Once synonymous with ‘E-commerce’, the term V-commerce has been re-appropriated to describe Virtual Reality shopping. To understand V-Commerce, one must first understand Virtual Reality. Virtual Reality brings a user some place else through closed visors or goggles. Putting a VR headset over your eyes will block out your current world and expand your senses within. This immersion is actually quite dramatic, some users have reported feelings of movement within the virtual environment.
V-Commerce can be used in online retail by building a virtual store in which users walk around, pick up objects and see them in 3D versions. VR offers benefits over traditional E-commerce for both retailers and their customers. While nothing will ever replace the physical shopping experience, browsing a 3D environment eliminates some of the issues with online shopping. With VR, customers can see the item before they buy it, increasing trust in the quality of the product and helping to ascertain features like size and color. It is unlikely that E-commerce will disappear; however, V-commerce will complement existing shopping services. VR also can be used as a marketing tool and a way to enhance your interaction with consumers.
Augmented Reality allows customers to check out how a product would look on them or in their home. Imagine being able to photoshop products onto natural environment – either in your house or on yourself!
Technology is also being used to enhance the in-store shopping experience. Tech-forward retailers have begun to experiment with an offshoot of virtual reality called ‘augmented reality’, a technology exemplified with headsets. Augmented reality, or AR, uses digital data overlaid onto real world environments to add real-time information and simulated aspects to physical locations. This can take the form of a mirror that simulates you trying on clothes or posing with digital characters or a phone app that shows the price of an item simply by looking at it through the camera.