The way people shop is changing. Though in-person trips to retailers still trump online alternatives, the advantages of digital shopping can’t be ignored. In fact, most purchases start their journey online—over 60%, in fact—even if they’re completed in-store.
There are numerous benefits of retailing in VR. You’ll find the most important ones below.
Retailing in VR unites the proven value of in-store shopping with the added benefit of buying online. Customers can shop during the day with a specialist on-hand or you can leave the lights on and let them browse all your products on their own — in a 3D environment.
There’s no 9–5 restriction. You’ll increase your sales opportunities while offering a more well-rounded, complete experience that doesn’t restrict the access customers have to your brand.
Though virtual tours are best experienced using VR headsets, they can be viewed on computers, tablets and smartphones, too.
Your brand story is important for building trust and loyalty in customers. If people know where you source your products, the experiences that led you to create your business and what your values are, you’re more likely to keep customers coming back.
You can have a space that’s dedicated to telling this story through videos, images and audio, and you can keep it growing as your journey continues.
Fighting for your market share in retail is much easier when you have an advantage. In time, VR and AR retail stores will be more common; but, for now, only a handful of major brands, like Clinique and IKEA, are using them.
Why wait for everyone to have one when you could secure more sales and offer a modern shopping experience now? You can invite customers to browse your products on a private, virtual tour, where they can even try on clothes and see how furniture looks in their homes.
Some retailers simply can’t afford the ongoing costs that come with owning a brick-and-mortar store. In fact, given increasing rent prices and the demand for high-street properties, it might not even make sense to have one.
If you run an e-commerce website and most of your customers are based overseas, then having a local, physical location won’t bring any advantages. But being able to host them in a virtual space will. You can connect with customers from around the world personally, and for a fraction of the cost that comes with the running and upkeep of a physical store.
There’s no need to hire an interior designer to create the store you always imagined. Every fixture and fitting, every light and color — all of this and more can be personalized. And you’re not stuck with one design, either. Why not change how your store looks every season, or during the holidays, for example?
You can personalize your space for VR events, too, like when you partner with new brands or when you launch new campaigns.