According to experts, AR and VR are transforming the retail industry in a big way by improving the customer experience. According to research conducted by Gartner, this technologies individualizes retailers’ offers and more than 100 million shoppers will do their online shopping using VR and AR by next year. The survey conducted by Gartner indicates that by next year an estimate of 46% of retailers will use AR and VR technologies to meet the customer experience needs. NextTech AR Solutions CEO, Evan Gappelberg points out that VR and AR technologies demand in e-commerce grew rapidly in past few years as a result of increased brand adoption and shopper demand and this increased the exposure of the technologies.
One of the factors that make people prefer AR and VR technologies in e-commerce is that unlike normal videos and photos, AR and VR are more realistic and shoppers feels closer to the products. “The major advantage VR has over 2D or 3D material, is that it delivers an experience and brings the product to life. A very apt example is the promotion of a particular travel destination: in one of our experiments, we introduced subjects to an exotic destination through VR, a 360° video and pictures. Again, the VR group turned out to be the most positive and inclined to book the holiday” states a research conducted by Helena Van Kerrebroeck, a PHD researcher at VUB.
According to Van Kerrebroek research, shoppers who shop with VR and AR are more likely to view the product as they already own it. “This is another interesting finding, especially for e-commerce. One of the obstacles that stops people from making a purchase decision whilst shopping online is that they find it difficult to see how a particular product will fit in in their own environment – think of a piece of furniture or a clothing item. AR enables consumers to try on that dress or put that piece of furniture in their own home interior, without actually touching it or seeing it” explains Kim Willems, VUB professor.