I was reading recently about the expansion of virtual reality. Facebook announced it was introducing ‘virtual assistants’ into the social media world, gaming industries are producing more virtual reality games, and there was even a game where you could feel the pain your character feels. I am not sure I’m completely onboard with that idea!
What is with our fascination with virtual reality, and how can this be used to help people buy online?
For many years, product videos have been commonplace, but could we soon have a situation where we could use virtual reality to have a product sold to us? Clearly you will never replace the human element of an in-store shopping experience, but maybe this could work in the online world.
So onto the tech side of things – Wearable technology comes in the form of goggles that you put on your head and over your eyes. Combining this with pre-recorded VR content will allow a shopper to look essentially at the product, and even have a sales person deliver a sales pitch. It would even be possible to use gesture control to ask questions and add the product to a shopping basket.
Another example of how VR can help would be by allowing customers to visit past events such as product launches, product training and even live performances. Ultimately becoming an incredible opportunity for people who sell cars and even musical instruments.
Will VR actually take off? Well, the technology is there for sure, but this will really come down to two things. User adoption, and content creators. In the case of content creators in shopping, this is likely the manufacturers of products and their retailers. However, they are unlikely to do this without customer adoption.
For customer adoption, this will probably be decided by the same group of people that chose VHS over Betamax, Blu-ray over HD disk and so on!
I would love to hear your thought on this, and any examples of where people have used VR to improve the shopper journey!