Immersive commerce – Increasing buyer confidence

Robert Hazeleger
Why immersive commerce increases sales and customer confidence

As the name suggests, Immersive commerce ensures that customers are immersed in their online shopping experience by using virtual- and augmented reality and other immersive technology. Customer engagement increase due to the ability to browse online stores as they would be able to do in the physical shopping environment. By creating digital stores with products to interact with, handle and even try on, customers have the peace of mind that they get from the tactile physical shopping experience. Consumers want to shop online without sacrificing confidence in their purchases. By providing an immersive experience, retailers retain the trust they need from customers to sell. Immersive commerce is particularly relevant with the COVID crisis still in full force. With increased restrictions placed on customers to stay at home as much as possible, having an immersive option means they can still be engaged from the comfort of their living rooms.

There are different experiences being used to immerse customers. One way is by letting consumers try products before they bury e.g. a colour of lipstick. This increases confidence for the buyer that they are making the right decision. Another version is by putting the customer in the place they want to be. By transporting people into a new store space or have travellers walk down the aisles of an aeroplane, they can make decisions about what to buy as if they were there in person. An example of this kind of immersion is the ‘IKEA place’ app which lets you place objects or furniture in your home environment by augmented reality. You can see how it will fit with the rest of your furniture or if it’s the right size, shape and colour.

There are many returns of investment on immersive commerce. Let’s look at a few:

Fewer returns – when shopping online in the conventional way, the risk of not buying the correct size or shape that you need is relatively high compared to physical shopping. With immersive technology the risk is minimized by the fact that the customer can virtually try before they buy, hence fewer returned products. Returns cost time and money to process.

Cost savings – as just mentioned, costs can be saved by fewer returns, but also by having fewer overheads. Customised stores, staff, facility management are just a few of the costs that can be avoided by digitalizing the customer experience.

Increased sales – by building an experience that can be shared digitally on social media platforms, sales are likely to increase, provided you have a good experience. By allowing users to use AR/VR or 3D elements, you are providing your sales teams with a powerful tool.

Immersive technologies have opened the door to the next era of shopping experiences. Once it might have been an unusual novelty just a few years ago, but it has become a powerful tool in a short period of time. It is encouraging that these technologies, like 3D content and virtual reality, augmented reality and 360° video are not only more sophisticated than ever, they are also quite affordable and accessible for retailers and brands. Brands that invest now can enhance consumer relationships, increase online sales—and open the door to the next wave of digital commerce.

If you want to explore what immersive technologies could mean for your business or need advice on other e-commerce questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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