On November 24, 2022
Vendors paving the way for a new age of shopping
The extended reality environment is taking the retail and eCommerce landscape by storm. Offering a convenient way to provide consumers with product information, enhanced shopping experiences, and better customer service, XR is quickly becoming a table-stakes part of the new digital retail space.
Already, countless companies have begun experimenting with the potential XR can offer. Shopify found viewing 3D products in AR improved conversion rates by 250%, and 42% of online shoppers say they want to use XR to make transactions online feel like shopping in-store.
As the demand for these immersive experiences continues to grow, a number of leading virtual, augmented, and mixed-reality vendors have begun demonstrating their ability to assist retail and eCommerce stores in building next-gen interactions. Here are just some of the leading XR vendors paving the way for a new age of shopping.
Magic Leap has quickly emerged as one of the major market leaders in the Augmented Reality hardware environment. Introducing consumers and businesses to a new generation of smart headsets, Magic Leap allows for the convenient alignment of digital and physical experiences.
With tools specifically built for the enterprise environment, Magic Leap offers a full range of phenomenal features and capabilities to today’s business leaders. Companies can access high-level rendering, industry-leading optics, and dynamic computing all in a lightweight and ergonomic headset. In the retail locations of tomorrow, Magic Leap technologies could even allow consumers to try on products “virtually” in a store, without the hygiene risks of changing rooms.
Magic Leap also benefits from a robust open platform, where retail and eCommerce innovators can develop applications with open-standard software.
In recent years, Microsoft has begun making a name for itself as perhaps the most significant innovator in the mixed reality space. The company offers not just a powerful development environment in the form of Microsoft Mesh, but also one of the most immersive “MR” headsets on the market, with the HoloLens 2.
As companies in the retail and eCommerce environment continue to look for ways to enhance customer experiences, Microsoft’s mixed reality tools could prove to be very valuable. For instance, a company selling a product too large to showcase to customers in-person could use a digital twin of that item to project a holographic image into a space. This would give consumers a true-to-life view of the size and features of the item while reducing the need for in-person demonstrations.
Microsoft’s technology could even allow retailers in the B2B world to offer a better level of post-purchase service. Holographic agents and engineers could be digitally transported into a company’s environment whenever a client needs help troubleshooting a problem.
As one of the leading brands behind the evolution of the “Metaverse”, Meta is likely to play a massive role in the introduction of XR innovation to the retail and eCommerce sector. Already, Meta’s virtual and augmented reality investments are helping countless companies to improve their sales, and strengthen their relationship with their target audience.
For instance, companies in the eCommerce sector can use the Meta AR advertisement platform to allow customers to visualise what a product might look like in their homes, using a smartphone app. Alternatively, companies looking to provide their customers with more fully immersive experiences can build applications for the Oculus VR headset. This could allow retailers to interact with clients in a digital version of a showroom or office.
As Meta continues to expand its investment into the Metaverse, we’re likely to see a host of new eCommerce and retail brands taking advantage of the environment to build new digital experiences.
A leader in all things virtual reality, HTC Vive has established itself as perhaps the go-to choice for VR among business users. VIVE’s wide portfolio of wearable devices can serve a range of different purposes, from giving users access to on-the-go wellness tools, to immersing customers in unique virtual environments.
Though VIVE technology is most commonly used for ideation, collaboration, and internal processes today, it could still play an important role in the eCommerce and retail landscape. Businesses could use the technology to bring product development teams together wherever they are, so they come up with incredible new ideas in real time.
The VIVE headsets could also be an excellent way for B2B retailers to give more immersive demonstrations of their products to customers, or take clients on a tour of their operating facilities before they sign a contract.