It is hard to find such a saturated and competitive market as ecommerce. While Amazon and eBay are fighting for the leadership on the global scale, thousands of SME businesses entering the sphere in the hope to get their cut of the take.
Ecommerce innovations often help up-and-coming companies to stand out in such a competitive environment. In particular, virtual reality has become a new black that is revolutionizing the way customers choose and buy products. In this short article, we tried to figure out how virtual reality will change ecommerce and bring innovation at the forefront of this business domain.
Ecommerce market represents a highly competitive, but at the same time highly promising, niche that is going to change users approach to purchasing. While 10 years ago the ability to try on clothes and check the product’s quality were the main competitive advantages of brick-and-mortar stores, currently latest technology in ecommerce enable buyer to do it online. In this regard, digital experience has become highly important for all players operating in the segment. More and more global brands are going online to provide their buyers with superior experience.
If you are still on the fence on whether to enter the ecommerce landscape, we offer to look at the figures to estimate your chances for success. All the stats and facts clearly show that Amazon continues to occupy a leading position with 44$ of online sales in the United States. Moreover, according to Inviqa, Millennials and Gen Z represent the core target audience of the ecommerce giant as more than 54% of young people will go to Amazon before any other online store.
Although the competition remains to be rather fierce, the total sales worldwide show a clear tendency for growth. During the last several years, the total amount of purchases has increased by 5-6 times. Thus, the revenues of large corporations, as well as SME businesses, are growing.
However, in such a saturated market, the pressure for innovation is increasingly high. Up-and-coming companies should keep track of the latest technologies in order to “stay afloat”. Virtual reality in business may help startups and established brands to stand out and attract their audience with new features. Let’s have a closer look on how VR innovations can be applied in your project to guarantee seamless buyer experience.
Virtual reality software has successfully been applied in a variety of domains starting from gaming and ending up with fintech. VR potential is far from being unlocked as it only makes the first steps towards full-fledged application. Ecommerce businesses and their customers only begin this gripping journey in the virtual world. However, this tech has the potential to develop and you may become a pioneer to bring this innovation to mass usage.
Since the possibilities of virtual reality are endless, we decided to consider the main applications of this technology in ecommerce that are likely to gather pace in the nearest future.
Virtual reality stores are no longer a dream from a science fiction movie. Today, they help online retailers to compete with renowned brick-and-mortar shops that attract their audience with splendent shopping windows, exclusive customer service and unique atmosphere. As 45% of buyers prefer going to physical shops on special occasions, such as holidays, online stores find it difficult to reconstruct the same atmosphere.
Virtual reality software might come in handy to provide users with a realistic shopping experience. Equipped with a mobile app and special hardware, buyers can enjoy all the opportunities provided by physical shops, such as trying on clothes, communicating with a personal assistant or simply looking at the shelves to enjoy the whole variety of items.
Even such giants as Alibaba and Amazon have recently realized the power of virtual reality and started using it in shopping malls around the world. In particular, the largest online retailer, Amazon, set up 10 virtual reality kiosks that provide its customers with a brand-new VR shopping experience.
Alibaba made a similar effort to revolutionize the retail landscape with a futuristic VR app. The innovation promises to provide buyers with plenty of features that will change the way customers approach shopping. Easy navigation, thousands of stores represented in VR, quality recommendations are just a few possibilities you can enjoy in virtual stores.
Ecommerce innovations may also help retailers to resolve problems and address buyers’ concerns. The main reason why people prefer physical stores to online ones is an ability to try on clothes and check whether they fit the look. During the last decade online stores tried to deal with this concern by providing relevant recommendations to customers and assisting them in selecting the right item.
With new advancements in the IT field, trying clothes on virtually has become possible for mass audience. If you browse Apple Store or Play Market, you’ll find several apps, which will help you to choose a dress or skirt online with the help of VR and AR technologies.
Apart from practical application, VR software might be used to attract more users to your website and boost traffic. Initially, VR ecommerce apps were developed as a part of marketing campaigns to entertain visitors and grasp their attention with fascinating simulations. In such a competitive environment, this “trick” helps companies to prevent large failures.
Browsing through thousands of similar online stores might be a boring and daunting task. Hanging out in a cafe with your friend after a good shopping is much better than simply buy an item in several clicks and forget about it.
But what should you do if you don’t have the right person to advise you a proper product? This is where virtual assistants come in handy. Put on your headset and your ideal advisor is already in front of you. This system is based on a smart algorithm, which is created to identify your image and select clothes that will align with your preferences.
There is a common misconception that VR technology is a flop and will disappear from the digital landscape very soon. Although some experts tend to hold such an opinion, figures speak the opposite. The latest report published by Statista indicates the penetration of virtual reality technologies will continue in all regions of the world. The most significant growth will be noticed in Pacific Asia and North America.
Such a rapid increase can be explained by the fact that virtual reality bring numerous advantages to business that can be summarized as follows:
Superior Customer Service. Virtual reality retail stores, as well as all other companies, struggle to provide superior experience to their buyers. Leaving your customer satisfied is the key to developing prosperous and successful business. Nevertheless, due to obvious reasons, online stores experience difficulties in communicating with their clients and understanding their buying behavior.
Virtual reality software might assist companies with this task since it will provide business owners with a clear picture of how their target audience selects products and makes decision on whether to buy a particular item or not.
Apart from that, virtual assistants can substitute real-life workers in providing recommendations and professional advice to customers. A virtual employee powered by an AI system chats with the user, identifies their preferences and selects the product that best fits a client.
Greater User Engagement. Albeit virtual reality shopping is not something extraordinary anymore, customers are more eager to buy from retailers that can guarantee them a unique experience. VR marketing campaigns have always been on the rise among consumers. By providing your buyers with a chance to step into a gripping virtual world, you build their loyalty and make them your repeat customers.
If you think that integrating VR in your ecommerce project might appear to be an overly complicated venture, we are glad to debunk this myth. In the age of digital innovations, you do not need to equip your users with special headsets. Take advantage of WebVR technologies and let them access virtual stores right from their browsers!
Higher Conversion. Virtual reality stores don’t share the same problems with other ecommerce businesses. They have lower risks of losing customers and can track their buying journey pretty well. You can keep the user's attention for a long time by changing their focus from one object to another. Also, VR shopping experience is more beneficial to users as they can try on clothes and choose the one to their liking.
Furthermore, a lot of corporations introduce additional adventures on the customer’s shopping path to keep them engaged and thrilled. Buy products, enjoy the movie, chat with your friends — and all these from a single VR application!
Higher Retention Rate. Needless to say that the key to high customer retention is a unique sales proposition combined with superior customer service. If you can fill the gap on the market with your service or product, you are prone to get satisfied clients that will come back to your store again and again. Moreover, your customers can refer their colleagues and friends to your online shop, which will trigger word-of-mouth advertising.
Although the fashion for VR is gathering pace, good apps are hard to find. The existing ones either do not provide a decent quality or simply lack significant features that could appeal to buyers worldwide. Since the trend for niche stores and media prevails in the industry, you have all the chances to become the first one to bring virtual reality to the global ecommerce market. Just get a great idea, invest in development, get your MVP done and enjoy the results!
Virtual reality software has already been applied in a variety of domains including automotive, gaming and even criminal justice. However, the potential of this tech is truly endless, which means there is a huge space for further development.
Ecommerce projects can use the power of virtual reality to improve customer service, address major risks, and resolve the issues all online stores are facing today. Virtual reality in ecommerce will change the way customers view online shopping and bring significant transformation to the whole sphere. If you want to join this global revolution, LITSLINK, a software development company in the US, is always willing to help. Contact our experts to start your success journey and get your VR ecommerce app from professionals.