Will Your Customers Soon Be Shopping in Virtual Reality?



Virtual Reality Shopping

The way customers shop is changing. And it’s not just about buying products online anymore. New technology like virtual reality also has the potential to change the way people discover and purchase products.

This might not be commonplace in the U.S. just yet. But it’s starting to catch on in other parts of the world. At this week’s Gateway ‘17 event, experts on the Chinese market discussed the way virtual reality is catching on quickly with Chinese shoppers.

Small Business Trends attended the inaugural Gateway’17 event June 20 and 21 at Cobo Center in Detroit.

“It’s not that the technology is more advanced, but the rate of adoption is a little different in China,” said Amee Chande, managing director of global strategy and operations for Alibaba Group in a presentation at Wednesday’s Gateway ‘17 event.



Virtual Reality Shopping

Basically, if your business sells products online, you could use VR to offer an online shopping experience that mimics the actual retail experience. Customers can look around a store and locate specific products without having to actually make the trip to a store. And if you don’t have a retail location, you could theoretically create one to offer a similar experience to customers using VR headsets.

But VR isn’t the only type of technology changing the shopping experience in China. Some businesses have also made use of augmented reality to give customers the ability to do things like try on virtual makeup or see virtual home decor items in their actual rooms.

Even though this technology hasn’t caught on in the U.S. quite as quickly, businesses still have access to the tools needed to make shopping experiences like this possible. So if there’s something that you think could improve the shopping experience for your customers, you could benefit from jumping on this technology early on.

Virtual Reality Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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