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How VR will change retail

As Augmented reality is able to enhance the store experience, Virtual Reality brings the store to customers. It is the very first time when customers can really have the store in their house. They do not have to drive, it comes to them. It is not an e-Commerce store, where products are presented in a different way or where browsing and searching for a product is not enjoyable but really a store. It is an experience that is exciting and efficient. No need to browse through 52 pages of dresses. You have the shelves and at a glance can see which product you like and then you can dig more. Customers do not like the 50 pages results they get; They usually stop at page 4 or 5. So the notion of the endless aisle or the notion of large inventory is actually more annoying to customers than it is serving the cause. Customers want to get to the point. They want to see things they like right away and then dig more into their selection. This is where recommendations should solve it for e-Commerce but I do not think we are yet using it in an efficient way. We use it as a secondary element, while it should the heart of what we serve to customers.

The way VR enables to present products is way more powerful. We can play with the product, we can play with the environment and we can bring more sparkle to shopping.

You can even think that you will be able to be in a store, that will be live-streamed. Now you love the Louis Vuitton store in Les Champs Elysées and you will be able to get to this store, whether you live in Tokyo, New York, Weston FL, Vladivostok or Perth.

What if now each of us would have our own shop and no two people will have the same? You would go to a store only for you, with your personal associate, who will know all about you and will be able to help you and talk to you along the process. Everybody would be a VIP and shop the same way as we can sometimes shop at some luxury brands. I, as the customer, am at the center of all!

Customers are bored today. They have too many choices and are lost because they do not know what to choose anymore. We sink them into pages of results and a plethora of products that are of no interest to them. They are getting very bad customer service so they are not loyal. They are price conscious and are showrooming before making their purchase

They go to stores because they need to, but do not enjoy it as much because it is crowded, far, it is cold outside, they do not have the finances, they have kids or are in the rush. Shopping becomes a commodity and is no longer enjoyable as it used to be. Malls are still a social place for teens, who hang out and shop sometimes.

Family members are further away from each other. People spend more time on digital channels and do not have time or stamina to deal with a rude associate, go to a store where the products they want are not available or get frustrated because there is nothing they like. With VR, they get to a store, with things they like, with a nice human interaction, where they can try the product and it will be available because the endless aisle will kick in the back of the process.

So what if a store would no longer a store? What if the store we are used to with shelves is no longer the norm? Why couldn’t we buy our bathing suit on a Bahamas beach, our coffee on a farm in Costa Rica, Kevin Garnett’s Jersey directly on the Celtic’s field, Kathy Perry’s music at Kathy’s home…? Can the intrinsic notion of the store just be redefined? Now we are reinventing retail!


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