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Virtual Reality Is Coming: This Is What It Means For Everything eCommerce

  • Written By Ali
  • Posted November 11, 2016
  • 2 minutes Read Time

Once upon a time, virtual reality was the stuff of science fiction. Now it’s becoming a serious factor in online selling. Technology continues to advance in the world of eCommerce, and with each new feature that becomes available, there are more and more ways to bring eCommerce customers up close and personal with the products you’re selling.

The more vividly a product can be experienced by a customer, the more likely they are to decide they want to buy. 3D modelling allows customers’ imaginations to come to life, as they picture themselves with the product in ways that an old-fashioned flat image never could achieve.

Imagine being able to walk around a real Magento eCommerce shop, in the way that games technologies provide realistic environments. That’s the kind of adaptation that is becoming available to eCommerce retailers.

Some of the possibilities involve existing browsers such as Chrome and Safari, even without the need for extensions, so that 3D buying could be completely browser-based. Other alternatives involve using a separate headset, which could become an option for some ecommerce platforms, with a Virtual Reality button to press to allow the site to be viewed in that mode.

There are some technical difficulties with credible representations of certain reflective surfaces, making the pictures look real enough to be convincing. But that’s just a question of time and development. Product photography is a factor too; products would need to be photographed in enough detail and accuracy to make the technology work, and that needs to be able to be done cheaply enough to be worthwhile. Audio also needs considering. If you tap or shake a product, you want to have the full sensory effect.

Devices like the Oculus Rift are the high end of virtual reality headset, and provide convincing imagery that would be really powerful in marketing, but what will really make the shift is affordable and accessible technology. That already looks to be on the horizon, cashing in on the big trend for mobile shopping.

Amazing, but true. It may not be in the next year or two, but within the next decade, virtual reality is likely to become an everyday occurrence in ecommerce.