People are buying more and more things via the Internet. Since all the variables in that formula are growing, it’s no wonder that the revenues of eCommerce are rapidly rising, as well. According to the data published by Statista, the global retail sales will reach $4.48 trillion by 2021.
Due to the strong impact that online trade has on the economy, it has the power to quickly put new technologies to its practical use. This is exactly what is happening with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). These two aspects of technology are developing pretty fast and eCommerce can’t wait to embrace them. In this piece, you’re going to see how VR and AR can advance your store and increase your revenues.
1) VR and AR as selling incentives
When it comes to virtual reality, things are pretty straightforward: your customers will need a headset in order to get a chance to see your products in three dimensions. Now you might start shaking your head, thinking that many people don’t have a VR-headset. The thing here is that those people aren’t your target audience. Also, their prices are dropping, so more and more people will be able to afford their own headset.
If things keep developing the way they are today, launching a VR-friendly e-store today will put you ahead of the curve today and in the near future.
Augmented reality, on the other hand, works in a different way. You don’t need a headset, since items are only augmented, i.e. projected into your reality.
For instance, if a customer wants to buy a new pair of shoes from your website, they simply download one of the AR-apps and try on every pair they like.
What’s more, people can already have a 3D-insight in online catalogs via 360-degree photography features. Although this level of interaction falls behind the real VR and AR experience, it’s a reasonable option if you still can’t afford these advanced options at this moment.
2) Preparing products for the 3D environment
If you want your customers to use VR or AR technology to take a better look at your products, you need to provide them with the data they can access from the comfort of their homes.
The procedure isn’t as complicated as you may think. What you need to do is get 3D versions of your products.
On the one hand, you can learn the basics of 3D rendering and do this on your own. If interested in this process, read more about it in the 3D Artist magazine.
On the other, hiring a 3D artist is a smart ides for those eCommerce entrepreneurs who don’t have time to deal with computer animation and can afford collaborating with such a visual expert.
Further, you can use a 3D scanner to get the AR-friendly models of your products. Still, since buying such a device might be a big burden for an e-store budget, you can rent it first, just to see how your customers react to your 3D catalog. If it turns out to be an important part of your e-store inventory, go and get one for your future eCommerce endeavors.
3) Financial benefits from VR and AR
This is where virtual and augmented reality will also come in handy and enable eCommerce entrepreneurs to improve the range of their services.
To be more precise, you will have a chance to offer your potential customers a first-person, on-the-spot experience through VR and AR-innovations. Sometimes people buy something online, only to realize that the product doesn’t suit them when they get the ordered items. The option to see a product from several angles or in a 3D environment can reduce the number of improper purchases and financial issues caused by them.
This is extremely valuable when it comes to eCommerce budgeting. Although adding VR and AR-features to your e-store might cost you a few dollars more, it could save a lot of money in the long term.
For instance, your buyers will get an opportunity to check every product several times before they make the purchase. As a result, there will be fewer refunds and returns, which will, in turn, reduce the legal and financial hassle generated by online impulse buying.
An eCommerce business that utilizes these 3D-features and latest competitor-tracking tools is highly likely to win over more customers than old-school e-stores that don’t embrace those new technologies.
Virtual and augmented reality will play important roles in online trade in years to come. They will push the envelope and change the way we access, try and buy items from e-stores. Because of that, every contemporary eCommerce entrepreneur should already start implementing VR and AR features in their online stores. That way, they’ll offer their customers improved user experience in online shopping and ensure the seamless development of their stores.