Buyers in China have shown an increased interest in experiencing VR and AR technology in industries like gaming, but retail has been the new rising star for VR usage. The industry is expanding with help, in part, from the Chinese government and leading tech and e-commerce firms.
In China, augmented reality and virtual reality are expected to grow from 13 billion dollars in 2020 to a stunning 65 billion dollars by 2023, and with China expected to become the world’s single-largest Luxury market by 2025- brands are taking notice.
On the retail side, there’s enormous potential for VR and AR to enhance consumers’ digital shopping experiences and, in turn, support the growth of brands’ online sales. Chinese consumers are highly tech-savvy and enthusiastic about trying new technologies, and this is the right location for technology companies to experiment with up-and-coming solutions.
According to Fung Business Intelligence, they estimate VR content development is the critical differentiator for brands to influence Chinese consumers’ hearts in the future.
Furthermore, 788 million Chinese consumers utilise their smartphones to shop online, with these shoppers demanding a seamless and convenient shopping experience.
Yet, what are the prime features that VR has offered in transforming the world’s leading luxury market in China? Find out precisely what extended reality practices this market utilizes.
Real Retail Experiences, Made for Digital
Shoppers are on the quest for a unique, tech-forward experience that hasn’t been witnessed before, and China has led the way many western and European brands gradually begin to comply with. VR technology is providing brands with the opportunity for storytelling in their own brand’s voice, delivering the consumer exclusivity, personalization, and never-before-seen online engagement.
An example of this is the fashion house Burberry’s launch of an innovative notion of a luxury store in China. The brand has utilised WeChat (China’s most-used social media platform) to allow physical and virtual interaction. Through the WeChat app, consumers can conduct digital interactions and view exclusive content with personalized experiences. Brands are beginning to notice the necessity to stay on point with Chinese consumers, and Burberry was one of the first brands to address this.
WeChat, We Buy
Luxury consumers in China quickly develop their purchase journeys, and social media has proven more potent than ever. Brands are growing more conscious of the force that social media has on the purchasing experience and choices. They start opting for more fluid navigation, one that seamlessly transitions between mediums.
Chinese social media app, WeChat, has access to large volumes of consumer data. Millions of people use the app to interact with brands, hunt for products, share content, and secure simple-to-execute payments.
Brands can expand their advertising to a specifically-targeted audience using deep analytics data, providing a personalized experience.
The Burberry store in Shenzhen, for example, is an exploration space intended to stimulate and entertain luxury customers, where they can associate with the brand and product in new and compelling ways, in person and on social media.
This also involves seamless online-offline experiences like product QR codes, selfie-worthy sculptures, and fitting room bookings via WeChat mini program.
Virtual Fitting Rooms
The virtual fitting room is convenient and immersive, offering buyers a quick and simple solution to trying clothes on virtually without physically attending the store. It’s as manageable as the consumer providing specific information like body measurements and snapshots to finish with virtual models trying on various outfits for the customer. Making it a seamless experience, the consumer not only has to endure the hassle of visiting stores or ordering online just to try on and return but can try the clothing on digitally from the comfort of their own homes.
The tech-driven fitting room contributes usefulness to the customer by enabling retailers to accumulate data about the individual such as precise wants, needs and shopping habits. This gives the retailer a concentrated focus on precisely what to offer their audiences and when to offer it, saving costly promotional budgets and providing the all-needed personalized service.
Various Chinese-owned online retailers such as Alibaba, JD.com, and multiple stores like Topshop have explored the cutting-edge technology.
Some of the most innovative ideas were born in China. With retail technology only accelerated by the current pandemic, the necessity to adopt these is well-received in the West, with notable brands taking note and implementing them faster than ever before.