5 reasons to use VR in Retail

5 reasons to use VR in Retail
Astrid Baron - 05/07/2021

1. Brands’ infatuation with virtual reality

The acceleration and digitisation of shops :

What are the 5 reasons to use VR in Retail? E-commerce has exploded in recent years, creating a real transformation within the retail sector. The pandemic has pushed retailers to go digital. In January 2021, Marc Lolivier, Director General of FEVAD, stated that: “COVID-19 has strongly reinforced the interest of brands and retailers in immersive distance commerce. All this thanks to 3D and Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR)“.

Many retailers, forced to close their physical outlets, have turned to these new technologies. Their aim? to offer their customers a new and immersive shopping experience, close to the real thing. Moreover, the journaldunet underlines that: “virtual reality is particularly expected by consumers“. Indeed, France is in the top 3 of European countries most “conquered” by virtual reality shopping (GetApp 2020 study). However, consumers are not the only ones to see virtual reality as a real asset for the future.

Creating an economic wave (link to Facebook ITW) :

According to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook: “A new world of applications and services will open up thanks to augmented reality and virtual reality“. Invited to the Vivatech 2021 event, he promises an extraordinary future in 5 to 10 years with the development of these immersive technologies. He adds: “Augmented or virtual reality is not just a way to create a great new experience. It’s about creating an economic wave that could create opportunities for people around the world.”

It is therefore in the interest of brands to use VR in their strategy to surprise and stand out. This is already the case in other countries which have more than 5 reasons to use VR in retail.

2. Virtual reality: already adopted in other countries. One of the 5 reasons to use VR in Retail

Many countries have already adopted virtual reality, notably China. A true precursor in the field, more than 50% of the population say they use VR and AR at least once a week. In the Asia-Pacific region, according to a Worldplay study, 95% of consumers have already used virtual reality and this since 2017! The Australians are also ahead of the game, having created a virtual reality experience in a department store since 2016. A partnership between eBay and the leading Myer shop in Australia and New Zealand. “Instead of replicating a classic shop, it has no walls, ceilings or even escalators, allowing customers to fly through endless spaces of products” explains the Journal du net article to us.

These figures show that virtual reality would be a real asset for a brand in a foreign deployment. From a national point of view, it also allows to distinguish from the competition.

VR to distinguish itself from the competition :

More and more retailers are offering innovative or “try before you buy” experiences. Ikea with its augmented reality application, virtual fittings with the luxury brands Gucci or Louis Vuitton. Not only have these major brands understood the importance and future of new technologies, but virtual reality gives them a competitive advantage. Not only does it encourage sales in a differentiating way, but it also allows the brand to gather valuable information about its customers’ expectations. This gives them a head start on their competitors and brands can be closer to their customers while standing out.

In addition to standing out from the competition and being one step ahead, virtual reality also allows customers to be immersed in the brand’s world.

Louis vuitton

Crédit : Louis Vuitton.com

3. Immerse your customers in the world of your brand

Virtual reality has a real beneficial impact on our emotions. Noting that decision making is often triggered by our emotions, it helps to keep the link between a brand and its consumer. By providing a unique experience that is close to reality, the customer strengthens his relationship with the brand. It gives them a sense of real ownership of the products and their functionality and not just a purchase. A study conducted by Greenlight VR indicates that: “53% of consumers would be more interested in a brand if it used virtual reality to sell its products“. Virtual reality therefore makes it possible to build customer loyalty by playing on emotion but also on a unique experience.

A unique and immersive customer experience :

In order to decide to buy, the consumer needs to project himself. They need to visualise the product, to imagine it if they can’t try it. Virtual reality accentuates all this by immersing them in a real experience. The visiplus academy article points out: “Virtual reality is seen as an excellent solution for shopping”. The potential of virtual reality in retail is immense. It allows retailers to create a much more immersive and engaging experience than a simple e-commerce site. Having unlimited space, adding enhancements that are not possible in the real world are all advantages that put virtual reality on the map. According to a study by IDC, “from 2022, retail will be the second industry to use VR/AR“.

A considerable advantage for increasing sales.

4. Increase your sales with VR: one of the 5 reasons to use VR in Retail

An effective marketing tool :

With the virtual reality, customers have a clear vision of the interest of your offers. They can visualise products, concepts and get a feel for them before they buy. Deloitte’s report (Global Powers of Luxury Goods 2020) tells us that “the amount of time a customer spends on a brand’s products increases by more than 70% with VR and AR experiences.”

Integrating virtual reality into its marketing strategy is a real benefit for brands. It allows several advantages:

  • Offer a unique and personalised shopping experience.
  • Increase brand awareness.
  • Explain product details in a more simplified way.
  • Increase customer engagement.
  • Present products in an attractive and differentiating way.

Stimulate sales of your products :

As we know, physical shops have space limitations. With virtual reality, these constraints disappear. You can stimulate sales of products that take up too much space, or that are not easy to test. This way you can prevent potential doubts and uncertainties of your customers. They can have a clear idea of the product and this influences their purchasing decisions. Virtual reality brings real added value to the end consumer.

5. Convincing examples :

Retail VR virtual showrooms :

A virtual showroom is the digital twin of a classic showroom. It allows products and collections to be showcased and viewed by customers all over the world! It can be enhanced with product sheets, furniture that does not exist in the real world, videos, etc., all of which will help to remain faithful to the brand’s image while immersing the consumer in a new experience. The aim is to create a real physical link with the customer throughout the experience. Videoconferencing tools allow to preserve this human relationship that we can be afraid to lose in virtual.

Immerse yourself in an immersive experience with our virtual showrooms :

Virtual showroom

Shopper studies :

Showrooms are not the only possibilities in retail. Indeed, it is also possible to have products tested before they are even released on the market. Imagine an infinite number of tests, without physical constraints or budgetary compromises! Virtual reality comes into play here well upstream, before the products are displayed. Thanks to so-called “shopper” studies, it allows us to test purchasing behaviour and thus gain a real insight into how consumers perceive products. Virtual reality allows the consumer to be immersed in a real shop environment. They can then carry out their shopping journey as usual. By using virtual reality, we free ourselves from the constraints of physical shops.

Of course, there are more than 5 reasons to use VR in Retail. Come and discover other possibilities of existing solutions thanks to it. To find out more, please contact us:

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