Most of the country is working and spending their leisure time at home, and this includes shopping. Instead of browsing at the mall, or even heading to the corner grocery store, shoppers can find nearly everything they need from their desktop or mobile device.
Augmented reality and virtual reality developers have taken this advancement a step further to make the process even more seamless and enjoyable for shoppers.
Read on for some key reasons why VR/AR technology is driving the ecommerce industry.
Easier Employee Training
Providing a top-notch shopping or service experience starts at the source for all companies. No matter the size or scale of your organization, how your employees are trained for their respective jobs from the start can make or break your entire brand.
Who wouldn’t rather spend their training session playing a VR game or simulation instead of sitting through a boring slide presentation? Incorporating this one change to make the training process more engaging for employees and partners can boost program effectiveness and retention significantly.
VR and AR technology makes corporate training and onboarding smoother and more fun, with convenient features like:
- Interactive progress checkpoints
- Dynamic reporting
- 360-degree immersion
- Audio and visual elements
- Automated reporting and analysis
AR and VR-enabled programs are perfect for companies that are looking for an interesting way to help employees adapt to new regulations, organizational changes, and informational training.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
Happy customers are the ones who will return to a particular brand or retailer, so this is often the most valuable social currency companies can provide to their clientele. Simplifying the shopping experience for your customers is one way to ensure that they return to your service time after time.
Augmented reality makes the in-person shopping experience much easier by helping users to identify helpful product information just with their phone’s camera. Additionally, shoppers can find the products they’re looking for in less time by scanning the aisle or QR codes the same way. Speeding up the shopping process is an easy way to boost customer satisfaction in one easy step.
From the customer’s perspective, augmented and virtual reality environments give them a higher level of control when it comes to filing claims, asking for product advice, and navigating the sales process. Customers can manipulate an image of the item in question and eliminate language barriers that can make even simple tasks a headache.
Virtual reality shopping platforms transport users remotely to their favorite storefronts using mobile apps or connect sensory headsets. This method is ideal for those who want to obtain more information about what they’re buying, or even try items digitally – including clothing and beauty products.
Enhanced User Experience for Digital Shoppers
Simplicity and time-saving solutions aren’t the only benefits shoppers are getting with VR/AR technology. Online consumers can use augmented reality and virtual reality to make their commercial experience more exciting and fun.
Beauty retailers, fashion companies, and even food sellers can use immersive technology to help their customers gain a deeper connection with their respective brands. Shoppers simply need to point their phone at a product (in-store or online) to gain access to:
- Detailed product information
- Manufacturing and material details
- Demo videos
- Mobile check out
- Virtual try-on programs
- Inventory and stock data
For example, if a consumer has any questions about something they’re looking at, they can opt to display text over the functional parts of the item to gain information instantly before they buy. This can be read digitally with their phone, desktop computer, or even in-store displays.
Multi-angle, 360-degree production photography (often paired with compatible technology like VR headsets) help online consumers feel like they’re holding a digital product in their own hands. This level of product manipulation and merchandising can provide better quality than standard in-store experiences.
Mobile apps with augmented reality-enabled features are even more accessible, and shoppers can digitize their in-person shopping experience with multimedia elements and engaging ads.
Immersive and Automated Marketing
Social media is a leading tool for growing and established brands, but augmented and virtual reality have added another layer to leading platforms. AR and VR can fabricate digital worlds that are completely on brand with a company’s specific aesthetic and voice.
This tactic is a great way to attract a wider audience to ads, while also building organic traffic. Marketing is responsible for the majority of many brands’ conversions, and self-contained digital environments are the perfect platform for building a realistic and entertaining advertising campaign.
Wearable technology continues to gain traction in the mainstream consumer market. Not only can consumers spend their entire day within arm’s reach of their devices, but virtual and augmented reality systems are merging their digital worlds with their practical surroundings.
Marketing has gradually become intertwined with our daily lives, but augmented and virtual reality systems are allowing real life to fuse seamlessly with our online personas. When it comes to shopping and conducting business, this has the potential to give consumers a way to synergize work, entertainment, commerce, and more.
Improved Problem Solving and Resolution
Efficient problem solving is a tactic top brands rely on to build brand loyalty. The numbers don’t lie – customers return to companies that care about their concerns and try to fix any issues along the way.
Everyone dreads writing a detailed, time-consuming claim to process a return, request refunds, or discuss product details with the manufacturer. Instead, consumers can log on to the brand’s proprietary app, enter a virtual chat room with a specific representative, and refer to a complete digital version of the product in question.
Virtual reality has made it easier than ever for consumers to accurately convey their questions and concerns to customer support staff. Using voice and video communication instead of static chat and survey forms can simplify the process for everyone involved.
Also, augmented reality-based customer assistance can reduce a company’s need for intervention by external dispatch teams. AR apps cut out the middleman by giving customers a way to reach specific team members directly.
How Online Marketplaces Use AR/AR Technology
Popular online storefront platforms like Shopify and Obsess incorporate augmented and virtual reality to make more targeted product suggestions, optimize ads, and improve customer satisfaction and client retention.
Customer support is a critical element for any ecommerce company to use as a brand-recognition tool. Clients build brand loyalty when they are happy with their overall experience, from the time they order to when they receive their item.
Smaller boutiques and established online brands that use augmented reality can substantially increase response time, field more requests with less manpower, and give customers a higher level of support and resources.
As consumers become more dependent on digitalization and smart devices throughout their households, they’re using the same AR/VR technology to make shopping easier, faster, and more interesting every time they virtually swipe their card.
This growing pressure to provide enhanced customer experiences, from conflict resolution to merchandising, has largely contributed to innovation in the augmented reality and virtual reality spheres.
This industry is continuing to grow, and these are just a few explanations for how AR/VR is changing shopping in the global ecommerce marketplace.
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