By implementing virtual reality (VR) in e-commerce, online retailers can now enable people to try the products they buy and make their online shopping experience more reliable.
Almost everyone loves to shop online because of the convenience, variety of products, comfort, and availability it provides. Although pretty much everyone uses e-commerce platforms for shopping, not everyone prefers to purchase products online. One of the significant reasons people not purchasing online is that they cannot try the product before purchase. But now, VR technology can make this perspective of people a thing of the past. The use of VR in e-commerce enables consumers to try any product before they purchase.
E-commerce platforms are improving customers’ experience by providing them the ability to try out products virtually, thereby enabling them to make purchases with greater certainty of satisfaction.
E-commerce platforms can create a virtual store that feels like local shops to customers. Customers can roam around in this store and buy products just like they do on an e-commerce website. IKEA is one of the many retailers that have developed their virtual reality showrooms. Customers can explore and visualize IKEA-furnished rooms, and get ideas to furnish their own rooms. With virtual reality, e-commerce businesses can also allow customers to opt for sales associates. Sales associates can provide product information in various languages to customers. And enabling virtual sales assistants helps to enhance customer engagement in virtual stores.
Virtual trial rooms provide e-commerce platforms an opportunity to compete with one of the significant advantages offline retailers have over them. Offline stores promise a more reliable shopping experience as they allow consumers to try products before they purchase. With virtual trial rooms, even e-commerce platforms can enable the same now. For instance, while buying a shirt, virtual reality creates an exact copy of consumers. When a person selects any shirt, the virtual reality tool creates a 360° image of that consumer wearing that shirt. It will help the customer to get an understanding of how the shirt will look on him. And this will enable him to make a confident purchase.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then virtual reality images with 360° views are probably worth a million words. 2D images on e-commerce websites cannot say much about the products. With virtual reality, e-commerce platforms enable a 360° view for all their products. The 360° view allows customers to get detailed information about a product. For instance, while reading a product description, customers have to switch between front-side and back-side view of the product to understand its features and details. But, a 360° view eliminates the need to switch between images. While reading descriptions, customers can simultaneously rotate the product image. This facilitates a better product understanding and drives more informed purchase decisions.
VR provides various use cases across different industries. However, the use of VR in e-commerce is in its infancy, and only a few companies have started using it. But as the price of VR headsets and other hardware becomes more affordable, we will eventually see every e-commerce company implementing it. And when this becomes true, people’s skepticism of online shopping will be completely eliminated. Shoppers will get as reliable and authentic a shopping experience as provided by the offline retail shops.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.