An Report on the Impact of Virtual and Augmented Retail Details Trends in the Industry
Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) technologies could be potential allies to the retail and e-commerce industry by lowering obstacles to engaging consumers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent YouGov industry report found this week.
YouGov’s International Omni-Channel Retail report 2021 analysed changes and trends in the retail industry due to ongoing pandemic, covering both brick-and-mortar and online shopping.
According to findings, roughly three-quarters of consumers preferred both online and in-store due to shoppers seeking to try on items or test gadgets before buying—a major barrier during lockdowns.
It also noted interest in VR/AR technologies “varies by category” but was “fairly nascent” overall, adding less than half of global consumers found interest in using them for a specific category.
Younger consumers, namely people aged 18 to 24, showed more interest in VR/AR clothes shopping along with 50 percent of those aged 25 to 34. The report added people favoured VR/AR apps for clothes shoppping more than technology, video games, and furniture.
Uses for the emerging technology was expected to grow as younger generations became older, it read.
Regions most likely to use VR/AR apps were Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, and Asia at 60 percent, 53 percent, and 50 percent, respectively.
The news comes as marketers and major brands have begun stepping up efforts to increase brand visibility via VR/AR campaigns, namely as national lockdowns have restricted access to brick-and-mortar shops and skyrocketed traffic to online marketplaces.
David Ripert, Co-Founder and CEO at Poplar Studio, explained to XR Today the urgency to create an effective ecosystem to link content creators with VR/AR firms for their campaigns.
Mr Ripert also called on the VR/AR industry to boost access to AR development kits and facilitate connecting people with limited access to such technological resources.
The World Economic Forum also found VR/AR technologies could offer a major boost to the tourism sector, which has been struggling with low tourist visits due to ongoing national lockdown restrictions.