Virtual reality (VR) solutions are helping retailers add new elements to assist shoppers make purchasing decisions in this holiday season. Every year retail IT solutions and online shopping reaches its peak level during the holiday season. According to statistics, online retail e-commerce sales during the holiday season grows at a significant rate. Factors such as discount, pricing and selection of merchandise play a crucial role in influencing shoppers to make purchases.
According to statistics, the VR market is set to grow at a phenomenal pace in the coming years, with revenues from virtual reality software forecasted to increase by over three thousand percent in four years.
Impact of Virtual Reality in Retail during the Holiday Season
Whether it is in-store apps, virtual showrooms or aisle layout, virtual reality and augmented reality are all set to transform and make a lasting impact on the holiday season this year. In this virtual world, the holiday shopping experience is helping retailers make a paradigm shift. It is important to partner with Virtual Reality App Development Company to leverage benefits of emerging technologies.
IDC forecasts “Virtual Reality headsets to grow from 8.1 million in 2018 to 39.2 million by the end of 2022, representing a five-year CAGR of 48.1%. While many think of VR as a consumer technology, IDC believes the commercial market to be equally important and predicts it will grow from 24% of VR headset shipments in 2018 to 44.6% by 2022.”
New technologies are popping up all around us. Holiday shoppers plan to use innovative offerings such as seamless checkout, voice-assisted shopping, and virtual or augmented reality before actually purchasing. It is important that retailers incorporate the benefits of emerging technologies to improve the consumer experience, as well as implement technology in a way that is easy to use.
Virtual Reality: Path to Increased Sales
Some large retailers are embracing VR experiences. For instance Macy’s has created a VR furniture experience to design a layout with furniture, and later use a VR headset to immerse them in the space. It has been found the Macy’s VR-influenced furniture sales have increased by a staggering 60%, while their non-VR furniture sales and returns dropped to just 2% in three pilot stores.
Many industries within the retail sector witness sales increase during the holiday period in comparison to retail sales in other months. As more consumers enjoy the immersive experiences AR and VR provide during the shopping process, other brands will have no choice but to rapidly evolve and adapt. Holidays are the best time to experiment and chart out an AR/VR approach that will see your brand thrive in all seasons.
Here is how virtual reality application development can help in 2018 holiday season.
Training Retail Staff
Handling Black Friday shoppers can be a daunting challenge for retailers and staff. In order to prepare staff to manage the heavy influx of shoppers and bargain hunters, retailers are using VR headsets to create customer scenarios. This will help retail staff experience challenge customer scenarios and interact with difficult customer. Virtual reality training of staff helps create a real environment. The main reason behind this is to make holiday shopping a safe and pleasurable experience for all.
Store and Aisle Layouts
VR is helping optimize and streamline store operations. Features such as shelf and floor space come at a premium price during the holiday season. In order to gain maximum advantage of the floor space, displays and product placement, Virtual reality tools are helping retailers visualize a new in-store concept, prototyping, store or aisle layouts, shelf configurations and more. Envisioning store and aisle layout can help retailers visualize how displays would look like without mockups to gather analytics on shopper response
One area where VR stands out is premium and high-priced categories. The practical implementation of virtual reality is helping in the sales of high ticket items such as home furnishing. Customers can get an immersive experience and easily see the furniture in their own rooms to sense scale or color. This information makes decision making process easier.
Large tech giants such as Facebook, Samsung, and Google are now gearing up for the race to develop headsets for the future that aspire to bring VR technology right to the masses. However, there are numerous challenges in front of the industry such as extremely expensive hardware, ever-increasing popularity of AR and a general lack of consumer interest.
It goes without saying that technology remains an integral part of the shopping process. It is equally important that retailers continue to provide convenient ways for shoppers to connect digitally for an omnichannel experience. Implementation and integration of virtual reality technology should be seamless, easy to use, and easy to understand to gain prominence.