Finding new clients and keeping them loyal is one of the biggest challenges for brands worldwide. This is true for small businesses and for international corporations alike. The rules of the retail game are constantly changing and keeping up with them is mandatory. Online shopping is the norm now, but it has its caveats. Abandoned carts and product returns are just two of the many issues brands must face. But they have a new ally in the customer loyalty challenge: virtual reality technology.
The Role of Virtual Reality Technology in Today’s Retail
VR developers have created ways to better prepare health professional by immersing them in simulations of stressful situations that they are likely to encounter in real life. The French company SimforHealth aims to train health professionals through VR and sums up its concept with "Never the first time with a patient".
The infographic created by The Missing Link company focuses on the key areas where virtual reality technology helps brands get more sales and more loyal customers. Many retail brands have already tested and proven these benefits and continue to invest in VR.
At the same time, consumers are excited about new technologies, especially those that bring an element of gamification. Immersive technologies, like VR and AR, are ideal for telling brand stories and promoting products in a manner that does not feel sales-focused, but customer-focused.
For example, VR is the perfect medium for a realistic evaluation of how a product looks in the customer’s home. The ‘try before you buy’ option is even more valuable for fashion and cosmetic brands. Clothes and makeup are traditionally showcased using professional models. They have an ideal body type and they know how to pose. Also, professional photographers and filmmakers create the marketing materials and they use special techniques to enhance the features of the product.
There are five individuals that have contributed greatly to the title virtual reality including Morton Heilig, Myron Krueger, Ivan Sutherland, Douglas Engelbart, and Jaron Lanier.
Creating a Dialogue in a Busy World
Virtual reality technology is a perfect medium for creating engagement and keeping the lead’s attention focused on the brand. VR experiences, such as mobile apps or in-store installations attract the lead into a world of discovery and interactive activities.
These activities also help create an emotional bond between consumers and brands – a key element in building loyalty. Traditional communication channels are less and less effective in creating this emotional response. People are busy and have learned how to avoid or ignore online advertising.
But VR experiences do not look like ads, and they offer the emotional gratification and excitement of trying something new. From a simple ‘try before you buy’ experience to an interactive brand story, customers rediscover the fun of shopping with zero risk of disappointment. After all, they can see how a new coat or a shade of lipstick looks on them, before even placing the product in the cart.
These are just a few key benefits of virtual reality technology for brands. Discover all of them in the infographic below.
The Military Is Using It. It turns out that the U.S. military is totally loving virtual reality. The Army, the Navy, and the Air Force have all used virtual reality in the past few years to train their soldiers. Keep in mind that this is not a game but a real training for some intense military action, including flying, medical training, fighting in the battlefield, and driving as well. The military is also reportedly using virtual reality in getting new recruits.