The growth of e-commerce in recent years has opened up new trading avenue for enterprises. The websites are playing an important role as the medium of information dissemination. Many studies have shown that 2-D representations of products are no longer impressive on websites than before, since demands for custom-designed products are rapidly increasing. Due to arrival of high-speed network and advance in computer graphics, the Virtual Reality (VR) technology emerged as alternative way to resolve problems. The VR concept will improve presentation ability and thus improve customer interactions. Virtual Reality is a general term for computer generated, or computer displayed, depictions of real spaces or objects.
So far, virtual reality is something that has only really been encountered in the gaming world. As retailers are exploring opportunities to give their customers an immersive experience, VR is becoming the next step in this growing digital world. It is giving customers an option to view products from all angles, enhancing product presentation, and thus bringing real-life experiences in e-commerce transactions. Customers can examine products from all angles and get real hands-on feel of products in the virtual tour option in e-commerce stores
While VR is not yet fully implemented, 360 degree images are a reality now. 360 degree views have the capability to zoom in and out, in addition to rotating images with a full view of the product. Further, video content gives customers a better look at their potential purchase.
There is market news which suggests that a few ecommerce entities are working to implement VR in ecommerce. Ecommerce giant Alibaba has announced the launch of VR research lab, GnomeMagic Lab. The idea behind the venture is that they are planning on working with its shopping businesses to integrate VR into its shopping experience. This will help users to shop online in the comfort of their own home, but at the same time browse a store as if they were there.
According to Zhao Haiping, a former Facebook engineer who is working with Alibaba’s GnomeMagic Lab team, with the implementation of VR the customers would be able to shop at home as if they shopped from New York’s Fifth Avenue as if they were there.
It is expected that these ideas will probably take a little while to proliferate. But given that there are many companies who are heavily invested in ecommerce at the moment, hopefully it won’t take too long for all of this to kick off in a big way.