VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY
The Retail industry is an ever evolving one, with prime focus on keeping customers coming back for more. Retailers who promote product quality and transparency are flourishing at higher rates. Unique in-store experiences like Omnichannel shopping empowered by virtual and/or augmented reality can push the retailer ahead of peers.
Personalized shopping experience where the shoppers can customize the products they are in search of, is in vogue.
Smaller stores and retail outlets will be preferred over bigger ones, as they boast of ease and efficiency with specialized selections. Specialty stores will be more productive than department stores.
Online payment modes will be common in future. Tech crunch projections show that 70% of the customers will opt for mobile payment modes, with mobile payments reaching a total of $60 billion.
With more of the incoming data being utilized to provide the best service, retailers will turn to apps, services, and third parties to fulfill the needs of shoppers.
At the end of the day, retail industry and technology become inseparable. 2017 will see more of AI, augmented/ virtual and mixed reality and IoT driven changes in the industry.
Focus on Shopping Experience
Virtual reality is one of the trend-setting technologies that has brought fresh customer experiences in the industry over the past few years. Virtual reality or VR has already been in use in various industries since a few years; studies suggest that this will reach 171 million by 2018, compared to the 43 million figure in 2016. Studies by different organizations reveal that VR applications have already started impacting shoppers positively.
What is VR?
Virtual reality has been proven as a successful new addition to the retail industry, with some totally out-of-the-box use cases. Pioneered by Oculus Rift, and followed by Google cardboard and Samsung Gear VR, these virtual reality devices were used by several retailers to enhance their customer’s shopping experience. A particular application of VR was done by the outdoor apparel company “North Face”, where they gave their customers an immersive experience by transporting them to Yosemite National Park while shopping at their retail outlet.