With the rising competition in the eCommerce industry, it has become super difficult for business owners to ensure a smooth and optimum customer experience. But associating innovative technology like virtual reality in your eCommerce store can assist you to improve the eCommerce customer experience.
Back then, virtual reality was regarded merely as a part of sci-fi movies and video games. But not anymore! This technology has already crept into the business sectors, especially the online business space. The e-merchants have become smart enough to discern the fact that they have to think outside the box.
You can capitalize on virtual reality technology to streamline several aspects of your eCommerce business, including content, marketing, and customer service.
In this write-up, however, we would specifically note how virtual reality can be instrumental to improve the eCommerce customer experience. Right at the inception, let’s try to make out the concept of virtual reality.
An overview of virtual reality
As we are talking about implementing virtual reality, it’s crucial right from the get-go to pick up what virtual reality is. So, what virtual reality is? Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of a real environment in that users can interact with a special set of tools, including a headset, consoles, and gloves.
VR environment can be a 360° photo, video, or a product demo that will provide you with an immersive experience. In this interactive environment, your physical presence will be digitized, giving you a vibe of a realistic environment.
On that note, let’s take a look at an example of virtual reality technology. Real estate is one of the sectors that is immensely benefitting from the wonders of VR technology. Architects can now develop fully immersive, realistic models of their projects with the help of VR and 3D modeling services giving clients a clear idea of what the finished result will look like before construction even begins.
They can experience the interior as well as the exterior space of the building upfront and make necessary tweaks to the structure to amplify customer experience.
Not only in real estate, but virtual reality also has use cases in dozens of other sectors, including healthcare, education, training, entertainment, automotive, and digital marketing.
Virtual Reality vs. Augmented Reality- Key Differences
Most people fail to differentiate between virtual reality and augmented reality and they think both are identical. But there is a striking difference between the two.
Let’s check out the core disparity between virtual reality and augmented reality-
|Virtual Reality||Augmented Reality|
|Virtual Reality is utterly a simulated environment, giving an immersive experience to the users excluding everything in the physical or real world.||Augmented reality doesn’t entirely eliminate real life. Instead, it injects digital or virtual elements into a live view of the real world, usually via a smartphone.|
|Virtual reality takes people completely away from the physical world.||Augmented reality is something that merges the real elements of the physical world and imaginary pieces of the virtual world to augment and create a distinct user experience.|
|VR users are totally controlled by the virtual reality system||AR users stay in full control of themselves.|
|In order to access the VR environment, you need a headset.||While entering the AR environment is possible with a smartphone.|
|With virtual reality, users get fully immersed in the action.||However, with augmented reality, users get partially immersed in the action.|
Even with all those major differences, both virtual reality and augmented reality are blessings of technology and aim to enhance people’s lives.
How virtual reality can improve the eCommerce customer experience?
So, here comes the core and most vital part of this write-up. We have already given a glimpse of the impact of virtual reality to streamline eCommerce customer experience with an example above.
But now we will check out how online shoppers can further their shopping experience by utilizing virtual reality technology at length.
Creates an immersive environment
Customers before making purchases always visualize how they would look in a particular outfit. But they won’t get a satisfactory feeling with visualization if they are online buyers. This is where virtual reality will come into play.
Producing an immersive environment, virtual reality technology provides customers with a feeling that they are present in the shop physically. As a result, they can not only view your products on display but also try out the ones they wish virtually.
So, that’s the opportunity you should take by capitalizing on the virtual reality technology for your eCommerce business. With this interactive technology, not only you can pitch buyers to make purchases but also engage them to become repeat buyers and loyalists.
Provides a new and innovative shopping experience
eCommerce buyers always look for Innovation and novelty to streamline their shopping experience. Whenever they find something new and thrilling, they love to experience it and cash in its perks. And VR technology does offer something that your customers would cherish!
By leveraging VR technology, you can let your customers browse, shop, and also enjoy real-time virtual assistance. When they are getting all these benefits with minimized effort, they would naturally be inclined to stick to your brand.
And you know the best part? All these perks they can derive whenever they want by staying in the comfort of their homes.
Develops an emotional attachment
Virtual reality isn’t just innovative and immersive but it’s also emotive. It has the prowess to create an emotional connection between buyers and products. No doubt, for that, you have to develop proper VR campaigns through your marketers.
It’s the job of your marketers to come up with creative ideas in order that your clients can build an emotional attachment to your brand. Once they develop fruitful ideas, they can be spiced up with VR technology to connect your clients emotionally and psychologically.
Creates an opportunity to try products before buying
Another striking aspect of VR technology is that it can allow buyers to try out the products that they wish to buy virtually. Isn’t it mind-blowing? If buyers can give a trial of the products they wish to snap up from an online store, they would naturally be inclined towards that brand.
Imagine that you own an online apparel store. If you avail of VR technology in your store, your buyers can try dresses virtually and get hold of how they would look realistically. Once they are glad, they can proceed to buy their desired products. That’s how virtual reality makes the buying decision easier for shoppers.
Enhances customer service
Customer service is one of the vital parts to run your business smoothly and improve customer retention. Every business, small or big, takes the necessary initiatives to beef up its customer service.
Thanks to the power of AI chatbots and virtual assistants. It made the job easier for entrepreneurs.
But it’s complex for chatbots or virtual assistants to troubleshoot certain issues faced by customers. With the introduction of virtual reality, you can easily resolve them. This futuristic technology enables sellers to look at virtually what the buyers are doing at their stores.
When buyers face issues in placing orders or making payments, customer service representatives can resolve that straightaway without prolonging the process. As a result, customers also feel pleased with the service and stay with the brand for a longer period of time.
Perks of adopting virtual reality in your eCommerce business
So far, we discussed how your customers can benefit if you deploy virtual technology in your eCommerce business. Now, we will have a look at how you will benefit by using this sophisticated technology.
Make customer bonding with your brand stronger
We all are familiar with the writing piece, “Show, don’t tell”. If you apply this piece of text in your eCommerce business, it reflects you have to showcase the quality of your products. Just by telling your products are premium and superior isn’t sufficient.
By leveraging VR technology, you can do that holistically and perfectly. Thus, your customers will automatically trust you and build a strong connection with your brand.
Get an advantage over your competitors
We all know how competitive eCommerce business is nowadays. It’s exceedingly difficult to survive in this competitive marketing unless you do something to wow your customers. VR is something that can help you to get a competitive advantage over your rivals.
Utilizing this immersive technology, you can create a personalizing experience for your customers and stand out from your competitors.
Brand awareness and increased sales
In order to create a good reputation for your business, you have to build brand awareness first. But it’s not a cakewalk! Every day buyers notice tons of ads on Google and social media. How many ads can they remember for a long time? In fact, they don’t even need to remember these ads if they don’t carry weight for them.
They need to remember those ads that create value for them. With VR technology, you can create a number of memorable in-store experiences, including letting them feel the shape and texture of products with haptic hardware.
These experiences will help them remember your brand longer. Apart from that, your customers will get access to a wide range of in-store products. This also scales up the chances of overall sales of your online shop.
How will future eCommerce shopping look with VR?
Do you think VR technology will remain steady and not evolve? Definitely not! VR is set to transform the eCommerce industry more than ever. It has the charm to induce things that may appear impossible now.
Let’s get a glimpse of what future eCommerce shopping may look like-
Give a tour around your store
Virtual stores will let online shoppers put on a VR headset and enter a retail environment that’s almost analogous to a physical shop. As a shopper, you will be able to give a tour around an online shop and browse products just like you would in real life. However, the only difference is that you won’t have to leave home.
Visualization of products in real settings
We often experience the situation that we’ve ordered something online and after the arrival, we find that it’s not exactly how we anticipated. Sometimes, it appears smaller than what you thought; sometimes the appearance is totally different than what you saw in the shop.
It’s a despairing experience no doubt and usually happens with online shopping. This is because you have picked up the product by relying on product images and descriptions.
However, when shopping at a future virtual store, you will be able to look at products in real-life settings. No matter whether it’s a dress, make-up product, or even a décor, you can have a better understanding of them with optimized settings.
Finding the right product with a VR shopping assistant
Finally, you can anticipate getting VR shopping assistants in virtual eCommerce environments. No doubt, with VR shopping assistants, your shopping experience will be pleasant and smoother. They will learn exactly how you like to shop.
They will have data captured from your last online shopping sessions to deliver you a personalized shopping experience. They will be able to display to you exactly the types of products you are likely to snap up.
Not just that, they will also provide you with suggestions on sizing and colors based on your body and preferences. The time isn’t that far when VR shopping assistants will humanize the online shopping experience by providing lifelike brand ambassadors that you can interact with.
Ready to leverage VR for your eCommerce customers
eCommerce business isn’t a walk in the park. We might know about hundreds of eCommerce businesses shining with success. But we don’t know about thousands of other such businesses that are failing miserably. Not that they didn’t put in effort and time.
They did all the required activities to run an eCommerce business. But they failed to satisfy their customers which caused their debacle. VR technology, as outlined above can not only wow your customers but also optimize their experience.
Now, it’s up to you to decide whether you are ready to take advantage of the cutting-edge technology for your eCommerce business and edge out your contenders!