Immerse your online experiences

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Cat Mules

Global consumers indicate they’re more than ready to engage in online shopping experiences.

Online shopping has become an everyday occurrence in 2020. Covid-19 has forced consumers to engage in online, home-bound activities.

We know that immersive technology is the way we will do business in the future, but Accenture’s recent global poll finds most APAC consumers are ready for it now. Accenture’s poll reports that immersive shopping is growing in influence.

Accenture’s Try It. Trust It. Buy It poll of 3,087 consumers from across North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region reported on their experiences six months after using immersive technology.

The research found that more than 80 percent of consumers plan to maintain their increased use of in-app ordering as well as home delivery services.

What’s more, local consumers appear to be ready to engage in more immersive shopping experiences, and willing to purchase more from retailers who facilitate them.

All eyes are on the immersive experience

With this in mind, consider the fundamentals:

  • Strategy: Secure executive buy-in and alignment with business, marketing and sales strategies
  • Design: Be authentic with experience-led solutions that align with the brand purpose and needs of target buyers
  • Technology: Develop a practical plan for shedding the weight of legacy technology investments while exploring new approaches
  • Operations: Establish a process for 3D asset design, development and optimisation
  • Trust: Protect customers’ trust by respecting and protecting their personal data.

Following these tips will establish customers’ confidence in brands, and help companies successfully navigate the next waves of digital commerce.

Immersive shopping is happening to different degrees, in different formats, across different industries, however some of the most well-known names provide examples of best practice.

Supporting the shrewd car buyer’s model selection, Toyota’s AR experience allows consumers to self-educate and walk through standard features – all via scalable banner ads on social media.

Emirates’ VR technology offers 3D models of its cabins, so travellers can inform their choices with a preview of the environment, while they select their seats.

In the cosmetic realm, YouTube’s AR solution has been leveraged by MAC Cosmetics to virtually pamper their customers, testing out MAC lipsticks and shop while watching makeup tutorials.

The Accenture research found consumers are motivated by viewing the products first (52%) but also high on the average consumer’s list is assessing the product’s features and capabilities (42%) and experiencing products before purchasing (42%).

Calling brands to action: The future is immersive and virtual

The Accenture research showed that more than half of consumers were likely to remember brands that regularly engage them immersively.

Globally, 64 percent of the world’s leading consumer companies are investing in immersive experiences. The software leading the charge are navigation, Web XR, mobile AR enabling product visualisation, games and entertainment, and game engine software.

Virtual explorations of products are also driven by game engine software – the product configurators that in real-time, mean consumers can virtually customise, visualise and explore high-fidelity 3D products.

Opportunity, not limitations: The digital experience divide

What global responsiveness to virtual and augmented experiences suggests above all else is the need for tighter ties between the actual and online experience of brands.

“As much as consumers love the convenience of digital commerce, there is no purchasing certainty when they shop online for products they haven’t experienced in person.”

“The perceptual divide between physical and digital could cost sales growth opportunities in product categories that consumers buy online today. Brands are also missing out on expanding sales in categories like automotive and luxury that don’t sell well online because people are wary to buy these products from a distance.”

“With consumers more open to buying more categories online in the wake of COVID-19, the pressure is on brands to bridge this divide now.”

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Cat Mules

Umbrellar's Digital Journalist, coming from a background in tech reporting and research. Cat's inspired by the epic potential of tech and helping kiwi innovators share their success stories.

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