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Tech Innovation In Retail: Virtual Reality Shopping

Virtual reality shopping is a reality today, and it's not virtual as you can try it at places like Alibaba, IKEA, and some other progressive stores.

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Slowly but surely, the VR technology is seeping into retail. From virtual showrooms to brand marketing, this tech is reshaping the shopping experience. It brings humans closer to the future the sci-fi writers believed we would have by now.

VR Shopping with IKEA: Play with a Dream Kitchen


IKEA VR shopping experience offers buyers a chance to take a walk through a virtual kitchen, interacting with every object. You can change colors, designs, and even your own perspective. For example, you can find out how this kitchen would look like for a small child and determine if they’ll be comfortable there.

To make the experience more fun, IKEA even added an element of the game into it. Not only can you assess the designs, but also enjoy some culinary activities. All in all, IKEA allows buyers to feel like kids again and enjoy playing a legitimate game while promoting their products.

This app is an inspiration to every business creating a VR showroom as it shows this tech must offer more than just a look. It has to create an interactive experience so that leaving the app the consumer would want to use the products for real. This is what the future of VR in retail looks like.

AR Shopping with Shiseido and Memomi: Know How It Looks on You


VR shopping isn’t the only type of VR tech that rocks now. Its brother, the AR (augmented reality) is also widely used in retail. In fact, the convenience of this technology makes it even more popular at the moment. The main benefit of this type of VR is that it doesn’t require a headset.

Shoppers need nothing but their smartphones to use a variety of AR apps. The beauty and fashion industries are the leading users of this tech. Shiseido, a renowned Japanese beauty brand, launched their AR makeup simulator over three years ago.

Another hot app for ‘almost virtual’ shopping today is Memomi Mirror. It allows one to try different dresses, accessories, and makeup without actually trying them out.

VR Shopping for Strengthening the Brand: Audi & Mercedes-Benz


Car manufacturers have always been a bit special in their advertising. Instead of promoting the vehicle itself, they focus on the experience it can bring. VR tech is perfect for this type of marketing and the companies are using it. Audi and Mercedes-Benz VR test drives allow everyone to enjoy a ride in a luxury car even before they reach the dealer.

One might consider this to be a counter-productive move. However, there is no denying that this service is a great brand booster. Such an adventure invokes strong emotions and creates a positive response to the brand. Therefore, it motivates people to find ways to buy the vehicles and turn the VR experience into reality.

VR Shopping for Store Owners


It’s not only shoppers who can benefit from the VR applications in retail. Store owners also use different virtual reality experiences to boost their business. Of course, simply offering a VR shop, like Alibaba, but there are non-marketing applications of this tech.

They include virtual planning of the shelves and store’s layout. It helps make the shop not only more convenient but also safe for the buyer. For example, VR simulations of fire evacuation reduce the risk of fatalities in an emergency.

The most progressive-thinking businesses are finding VR applications in retail analytics. This gives executives a chance to assess their business in a more detailed way and develop better improvements.

Bottom Line

VR shopping is going strong today, and more businesses start using it for boosting their sales and brand. The extreme popularity of this technology in every industry proves that it's not a passing fad.

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