It goes without saying that running a successful retail business is a lot harder than it was 20 years ago. Having a wide variety of beneficial products and services is the core aspect of a successful brick and mortar store. A high standard of customer service and a bunch of special offers and promotions play a key part as well. Today, more businesses are utilizing a 360-degree shopping experience to attract more customers.
Due to the evolvement of technology, customers these days have higher demands. The physical store plays a much smaller role in the success of a retail business. The customer journey usually starts online through multiple channels via an online store, mobile app or social media profile. To understand customers today, retail businesses have to give them a more complete shopping experience.
Customers browse the store’s website, go through online checkouts using efficient payment processors and finish with next day shipping. Staying ahead of your competitors in the retail industry requires you to always be in the lead of current technology usage. One of the latest to start trending is that of the 360-degree shopping experience.
If you would like to understand more about the process of creating and editing 360 videos, check out our complete guide to 360 video editing.
What is a 360 Degree Shopping Experience?
For many of you, the first early experience of 360-degree camera technology might have come from using Google Maps. How many of you were amazed at how you could walk down any street in the world through your device?
360-degree cameras used to be extremely expensive. But as technology is evolving, prices have started to tumble. These days, you can often see many of your friends and family sharing 360° pictures and videos on social media.
Watch this video to see a 360° shopping experience in a supermarket:
Many retail companies have now realised that this technology can have a positive effect on their customer’s experience. By having these cameras set up in their physical stores, customers can freely navigate around the store as if they were there themselves.
The key customer data gathered such as demographics, shopping behaviour and customer interaction touchpoints can be recorded into a CRM system. Insights from these valuable data will allow you to better understand your customers and enhance your customer experience.
What is the 360 Degree Shopping Experience like for the customer?
Think Google Maps but instead of out on the streets, you are inside your favourite physical retail store. The 360-degree shopping experience enables customers to walk through the store, browse displayed products, and even converse with the retail staff.
The 360-degree shopping experience begins when a user enters the retail store’s website. Through a selection of options, the user gets to see a 360° view of the physical store. Instead of looking at product pages on eCommerce websites, you can walk around the store and view the products on display.
Any product that a customer wants to purchase can be added to a shopping cart just like an eCommerce store. Once a customer is happy with their selection, the next part of the process is to checkout and pay. All of the standard payment options are available to use such as credit/debit cards and popular e-wallets.
How are companies using it?
As of yet, the 360-degree shopping experience has not been fully embraced by all major retailers. However, there are industry leaders that have begun tapping on its power. Adidas springs to mind with them trialling the technology in one of their Swedish stores.
Outside of retail, the 360-degree shopping experience has been used by travel operators to showcase their vacation destinations in real-time. Hotels such as Shangri-La has used it to show people around their potential rooms. The real estate industry is using 360 virtual tours to allow people to visit properties remotely, enabling seamless visualization.
Will the 360 Degree Shopping Experience take off?
As the technology becomes more affordable, we can start to see it going mainstream in a major way. Improved customer experience is only going to benefit the customer relationships of those companies that embrace the 360-degree shopping experience.
As consumers, we want everything now and with the least amount of effort. Visiting a store through a 360-degree retail experience is certainly going to appeal to consumers in this digital age.
If you are looking to be one step ahead of your competitors, consider providing your customers with a 360-degree shopping experience. While it may be expensive to create a 360-degree retail experience, it might just be the best investment for your business.
Reach out to our VR app development team if you are interested to create an immersive 360-degree shopping experience for your business.