VR eCommerce… thinking about what could be…

“woman using black VR headset beside computer” by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

The effects of consumer information overload.

What’s one thing that we all know to be true. Information is amazing… until it isn’t. One of the beautiful things about the internet is we can research, absorb and learn about the products we are purchasing to a degree significantly greater than we were beforehand. You would think then that people would buy nothing but the best products, but the simple truth is most of us do not have time, and buying decisions can actually be made significantly more difficult with so much information, variety, and options. Ultimately too much information is a bad thing.

The benefits of brick-and-mortar stores

I think it’s safe to say that brick-and-mortar (or traditional shopping) has some interesting benefits that companies in the future will be striving to replicate in a VR environment. Choice and selection are less, simply because of the physical space, not only that but consumers are forced to walk through different sections which can spark a need or desire for a product not originally on a list.

  • few product varieties — makes it simple to purchase
  • help to find products or “things” — through staff help and expertise consumers can receive help to find the best solution
  • finding things that solve other problems — even if they weren’t originally looking or new they had that problem
  • the product is immediately with you after purchase allowing you to use it right away
  • Not sure how to use a product, ask for a virtual demonstration.
  • Want to see what the clothing looks like on you, simply put it on digitally with a snap of your finger.
  • Like a product but want something customized, it’s easy to see how it would look digitally.
  • Not a fan of the music playing in store — change it to fit you
  • Not a fan of the brand's selection — change it to fit you
  • Want the store to be decorated with Christmas decorations at all times — make it so

A truly personalized shopping experience

This is the way the world is moving. No longer will people be forced to walk through the same stores, but could indeed be presented with dramatically different experiences all within the same store, while purchasing brands that you like specifically. All of this could be done from your living room.

Vote with your dollars

We hear this all the time in political circles. Consumers should vote with their dollars. If they are not happy with a company then they should purchase products from companies that they are indeed happy with. In practice, however, this can be incredibly difficult. Information overload can actually stop us from actually looking into the products we are purchasing. In the same way that lack of variety can force us to purchase products that we would otherwise avoid.

The big get bigger but so do the challenges…

There is a downside to this, however, and that is the big companies will likely benefit from these systems significantly quicker than the smaller, which could intrench these traditionally large players even more.

  • maintaining ethical advertising practices
  • maintaining brand & identity values and differentiation value propositions
  • direct competition from other B2B companies

Will we?

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