Disruption of Retail to be a Reality with Virtual Reality
The immersive world of VR providing a convenient, enjoyable, and addictive shopping experience with the added advantage of being able “feel” things in the VR space could turn the tide for retail. With the price of VR gadgets being the key consideration for buyers and sellers, Silicon Valley is aiming to monetize VR with the likes of MasterCard, Swarovski, IKEA and Lowe’s Company playing a part. Tactai products like Tactai Touch preserve and provide a refined sense of touch in VR. Amazon has invested in a start up that could make dressing rooms unnecessary, using body scans for measurements. Tomorrow, a person’s virtual avatar may be used for trying clothes while shopping. VR can also reduce overhead, inventory, and leasing costs especially for companies selling bulky goods like furniture. The virtual salesman can reduce need for labour.
Industry experts think the alluring experience of VR shall take a few years to reach a price that the masses shall be comfortable with. But following the Golden rule in consumer electronics, the quality of VR is expected to refine gradually as its price decreases.
Tech-savvy big-shot retailers like Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft Corp., and Google have an opportunity to benefit from investing in VR. An addictive VR experience at one store shall make customers return or visit other stores like it. Industry experts predict that companies such as bricks-and-mortar and mom-and-pop type of businesses that got outpaced by the e-commerce revolution, shall end up in the same predicament from their investment in VR as well. Furniture makers, interior design firms, real estate agencies, and many others business units will be some of the first to choose their fate while dealing with VR: adapt or die. Ironically, some companies that could be left behind are those with the potential to benefit the most from VR if they only had the resources and the prudence to invest in the VR gadgets such as coders, controllers and headsets that will prove ground-breaking for the industry with or without them.