Virtual Shopping: What Is It? And How to Use VR Shopping in Retail Stores?

Table Of Contents

Do you want to know why everyone today is talking about virtual shopping?

The commerce world’s become all about building seamless experience between eCommerce and retail. Brands today have the opportunity to close the gap between online and in-store shopping using virtual shopping technologies.

We’ve already mentioned the VR store technology before while discussing the difference between VR and AR and how to use them for online stores.

So, you might want to check that out first if you’re interested in the comparison to get the big picture. Today, we’re focusing on VR retail and its benefits for retail stores.

To be precise, we’ve stated the elements below 😉

  • What is virtual shopping?
  • What are the benefits of VR shopping
  • How to upgrade into a virtual reality store

What Is Virtual Shopping ?

Virtual shopping is a newly emerged term that describes the unique shopping experience that is savored with VR technology. Virtual reality adds the missing piece to ordinary shopping experiences.

The ability to enjoy the in-store experience while still in your bedroom is a blessing that can only be found in a virtual retail store!

Human connection can now be brought to the eCommerce experience, no more limiting your online purchasing decisions and more into having a holistic shopping experience between brick-and-mortar and online shopping.

That is what we call a seamless omnichannel experience in ExpandCart. 🌐

Bring Life to Your Brand Using VR

difference between ar and vr

A VR store is the recreation of a retail store whether it’s online or physical in order to provide the authenticity of physical retail stores for worldwide customers on every device. That’s where customers can walk around the store, browse and purchase products, and have a fully engaging experience with your brand from the comfort of their homes.

Virtual Reality Shopping Emerges

Both augmented reality and virtual reality have reported a $12 billion market worth in 2020 which resulted in an AGR of 54% with an estimated $73 billion worth by 2024 — IDC

With the emergence of VR and ar technologies, more and more online stores are developing and upgrading into offering virtual experiences to their customers not only to eliminate the gap between online and physical stores but also to offer many of the advanced below options:

Virtual reality shopping: A physical store offers a compelling and immersive shopping experience while a virtual store offers an organized one.

Now put your hands together, a VR store lets you enjoy the experience of a physical one wherever you are. 🛍️

Holistic engaging experience: Welcome the in-store shopping experience to a digitally packed life in a way the beats regular websites.

Introduce your brand to a whole new audience: An increasing number of customers would love to try out the new technology and stop by your store rather than going out to a physical one.

Statistic 🔎

VR and AR were debated to be going mainstream in a survey. 37% of business owners believe in the upcoming 2-5 years, while 25% of them thought in just two years. 15% thought it takes less than 2 years for such technologies to take a mainstream route (Perkins Coie, 2020).

What Are the Benefits of VR Shopping?

Virtual retail can offer so many benefits to both businessmen and customers. Let’s get a detailed look at those benefits:

1. Improve Shopper Experience

So how could retailers leverage VR technology to improve the shoppers’ experience?

For some people, VR lets people shop in-store without having to deal with the boring sales stalk of “what can I get you?”

💡 Example 👌

An average car buyer has to visit 1.6 car stores. When The Economist asked about their car buying experience, many described it as boring.

But they can’t get rid of it since cars are complexed, they’d need a walk through the features every time they’re thinking of purchasing a new car. So how can we relieve you of having to visit a lot of car shops and preserve your desired personal service?

Utilizing VR can remove that struggle by enabling virtual shopping experiences.

2. Trying on Products

AR and VR are both very beneficial in terms of testing and previewing products before completing the purchase. Like a couch in your living room or a T-shirt on your skin color. Also solving the challenge of poor light or overheated tiny fitting rooms in physical stores.

View how Timberland managed a virtual fitting room using a unique technology to allow people to try on clothes with hand gestures.

Other websites and Facebook apps can do the same for home users by utilizing built-in cameras and AR technologies.

Build your online store with ExpandCart & leverage our AR & VR integrations


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Measurable Conversions

Online stores implementing virtual reality and AR techniques are having great shifts in their conversion rates on very short notices. That being said, our AR and VR store integrations are getting even more improvements and we encourage every store owner to take part in the win.

One priceless feature of virtual browsing is the ability to real-time track customer sessions. Do you know what this means? It means you get the chance to offer specific recommendations to your customer while virtually accompanying him on his virtual store tour.

Customers are reported to stay 70% more on virtual reality stores. ⬅️

No More Shut Downs Due to Lack of Staff

COVID19 has taught us much. That’s actually how virtual shopping boomed right up at the rescue. Retailers are now able to keep selling and running the business no matter where they are. Whether working from home, store, or office, everything is working in full sync.

Virtual store owners have found a vital win-win situation while being able to provide tools and resources so that their sales team can in turn give the best customer service during the lockdown.

In such a tough time, a company that was able to keep all of its staff and continue selling while the headquarters is shut down is considered a survivor. That’s something VR shopping is enabling you to in times of crisis.

💡 Virtual Shopping Experience Example (Wallmart)

Final Words

The future of retail is virtual, Walmart has surely proven that to us in this inspiring virtual shopping experience allowing us to relate to virtual retail stores in a more interactive humanly way.

In this article, we’ve introduced the new term VR shopping and illustrated how it came to be leading the future of the retail industry by emphasizing some of the endless benefits that virtual reality brings to the retail world.

However, an important question that might’ve slipped from most online store owners… are we ready for such technologies?

Are brands really updated with the fast-going improvements of digital technologies and are they able to adapt as fast as they can and provide such privileges to their customers?

I believe we are about to witness the shift together and by that I mean, a whole big change in the big retail brand names we were used to hearing for the past couple of years.

Don’t you agree?

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