How virtual and augment reality technology can change the future of online shopping

February 1st, 2017

Until recently, virtual reality (VR) seemed far-fetched and more of a subject for a sci-fi movie or book, but in 2016, major VR platforms by Facebook, Google and Sony were introduced or at least announced, which means that the future of VR technology and its use will most probably increase in volume and popularity. This means that VR and augmented reality (AR) can become a leading new technology for the ever growing e-commerce business as well.


E-commerce applications


Today, anyone can buy their own VR or AR hardware, and the advancements in this technology are expected to rise this year too. More leading tech and Internet companies are working on investing and developing this type of hardware, software and platforms as well.

The interest of the users worldwide in such technologies became apparent with the Pokémon GO craze which the world witnessed in 2016.

Recently, Magic Leap presented a way in which AR technology is used for e-commerce. It included functions such as superimposing virtual models of different pieces of furniture and lamps in a room to see how they fit in the space available. These models were to scale so they could give an actual picture of how they can fit in a specific setting.

Since most consumers spend so much time choosing what to buy and deciding whether a particular product is suitable for them, AR could be the key to resolving this problem. By giving the customer an opportunity to visualize the actual product could make the shopping process much easier and the decision making too.

AR technology could also provide customers with an actual in-store experience even when they are far away or comfortably resting at home. Some big retailers such as Converse and IKEA already offer such a service provided by their shopping mobile apps which allow users to “place” a piece of furniture in their homes or the Converse shoes on their feet.

Consumers are looking for an improved shopping experience, so more online stores should think about implementing the VR and AR technologies in order to attract more customers and make more sales. It is crucial though that these online stores use the AR and VR technologies not simply as an eye-fetching toy, but as a useful tool to enhance the shopping experience. This is best done by professional mobile app or web developers.

Some online stores offer their customers the right to first test and try the product before purchasing it. AR will save the hassle and costs of such a practice by providing the customers the service of “trying out” a product virtually.

The first stores to implement these technologies are bound to win over more customers, because this sort of service will differentiate them from the other online stores, and will attract more customers who prefer to have virtual contact with the product they are thinking about buying.

Such technologies can provide customers with a more personalized experience and can allow them to customize their products, which is what people in general want.


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