In this article, let’s talk about Virtual Reality in retail. This industry has all the possibility to take full advantage of the technological marketing. Let’s see a few examples and how your brand can enter that universe. Keep reading.

What is virtual reality in the retail market?

Virtual reality in retail: two girls in a cafe playing with vr glasses

Virtual reality in retail is an opportunity for brands to expand from the concrete reality we are used to immersive spaces within the metaverse.
In this new virtual space, such as an extension of the store, customers can interact with retailers in a fairly realistic environment. People can experience brands’ services and offerings in virtual reality.

More than fifty percent of the experts at the Ecommerce Experts Afterwork Session agree on the need for the retail sector to improve the customer experience, enabling the evolution of online stores to virtual recreations just like those existing in physical stores.

How VR Is Used in Retail Business? Examples

In the metaverse, it is possible to create stores just like in the real world. In these virtual spaces you can offer products and services, interact with retailers. In this way, customers can participate and become loyal to brands that provide them with literally out-of-this-world experiences.

The potential of virtual reality in retail is truly gigantic and so far some brands have ventured to start with ideas ranging from offering virtual products, NFTs and real products.

Examples Of Virtual Reality In Retail

Two persons with shopping bags: virtual reality stores

  • Virtual store tours (as was the case in the pandemic with tours of major museums).
  • Virtual fitting rooms: people can get a very realistic idea of what a garment will look like once they buy it. Even combine colors and models for a perfect outfit.
  • Take measurements to make garments thanks to the intervention of artificial intelligence technologies. A person can search for the product they want in the nearest store through a virtual visit, as if it were teleportation. Boring catalogs are a thing of the past. For customers, it’s an opportunity to compare prices – imagine looking for a book and browsing through it in the store itself!
  • A company selling furniture or appliances could show customers how the same might look in their living room or kitchen.

There are many brands nowadays that are incorporating Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in retail. Here is an example of the top 5 in the industry:

  • Walmart: Created ‘Choose my model’. It’s a computer vision and artificial intelligence on the web. It allows users to select an avatar with the same physical measurements as the customer so they can check how the clothes fit
  • Visualook: This brand also has its own virtual fitting room, which allows customers to combine up to four different clothes through a 3D avatar.
  • Wanna Kicks: It is a virtual sneaker tester. Selecting the model of shoes, the color and the size in the application, the phone camera and artificial intelligence do the rest.
  • Drest: This brand grants the possibility of ‘playing shopping’. Whether it’s because of the high price of the product or because it doesn’t suit your style, this virtual fitting room allows you to try on ‘inaccessible’ clothes.
  • Amazon: Introduced the ‘magic mirror’. This technology is a virtual fitting room that allows customers to try on clothes with an avatar physically tailored them. The novelty in Amazon’s ‘magic mirror’ is that you can select the event in which you are going to wear said garment. In this way, you can see how a set of clothes will look on you at a wedding, restaurant, or a nightclub.

Differences between AR and VR in the retail industry

The big difference between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality is that one is a non-existent world in the framework of the material and physical, while the other is the virtual reproduction of a space that does exist in the material reality of the third dimension.

The scenarios developed by the programmers in Minecraft are a vivid example that allows us to exemplify both realities. The world inside this popular video game does not exist in the physical world, that would be a virtual reality space. Now, is it possible to combine augmented reality with a virtual space like this one? Yes.

For example, large companies have hired gamers to develop scale models of architectural projects or maps. Some enthusiasts of this game have taken on the task of reproducing historical buildings in fantastic detail. To access these spaces in an immersive way, you must have the necessary equipment and live the simulation to the fullest: helmet, gloves, glasses and a variety of devices that have seen the light with the technological evolution.

So in this framework, a woman can try on a dress without having to leave her house. This is a breakthrough in personalized shopping experiences in a special way and decreasing the margin of error to zero. Definitely with virtual reality in retail you will no longer go through the tragic experience of having bought on Amazon in a size that does not suit you a day before delivery.

How Is VR Transforming Retail?

guy with vr glases

The fashion industry is currently experiencing its fourth industrial revolution and the boom in digital marketing and e-commerce.

A new scenario where innovation in design processes is here. These technologies include new tools adapted to production, such as virtual design and pattern making, artificial intelligence (AI) or augmented reality (AR), all of which have great potential to transform the distribution chain.

The fashion sector has strongly joined the digital transformation to offer better services and products to consumers. Big data, virtual design or ecommerce are implemented in a traditional sector that is looking for new horizons.

Virtual reality in retail market trends

  • Tailor-made fashion and technology

The metaverse’s first Fashion Week is a clear example of the new retail market trends that we will see a lot in the future. And many luxury brands such as Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton are already in the digital world wagon.

  • Augmented reality

Augmented Reality has been already active since 2016, and its still a growing fashion trend. For example, Dior or Burberry, have tools to experience augmented reality on social networks through filters it is possible to try on their clothes or even decide on makeup.

  • Video game-inspired collections

Brands like Nike and Ralph Lauren were some of the first to create accessories for virtual platforms like Roblox. This trend is here to stay. We will see so much more of it in the future.

How Does VR in Retail Work?

Shopping in vr

Technological solutions in the retail e-commerce industry are becoming more and more valuable. With advances in technology and the creation of online shopping assistants, new ways to connect with potential buyers’ experiences have become available. And this includes multi-sensory approaches that can lead to higher conversion rates because consumers are drawn into a virtual space through videos produced by brands or websites and augmented reality campaigns.

How is VR used in retail?

  • Artificial intelligence 

 Artificial intelligence can help brands create their designs faster by identifying consumer choices in real time, and analyzing trending patterns, colors and styles. Thanks to this technology, decision making becomes agile and efficient for both designers and the business in general.

  • 3D printing of personalized products

3D printing helps develop products on demand and creates new avenues for customization. Some sports shoe brands print personalized insoles based on scanned biometric data for example.

  • Blockchain in the supply chain

It’s benefiting retail industry supply chains by creating accurate transaction records based on their location data, content, and timestamps.

  • VR and AR to redefine the customer experience

Online shoppers will be able to see products in 3D in front of them, augmented reality pop-ups can be created with interactive catalogs, or a fully immersive store can be created through virtual reality.

How the retail industry uses AR and VR?

Having AR and VR solutions can help drive eCommerce sales to promote brand engagement and presence across multiple channels. Small businesses without the budget to use such technologies can take advantage of virtual reality, enabling a higher level of consumer engagement and product appeal.

What is AR and VR in retail?

Technological innovation in retail opens up new scenarios and new perspectives for this sector.

Virtual reality and Augmented Reality applications for retail industry are beginning to proliferate, and they range from useful applications for the user, such as the virtual dressing room, data analytics, virtual showrooms to apps that, on the contrary, use the wow effect to engage and surprise the public.

Why AR is important in retail?

Augmented reality in online retail means that customers don’t have to make an effort to visualize in their imagination the characteristics of the product they are considering buying from data in the form of units of measurement, a few photos and, as much, the video of a model wearing the garment or accessory. What makes the difference is, above all, the possibility of using virtual changing rooms and the virtual showrooms with all that this entails.

Do you want to implement a VR marketing strategy for your brand? We can help you

At Stringnet, we are an expert team in BTL marketing, metaverse, VR, AR, gamification and more. If you are in the retail industry, we can help you to build a plan specialy tailored for what you need.

Contact us now. Clic here.