are finally living in the future where people have a whole digital world to go to, escaping from this mundane reality. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is no more science fiction but solid and true technology. VR and AR are not just for movies and games but for online shopping platforms.
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E-commerce Industry is a very competitive market and to stay on top you have to keep on developing your website and app and add new features for higher customer satisfaction. AR and VR have excited all the technological industries since its inception and now E-commerce will soon transform into Virtual commerce (vCommerce). But before getting into a deeper discussion on V-commerce, let’s first get the basics of VR and AR.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Quoting Mark Zuckerberg, “Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones”.
Virtual reality is an artificial computer-generated simulation of a real or imaginary environment. It’s an immersive digital environment which is experienced through a VR kit and any mobile or tablet. Just as you watch a movie in a theatre, VR offers you a personalized theatre with only you as the sole viewer. The widest usage of VR technology to date is in video streaming and gaming experience. But, now the times have changed and many new stakeholders are implementing VR into their business amongst which the most promising future stakeholder is virtual commerce store. Virtual commerce (V-commerce) is nothing but the AR/VR implemented edition of an E-commerce website or mobile app.
The VR kit was a costly piece of hardware in the earlier years of VR market, but with “Google Cardboard” the VR kit cost has dropped from $99 to $25. This super cheap version of VR kit has started a humungous VR kit buying spree across the world.
Augmented Reality (AR) is the integration of graphics content (video, image, etc.) into live video or user environment. AR is achieved by digitally superimposing (placing into) a graphic content onto a real environment around the user using a Smartphone or tablet. Unlike Virtual Reality technology, you don’t need a kit to access AR content. All you need is an app built to implement AR graphics onto a real environment.
Pokémon GO gaming app is by far the best example of AR technology. It shows graphic images in real space when you view it through the app. AR has a lot of potential as an app technology for vCommerce.
E-commerce to V-commerce
If you run any of the following businesses, then VR/AR technology is for you.
- Furniture Store
- Beauty Products Store
- Clothing and Apparel Store
- Footwear Store
- Vehicle Showroom
- Real Estate
- Interior design
- Watch company
- Eyewear industry
All the above-mentioned industries have already taken the leap of faith on these technologies and become the part of the V-commerce industry. With an ever-growing number of stakeholders, VR and AR are becoming a part of everything that sells everything.
If you are in the service industry of any kind, like interior design or real estate sales then VR is the best choice of presentation for you. Your clients can view their home or office designs in a simulated environment on the basis of your designs. The can experience your design as if they were inside the real structure.
For the businesses who sell products like clothing, footwear, furniture, etc. The AR technology is the way to go. Your potential buyers can view your product in a real environment and can get an idea of how the product would look in their house/office or on one’s person.
Stats to Support Our Claim
- 79% of people who have tried VR/AR want to try it again and 81% would recommend it to friends.
- 66% of consumers showed interest in shopping via V-commerce means.
- 40% of users are willing to spend up to $600 on a VR kit.
- At present (May 2018) there are 171million active VR users and 200 million active AR users.
- 44% consumers are expecting E-commerce stores to incorporate AR/VR into their shopping apps in next 12 months.
Some of the leading companies currently using AR/VR technology on their websites and mobile apps:
- Tommy Hilfiger
- Land Rover
- Your M&S
- The North Face
- American Apparel
Virtual commerce will be the next big market where the customers will get full shopping experience from the comfort of their home. For businesses, VR/AR incorporated apps will skyrocket the sales as customers can get the exact idea of any product and can visually see how it would look in their surroundings. This could mean a low number of product returns as people know exactly what they are buying. Companies can introduce free shipping offers if the product is purchased via the app to increase more app downloads.
V-commerce is much more than just giving a visual of the products. It’s a personalized shopping experience for the customer and the chance to know and feel the product before laying hands on it. This level of service offering is what will give the eCommerce businesses a unique identity in the market.
Author Bio: Paresh Sagar is the CEO of Excellent Webworld , IoT, Web and Mobile App Development Company that helps startups and enterprises to enable mobility solution. He’s an avid blogger and writes on all the latest technology trends.