As you’re probably well aware, the consumer landscape evolves at lightning speed as we move through the 2020s. With 86% of consumers willing to pay more for high-quality experiences, companies in all sectors are working hard to improve their customer services offerings via everything from personalisation to e-commerce chatbots.
We can’t believe it’s 2022 already (where did the time go?!), but a new year means it’s time to evaluate your customer engagement strategies and stay on top of the latest trends. If you’re wondering where to start, this year is all about enhancing the customer experience through cutting-edge technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
Experience-based technologies represent a broad category designed to enhance purchasing experiences through immersive tools. VR technology, for example, can create simulations of 3D environments much like the real world. In a consumer context, VR can transport customers to virtual stores from the comfort of their own homes. Once ‘in-store’, customers can enjoy virtual personalised assistance and even try out products.
AR technology is a little different from VR, as it allows users to interact with computer-simulated objects layered on top of their real-world environment. Consumers could use this technology to see what an item would like in their home, for example, or try out a new shade of lipstick. The possibilities are endless!
The e-commerce space has flourished since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 75% of consumers having increased their online spending last year. With VR and AR technologies, shoppers can make purchasing decisions more confidently by trying before buying. These consumer-focused technologies eliminate many of the logistical issues associated with brick-and-mortar stores. Other benefits include:
Immersive technologies are becoming increasingly affordable, meaning more businesses will adopt them in the coming months and years. As such, companies will need to start implementing AR and VR options to stay competitive in an increasingly crowded e-commerce landscape. Companies in the arts and hospitality sectors may also begin to see increased competition from businesses delivering immersive virtual experiences, so they may wish to consider following suit.