The commerce industry saw a huge change when e-commerce concept gained mass adoption. Prominent companies such as Walmart, Blockbuster suffered when people began purchasing products online, and players such as Amazon, eBay and Netflix gathered the majority of market share. Augmented reality and virtual reality could become an extension to e-commerce. For example, recently, IKEA launched an application called “IKEA Place” which allows users to view the furniture products as if they were placed in the user’s home. This would help speed up the purchase decision process. Although this technology is not expected to reach the heights of success as that of e-commerce, it will still be vital going forward.
What is Augmented Commerce & Virtual Commerce?
Augmented Reality is an “enhanced” version of reality created using technology to add images, information or both into the environment. Virtual Reality is a form of simulated environment created with computer technology. Although similar in concepts, Augmented Reality has been in use for some time, especially in the sports industry.
What are the applications of Augmented & Virtual Commerce?
Augmented Commerce is currently being used by various retailers to sell their products such as IKEA (Furniture), Converse (Shoes), eBay (FMCG), Amazon (FMCG), etc.
Augmented Commerce could be used by organizations to allow users to try games, clothes, furniture, cars, etc. before purchase. People could view what a flat would look like (and features like paint and furniture) by walking around through the application, and another application allows users to view the interior and exterior of various cars.
Market Research & Market Trends:
- Facebook integrating augmented reality ads into its application:
- Facebook will be providing users an augmented reality experience via advertisements in the application. Users of the application may view fashion goods such as eye glasses and shoes, and try them on virtually.
- Google invests in JD.com, a Chinese ecommerce giant:
- Google has made a huge investment in an ecommerce giant that was making use of augmented reality technology to boost its sales. Google has previously invested in companies that are developing upcoming technology such as DeepMind AI. We can expect similar investments from organizations that want to leverage the technology for their operations.
- eBay collaborated with local firm to open virtual stores in Australia:
- eBay was one of the first movers in the market, when the industry began developing applications for this technology. There will be a time when people start to choose between e-commerce sites based on whether they have virtual stores or not, and after that, they may judge these sites on the effectiveness of the virtual content.
- Amazon offering VR experiences in select cities:
- Amazon is trialing VR in a few selected cities in India, with a view to boost their Prime Day sales.
- Another e-commerce giant, eBay did the same in 2016 in Australia. We can expect these big players raise the awareness of the technology through such events before potential app launches.
Who are the key players in the Augmented & Virtual Reality in Ecommerce?
The key players in the Augmented & Virtual Reality Commerce Industry are eBay, Amazon, Ikea, Facebook, Sephora, BMW, Harley Davidson, Sotheby, etc.
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