Will VR/AR keep consumers out of stores?
A new survey from GPShopper finds consumers are highly interested in using both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) as part of the shopping experience. However, many are seeing the technology as a way to avoid going to the store.
Asked about virtual reality’s potential role in the shopping experience, 46 percent say they want to use VR to try on clothes and accessories without going into a store. Twenty-four percent want to use VR so they don’t have to go into a store anymore.
Similarly, 44 percent want to use AR to try on clothes and accessories without going into the store. Fifty-eight percent want to use AR to see how certain items might look in a different color before buying.
On the subject of in-store staff, 23 percent of respondents would rather talk to a VR sales assistant instead of a real human, and 23 percent want access to a personal shopper in a virtual environment.
The technologies are also seen as a valuable product information tool. Half want to use AR to get additional information about a product, such as ingredients or the materials used, while 42 percent want to use VR to see where/how a product was made.
The survey finds that 68 percent of consumers are familiar with VR. The technology has received some negative press lately as the hyped retail launch of several VR headsets last year disappointed. Besides high prices, the shortfall has been blamed on a lack of must-have content and users experiencing nausea and dizziness. With the popularity of Pokemon Go, AR has received more favorable media coverage lately, but the GPShopper survey found only 20 percent of consumers are familiar with AR.
Compared to other newer technologies, VR and AR rank much higher than virtual assistants, chatbots and smart mirrors in their potential to improve the shopping experience. Self-checkout was found to be the most useful shopper technology.
- Self Checkout, Virtual Reality And Virtual Assistants Among Top Spots On Gpshopper Consumer Consciousness Scale – GPShopper
- Reality Of Retail Tech – GPShopper
- Consumers Hate Chatbots But Interested In VR, Says GPShopper Report – Fashion Network
- What’s stalling the virtual reality consumer market? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will the arrival of VR and AR shopping technologies make the physical store more or less relevant for consumers? What part do you expect such technologies to play in the path to purchase?