Corporate News

50% consumers prefer store that uses VR or AR: Incisiv

With virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) changing the consumers’ experience at shopping, a new study has found that nearly half of the consumers are more likely to shop at a retailer utilising VR or AR. The study by Incisiv, sponsored by BRP and Windstream Enterprise, also states 32 per cent of retailers plan to use VR and AR within three years. 

Through virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR), innovative retailers offer new and enhanced ways for customers to experience products, like visualising how a product would look in their home or even on their body. VR and AR offer interesting applications and opportunities, as the ability to mix virtual and real elements can be game changing – especially for furniture, home décor and apparel retailers. 

As consumers shop for a new couch or bedroom set, it is very helpful to see what the furniture will look like in their house or browse a virtual array of options like colours and fabrics, rather than just viewing in a catalogue or on a website – and VR and AR apps can make it happen. Many retailers have already introduced AR apps and testing and deployment of VR apps is increasing, according to BRP’s 2018 Digital Commerce Survey. 

Macy’s is a recent example, as they’re currently rolling out a new virtual reality experience across 70 locations, combined with an AR app for home use, to offer an immersive furniture shopping experience that allows browsing and visualisation of a much larger assortment of furniture than a typical store. Sephora’s “Virtual Artist” app uses AR to scan one’s face, figure out where lips and eyes are, and lets one try different looks on smartphone. As more and more retailers adopt VR or AR technology over the next few years, this will increase customers’ expectations for the same from other retailers that they shop. 

“Immersive technology like VR and AR is redefining the way consumers can experience and buy products, leveraging the advantages of physical space, like the store or the customer’s home, without being constrained by the space,” said Brian Brunk, principal, BRP. “Traditional retail lines continue to blur as retail realities are rapidly evolving and the stage where the theater of retail takes place can be dictated by the customer.”

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