Earlier commerce began by exchanging one item for other. Later the basic of commerce became an act of selling and buying items through a standard means. This did not change for centuries now. It became a standard practice to use some common platform to sell or buy things. And this has made commerce a simple deal and value items based on the standard means (Generally currency).
So what has changed over centuries?
As always producers produce and consumers consume, however there has been shift in the user experience on how consumers get to consume the product.
In-store Commerce – A common place where the items are displayed and the consumers buy it from the store. This is an on-store visiting experience.
Pros – Consumer gets to see the product before buying it
Cons – Consumer has to spend dedicated time for every item they buy by visiting the store
e-Commerce – Shopping over the internet. Customer purchase products over the internet and pay for it electronically.
Pros – Convenient purchase from anywhere. No need to visit the store
Cons – Customer don’t get a chance to visualize and feel the product in real
v(r) – Commerce – Virtual reality commerce is a combination of both in-store and e-Commerce experience.
Pros – In-store experience at home
Cons – VR needs a shift in the infrastructure by the consumers
What is the challenge in shift towards v-Commerce?
e-Commerce was dependent on internet and computers. This was a challenge that initial e-Commerce players were facing. Slowly there was an improvement in adoption in the form of desktop, laptop, smart phone and tablets. Smartphones really redefined the e-Commerce success.
Smart phones are an intermediate element bridging the transition from e-Commerce to v-Commerce.
VR headsets play a crucial role in this transformation. VR headsets come in varieties like VR hardware that can use mobile display like Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream and VR systems like Oculus Rift. Adoption of these hardware are important for v-Commerce to boom.
Advantages of v-Commerce –
1) Customized user experience for every one – Even with a reduced operating cost it is possible to provide unique customer experience for every individual customer
2) Bypass middleman in the current commerce system – Producers can directly reach out to the consumers and provide the virtual experience just from customers home or office
3) Guided selling – Virtual assistants can help improve shopping experience of customers by providing recommendation based on their interest
Disruptive themes with v-Commerce
Education – More visual things can help improve children’s classroom learning by providing more details on the learning items. AR in addition can help learn things by looking at objects.
Retail – Virtual retail stores with ‘real thing’ experience allows retailers to immerse customers in unique shopping experience. 3D modeling of items adds more value.
Media – A 360 degree camera placed at a baseball stadium will render immersive game watching experience for the viewer from multiple angles of the stadium.
Auto – Rather than having all the variant of the cars in the show room, retailers or auto showrooms with VR system will change the way customer do car selection.