Virtual Shopping Experience - How To Create A Converting Online Strategy

Tech Qiah

Virtual buying experiences are rapidly altering both brick-and-mortar and internet shopping establishments. With a market value of $30.7 billion for augmented reality and virtual reality and 810 million active smartphone users, there is a huge opportunity for online businesses to expand into virtual realms. 

Virtual Shopping Experience

Virtual reality in eCommerce can provide numerous advantages, ranging from better conversion to higher engagement rates. But, exactly, what is a virtual shopping experience? In this post, we'll define a virtual shopping experience, outline some of its primary features, and offer advice on how to develop a successful virtual personal shopping plan. 

What exactly is virtual shopping?

Virtual shopping is a word used to describe the unique shopping experience provided by VR technology.

It enables consumers to browse and purchase things online in the same way that they would in a real store. Customers can browse the whole online product catalog while speaking with a product expert in real time, practically trying on items, and receiving advice, thanks to virtual shopping.

The end result is an authentic omnichannel experience that seamlessly integrates online and offline purchasing. 

The Advantages of Online Shopping

Virtual shopping has numerous advantages for both merchants and customers. Here's a closer look at some of those advantages:

● Bridging the gap between in-store and online shopping

One of the reasons eCommerce has grown so quickly is that it offers a speedy, self-directed purchasing experience. Customers can place orders at any time of day or night, without having to deal with busy sales personnel or long checkout queues. Even the most painless online shopping experience, however, falls short of the thrill of in-person shopping. When there is no human interaction with customer support representatives, the experience may feel impersonal at best.

As a result, despite the growth in online retail sales, many customers still choose to spend the majority of their shopping in physical locations. In fact, 70% of shoppers say their favorite element of in-store shopping is the ability to see, touch, and try on things.

Businesses can use virtual showrooms to bridge the gap between utilitarian and pleasant buying. They provide clients with the ease of purchasing online as well as the human touch associated with visiting a physical store, thereby boosting the overall customer experience.

● Increasing customer participation

VR and AR in retail may greatly improve and increase consumer interaction with businesses. How? Because augmented reality is interactive, users are automatically engaged. AR is being used to assist shoppers navigate retail stores and find things more quickly. This technology was utilized by Ikea to allow buyers to virtually place products in their homes and see how they would appear. 

When it comes to customer engagement, VR, on the other hand, delivers an immersive experience that outperforms photos and movies. Customers, for example, can explore a store or try on garments from the comfort of their own homes, due to virtual reality. 

● Providing a customized shopping experience

Using these technologies to create an AR and VR experience onsite allows you to bring the human touch part of an in-store buying experience while collecting and leveraging data to tailor their online experience in a way that wasn't before feasible.

Online shopping is the ultimate opportunity to collect and track data from beginning to end; VR and AR are simply extensions of that, giving even more personalisation for each visitor. They have influence over what they are experiencing and have a variety of options to engage with on your website.

● Customer loyalty and trust

One of the most essential aspects of creating a virtual shopping experience and incorporating VR/AR technology into your website is that it assists clients in making smarter purchasing decisions from the outset. The virtual try-before-you-buy part of this virtual experience means they'll have more information and context to make a decision with from the start, lowering return likelihood and increasing happiness.

How to Create an Effective Virtual Personalized Shopping Strategy

As you can see, virtual reality offers numerous advantages, but much needs to be considered in order to fully realize the potential of VR and AR solutions. Here are the essential components of a successful VR eCommerce strategy.

● Choose the appropriate technology.

You must carefully analyze the various options based on your company's qualities, target audience, and client preferences. Virtual technology implementation choices in eCommerce include, but are not limited to:

  • VR fitting rooms
  • VR showrooms
  • Virtual stores
  • VR games and apps
  • Product placement 
  • 3D product models

● Make fantastic interactive content.

To fully realize the potential of virtual technology, it must be complemented by truly intriguing and compelling content. 

The most important thing to remember while developing content is to emphasize your audience and make them the stars of their own virtual experiences. Giving your clients a say in the action immediately increases their attention and engagement. 

Start with a 3D product model if you only want to dip your toe in the virtual shopping experience water. With just one of them, your customers can experiment with different colors, designs, and patterns on a single product. Customers can have flexible customisation with no effort on your end to see how they respond to and engage with virtual shopping alternatives.

● Make payment as simple as possible.

Payments, regardless of where a buyer purchases their items, can easily improve or break a customer's virtual shopping experience. Forcing customers to leave their virtual environment and use normal payment methods in VR situations can be tough, making the checkout process even more arduous.

To overcome this issue, forward-thinking online businesses have implemented in-VR payments, which allow users to pay while shopping in virtual reality. One such example is Alibaba's VR Pay, which allows users to purchase things through VR devices by just nodding their heads.

● Keep consumer information secure.

Because clients provide financial information, data security is an important issue that must not be overlooked. To fully immerse a person in a virtual world, virtual technology employs eye tracking, iris scans, gesture recognition, voice prints, and other individual characteristics. This massive volume of biometric data is linked to financial and geospatial information about individual users, increasing the risk of data compromise. 

As a result, typical security procedures, such as network security, data encryption, frequent firmware upgrades, integration with reliable third-party providers, and more, must be applied, just as with other connected devices.

The Last Wise Words

There's a reason why virtual shopping is being heralded as the retail future and the next frontier for e-commerce to conquer. Virtual technology adoption is a key method for building a more human approach to online and offline interactions. With online purchasing, you can help your customers no matter where they are.

It simplifies the process even more because they can buy from home while still receiving the same level of service as in a store. Furthermore, it allows for the seamless transition of in-store customers to an online setting, resulting in an omnichannel purchasing experience.

To fully exploit the promise of VR, a well developed method that allows you to seamlessly incorporate the technology into the basis of your eCommerce business is essential. Begin by finding the ideal use case, then move toward implementation while focusing on producing high-quality VR content, making checkouts as simple as possible, and ensuring data security. 

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