1. SUBMITTED TO:
DR. SANDEEP JENA
2. Virtual reality vs augmented reality
As augmented technology and virtual technology keep evolving, it can
sometimes be hard to know which is which. Here are some definitions from the
science and technology museum the Franklin Institute:
Virtual reality is an immersive experience in a completely simulated
environment, excluding everything in the physical “real” world.
Augmented reality, on the other hand, doesn’t completely shut out real life —
instead, it adds digital elements to a live view of the world, typically via a
smartphone. Ar technology is a bit more advanced than VR at this time.
4. What is Virtual Reality and Ecommerce?
Virtual reality refers to an immersive visual environment. It can refer to 360-
degree videos, photos or product demos; or the more complex “headset” VR
enabled by devices like the HTC Vive or Oculus Quest.
For retailers, the use cases typically either augment or innovate on in-store
experiences, or digitally recreate the benefits of shopping in person.
Let’s look at some of the ways merchants are already using VR, as well as
some of the potential for even richer applications in the next few years
5. Applications of VR for Ecommerce
Before we dig in, it’s worth warning against “shiny toy” syndrome. Virtual reality is cool, and it’s still new
enough to have a pretty big wow factor for a lot of people. But just because you can use VR doesn’t
mean you should.
You need to make sure whatever you dream up clearly maps back to your goals and speaks directly to
improving the customer experience or advancing customers to convert.
1. Virtual stores.
Virtual showrooms are one application for the technology, enabling customers to visit
your virtual storefront online from the comfort of their home. Customers may be able to
browse through clothing racks similarly to being inside a store. They could also meet with
friends in the virtual world and shop together in real-time.
In October 2020, Marketwatch published an article on technologies that facilitate online
shopping. One of those technologies — Wormhole — is a platform “that creates real-world
simulations of group shopping using avatars.”
Technology like this has been evolving for years, though. In 2016, e bay announced a
partnership with Myer to create “the world’s first Virtual Reality (VR) Department Store.”
6. 2. Virtual try-before-you-buy.
Using a VR headset in your brick-and-mortar store can be beneficial in several
ways. Maybe you have products with a lot of different configurations; a VR
headset could provide a great way for shoppers to see the possibilities without
having to store them all in your showroom.
In 2017, Audi uzsed the oculus rift headset to provide buyers the ability to view
their dream car in 3D, then customize every aspect — from the paint color to
the body kit and engine — in a way that’s much more interactive than simply
selecting upgrades from a list on a computer screen.
These immersive visualizations and interactions can help shoppers really
understand what they’re evaluating and what they want, and can pay dividends
for an in-store commerce experience.
7. 4. Live events.
Ever since the beginning of COVID-19, our ability to hold in-person events has been largely limited. But
what we all learned from it was that sometimes virtual events really could still provide a similar opportunity
to be together and experience the same thing at the same time.
Live events, pop-up shops, et cetera, are often part of the game for shops that work hard to build
community among their shoppers. Virtual reality could be a way to find that community even without in-
5. Interactive education.
If your product is at all complicated to use, or if your customers aren’t confident with it, VR can be a way to
give customers an immersive learning experience. Lowe’s did this with their Holoroom technology, a VR
application that immerses users in how to use a specific tool or perform a project.
8. Advantages of Adopting VR For Your Online Store
The particular advantages for you revolve around what kind of experience you want to create — and that will be
based on your particular kind of ecommerce business.
1. Create a memorable customer experience.
Particularly while virtual reality technology remains relatively new, the immersive nature of VR will put people “inside
ever-expanding virtual worlds and find themselves at the center,” according to a report on AR and VR from
2. Spark word of mouth.
More than just being memorable, a VR experience is also sharable — ”it gets customers talking about you and
sharing their experiences on social media,” according to Linnworks. Word of mouth is still a powerful marketing
technique, especially when it’s exciting and authentic.
3. Strengthen consumers’ bond with your brand.
Using VR to immerse consumers in a different world is the ultimate tool for “show, don’t tell.” By immersing them in
a completely different environment, you’re “enabling a form of telepresence that evokes levels of empathy as if one
were present,” says a report from McKinsey.
4. Make people more sure of their purchases.
Using virtual reality technology can in some ways mimic the real-world experience. With 360-degree product views,
you customers can look at the product from every angle, better understand its scale and proportions and rely less
on product descriptions in cases of language barriers.
Ultimately, when done well, VR technology could help online shoppers be more confident with their purchases —
increasing conversion rates and decreasing returns.
9. Retail & E-commerce
Augmented reality marketing campaigns can enhance online and offline sales no matter what kind of
goods you deal with. The very first problem of e-commerce is a high risk of making mistakes ordering
products you expect to look in a certain way.
Customers can make a mistake with the size of shoes, buy a suit in the store, the color and texture of
which will not suit them, or purchase furniture that will look like an alien in the room. These risks
inhibit online shopping and lead to the fact that the client is unsatisfied with the purchase or does not
do it at all, doubting the quality and characteristics of the product. A virtual fitting feature accessible
through the AR app is the solution.
Another way to increase profits by integrating augmented reality technology into your store’s
application is customer information support. If you have a physical store — an app can act as an
assistant, which provides complete information about the goods on the shelves. If you have a chain
of stores or your product is presented at different points of sale, an app may tell you where to look for
15. VR IN E RETAIL:
Virtual reality retail experiences are transforming brick-and-mortar shopping. With the global
augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) market expected to reach 1.6 billion by 2021, there is
massive potential to expand into virtual spaces.
Creating a virtual shopping experience helps both retailers and consumers. It can reduce overall
operating costs and offer immersive experiences for consumers to try and customize before they
Virtual Realty Retail Benefits:
Virtual reality in retail was jump started as a response to the pandemic. But there is a lot to gain
from expanding into VR shopping.
VR Retail Training
Working in retail involves training a lot of new hires. This process that can lead to costly mistakes
while the employee gets up to speed. Using virtual reality can help simulate real-world experiences,
expediting the onboarding process. Minimizing the risks involved with training also makes
16. What You Need to Build VR in Retail
With over 6 million units of VR devices sold by the end of 2019, the future of VR in retail is only
growing. No matter your industry, virtual reality requires the right software to get things moving.
But what do you need to get started?
Augmented reality is being used to help guide customers through a store to locate items faster.
It also can be used to virtually display products. Ikea used this technology so customers could
virtually place products in their homes to see how they looked. ... VR in retail allows customers
to engage from anywhere!