There was a time when if you wanted to buy new clothes, your only option was to travel to a physical store. Then came the introduction of online shopping that meant you could have your clothes delivered to you at the click of a button. Yet while this method of shopping allows people to shop from the comfort of their own homes, it can be an impersonal and clinical experience. The shopping industry’s best thing would be to unite the experience of visiting the shop with the benefit of not travelling long distances. Join the VR shopping experience.
A virtual shop brings the pleasure and sensations of visiting a shop in person directly to your home, creating an interactive digital experience that boosts engagement and conveys a fresh new aspect to shopping that revitalizes the industry.
The innovative technology behind virtual reality opens up a whole new world of creativity. Brands can use VR to create digital showrooms, provide custom AR changing room experiences, and access new users from remote locations all across the globe. It’s as easy as typing into your search bar. The world is quite literally at our fingertips.
The focus is on building a relationship with the audience to make the products more appealing while building a reputation in a new medium. VR online shopping is becoming a rising trend, especially in high-end fashion houses such as Burberry, Gucci and Dior. As VR shopping grows, it will make a bigger splash in your regular high street stores.
Whether you want to implement your virtual reality through your mobile or computer screen or have the whole experience using a VR headset, there are no limits to what a brand can do with the technology. Several brands use augmented reality to enhance the user’s surroundings. Gucci, for example, has an AR feature on their app that allows a user to point the camera at their feet and visualize what they’d look like wearing a pair of shoes. Similarly, Dior released a feature on their website which allowed users to see what they looked like in various types of lipstick.
There’s a rising influx of virtual stores all across the globe in countries like France, the US, Greece and Israel. Trillenium is one of the UK’s virtual stores. One of the areas they’ve been focusing on is AR shopping, making the technology smoother to create an immersive, more satisfying experience.
VR also offers the opportunity for customers to sample stores from all over the globe where shops are photographed in a panoramic view or wholly rendered in 3D so that viewers online can experience everything the shop has to offer. In February 2020, Dior Maison launched a virtual boutique that provided customers with a guided tour of one of their shops, giving them the option to learn more about their products. The physical shop is located on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris, adding a sense of wanderlust and magic to the VR experience.
Emperia has been specializing in creating immersive virtual shopping environments. For example, the Serena Sartorial project places the products in a fully realized Italian castle to create an immersive experience that relies on all the senses to create the perfect virtual reality for customers. Every little detail is designed to stimulate the senses and showcase the products right down to the cherry blossom in the courtyard, symbolising the feminine side of the brand. Entirely transporting the customer to a whole new world is one of the primary selling points of VR shopping and doing it well does wonders for a brand’s image and online sales figures.
With VR and AR shopping slowly becoming a more mainstream option for shoppers as technology develops, more and more customers will be dipping their toes into these digital waters. Curiosity is a key driver behind the success of VR shopping. People are going to hear about others’ experiences and want to see for themselves how it works. Making virtual shopping inviting and personalized will help encourage more users to incorporate this new shopping genre into their everyday lives. Detailed rendering will make the experience more lifelike and feed the adventurer inside each customer.
VR online shopping makes the world of fashion easily accessible for those unable to experience the store in person for whatever reason. The silver lining to the Covid lockdowns is that they gave people more opportunities to explore other avenues of shopping and entertainment and gave brands a better scope to sell their products and keep commerce alive. Customers can now bring their enjoyment of visiting physical stores to their couch with a variety of experiences to keep things fresh and engaging, whether it be with AR try-on, exploring a fashion show or touring a panoramic digital replica of any store across the globe.
It also helps to keep the users feeling engaged with your brand. By personalising the experience, you can help to make your brand a more appealing option, raising awareness for your production practices, worldviews and brand values, allowing users to share their positive experience on social media, potentially drawing in even more customers. Your brand can become more impactful if it incorporates the intimate connection virtual reality can bring to a customer’s home.
VR is the future of shopping, creating a perfect unity between physical and online shopping as we know it. The transformation of the shopping industry won’t happen overnight. Still, the beauty of fashion and the interactivity of trying on clothes makes this one of the most natural industries to lead the virtual revolution. Customers can experience shopping in new and innovative ways that can only revitalise the very nature of shopping and inspire new depths of awe and wonder.
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