100M People to Shop in AR & VR-Powered Online and Physical Stores by 2020 — Gartner

According to Gartner Inc., the world’s leading research and advisory company, around 100 million consumers can and will shop in online stores and physical shops that use augmented and virtual reality by 2020. That is going to happen in a few months time. The question is… is your business ready for this? Are you running an AR or VR-powered online and physical stores today? If not, when?

For those who aren’t convinced yet, AR and VR are the technologies that currently shake up the retail industry. With it, customers visualise products, thus improving customer experience.

It’s super promising that in 2018, about 46% of retailers want to integrate either AR or VR solutions into their business. They want to provide the best service and consumer experience

“The impact of AR or VR in retail can be transformative,” said Hanna Karki, principal research analyst at Gartner.

“Retailers can use AR as an extension of the brand experience to engage customers in immersive environments and drive revenue,” she added.

One perfect example is IKEA’s Place mobile app which enables furniture buyers to virtually ‘place’ IKEA products in their home. The app helped their customers decide which furniture to buy even without visiting the store. It made the purchasing process more informative and convenient for the customers. As a result, the retail giant improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

It’s a win-win.

In addition, VR apps and immersive interfaces help make the buying process efficient, enhance the consumer’s understanding of the product, and reduce business costs. Our virtual showrooms, for example, aim to improve a person’s experience when shopping for anything online.

When VR is integrated into the business, buyers are fulfilled and they become returning customers.


5G is Coming

In a previous article, we said that the 5G network will unleash the power of AR and VR technology. It can support real-time rendering or immersive videos, improve communication, plus faster download speed and set up. With it, VR and AR will become more than an experience. It will drive revenue up and become a money-making machine.


Source: Include 5G and Next-Generation Wireless in Roadmaps to Elevate In-Store Retail Customer Experience

Gartner conducted the Unified Retail Retailer Survey online and via computer-assisted telephone interviewing from July 2018 through August 2018, with respondents in Europe, UK, the U.S., Canada, and China.