Is Virtual Reality in the Future of eCommerce?With the technological advances of the past ten years, it’s almost impossible to look back and remember that first sense of awe using a smartphone for the first time. In fact, it was probably impossible to recognize the true impact of these devices when they appeared on the market. eCommerce is, by nature, tied to every technological advance in communication, and anyone who stayed true to that fact with the shift to mobile technology found themselves in an advantageous position for growth. Mobile marketing has become an absolute must for any online business, and with the addition of voice searches, businesses are already scrambling to find the best tactics. Isn’t it an obvious decision, then, for eCommerce businesses to recognize the looming capability of Virtual reality for the future?
What Can You Do in a Virtual World?The possibilities for Virtual Reality are truly endless. As we begin to see more and more users find a sense of awe in a virtual world, it’s important to recognize how in-depth these platforms could really go. At the moment, virtual gaming may seem like a simple gimmick, but as the technology improves, being immersed in a virtual world will become one of the largest trends in entertainment since the invention of film. It’s only a matter of time before this revolution takes place, and it’s going to be huge. The entertainment aspect is nothing short of exciting, for sure, but what of the communication capabilities? Any sort of portable virtual reality device would not only allow users to connect through speech but also basically be in the same room together. If the internet seems like the largest advancement in communication thus far, imagine what it would be like if the sites that you visited were tangible. Instead of going to a store or searching online, you would be able to literally go to the store online. A customer could chat with their friends in the “same room” and then multiple people could decide to go to an “online mall” together, walk around, test out items, and purchase them, all without leaving their room. I’m sure at least one person reading this has seen the Black Mirror episode that involves living in a virtual world. The truth is, that episode is not far off from the truth. The same way that a business would advertise online is going to be prevalent in advertising for virtual reality. In fact, entire businesses could be set up within the virtual world, with actual employees working virtually. In 2014, Ikea actually introduced a VR element in which they had customers experience their homes virtually. Tommy Hilfiger added a virtual reality fixture to their fashion show, enabling customers to sit front row and watch. Imagine the potential of displaying your own product in a customer’s virtual home, enabling them to “test it out” before they purchase?
How Can an eCommerce Business Prepare Itself?In truth, the businesses that are currently participating are simply preparing themselves for the inevitable, but cannot currently make significant gains in revenue. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is a lack of purchasing from the general public, yet. The fact is, most VR headsets are incredibly expensive, and until mass amounts of people can afford one, it’s unlikely that the factors necessary to nurture a solid advertising campaign will arrive. One thing to recognize is that, no matter what, virtual reality has so much capability that it will eventually be implemented on a wider scale. There’s utterly no reason for the technology on our phones to not be connected to the virtual world, from a technological and a profitability standpoint. People will flock to that kind of connection, and where there are people, there are sales. Without a doubt, any company that is preparing itself for this transition with new tactics for voice search is going to thrive in this new virtual world.
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