VIRTUAL REALITY IN E-COMMERCE : FUTURE IS HERE
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Here comes Sunday: the weekly shopping mall day! Prat and Ross are happily on their way to a shopping mall in their big car. While the father Ted is manoeuvring in traffic, Rochelle is revisiting all items listed to buy hurriedly on her phone listing app so that she has to spend minimum time in shopping while juggling with keeping the kids entertained.
“Why can’t you just order everything online?” said Ted the millionth time only to regret it a second later.
“Will you fill those return forms for things which are just representative? The actual jersey which is way too small for the medium size it claims to be?”
E-commerce have come a long way since it incepted to be just a way to reach larger audiences and being global. But now does mere listing of all products on the websites going to sustain the ever increasing demands of an online shopper? And what about the numerous drawbacks of the e-commerce it is still juggling to get an answer to. What’s next is in every one’s mind . Ted and Rouchelle’s weekly dilemma resonates with a lot many shoppers.
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Amidst all this, the one that’s really touting to be the next big thing is Virtual Reality actual commercialisation in e-commerce business .While the VR industry itself is booming, its capability in making e-commerce reach its real potential is huge.
What is Virtual Reality ?
Virtual reality — otherwise known as immersive multimedia or computer-simulated reality — combines technology with experience design to create completely immersive environments. A stimulated environment experience that makes one enter a fantasy world. While Virtual reality as a technology has already been adapted in entertainment industry because of its endless storytelling potential, it has also been expanding into other industries as well as much of the marketing fraternity are quickly realising its immense capability in enhancing the consumer experience.
So basically, Ted and Rouchelle can view in products in a department store without ever setting foot in the store — no traffic, no parking hassles. And yes with the immersive technology and experience it gives you just the feel of being there at your comfortable time .Rouchelle can tuck the kids in bed and enjoy shopping at ease. Thanks to virtual reality, e-commerce businesses might be able to make Rouchelle’s dream of actually seeing a product at every angle, with fittings and trials option be a reality well at-least a virtual reality!
How VR can change the landscape of Online Shopping Experience
VR has already started to make into online retail spaces thanks to a steady increase in consumer favourability for the advancing technology. We conducted a survey with the help of a startup Frulix — a virtual reality based company which provides an open editor to create virtual reality videos right through the browser . The survey was conducted on a closed group of 560 people who had experienced VR in some forms at-least ones before the survey was conducted.
81% of them said they do want to try VR platform while 58% responded that they do see VR as being a game changer for retailers. When asked if they had be interested in buying things in a VR world 72% responded positive. This indicates to the huge potential of a ready customer base who really are looking forward to adopting a new technology at its nascent stage provided it can live up to its expectation. This customer research is well being supported by the pace in which big retailers are moving towards this technology to best reap the benefits of being early adopters. Some brands who are already invested hugely in VR are E- Bay, Shopify and IKEA. VR has already started to make its imprints in the world of e-commerce. Last year, investors have put more than $1.7 billion into VR technologies.
Virtual reality products are expected to rake in nearly $1 billion more in 2017 than the previous year. While it was expected that the online counterparts will give the traditional brick and motor stores a stiff competition, the majority of goods are still bought off the self reports Walker Sands Future of Retail report. A clear indication that consumer prefers authentic in -store experience even when they want to achieve that while being in their couch. VR gives the retailers a technology to reach the masses with an experience that almost equivalent to a traditional shopping one minus the hassles associated of being physically there. As the VR space becomes increasingly competitive, e-commerce brands will have to ideate better experiences for consumers. VR will enable the retailers to give the experience they promised while still being global and utilising the internet rage.
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