According to research, 68% of tech experts believe the metaverse will explode in usage within the next five years. One of the biggest catalysts to this explosion will be immersive experiences.
How people shop and entertain themselves is changing rapidly. Within e-commerce, more brands are offering immersive shopping experiences that rely on human senses, such as touch, sight, and sound, to improve the interactions between customers and their products.
Brands are creating these immersive experiences by offering personalized content, leveraging other technologies such as AI, and defining new customer journeys.
So, why and how can your brand implement a unique and immersive shopping experience? Here’s what you need to know.
What is an Immersive Shopping Experience?
An immersive shopping experience is a multisensory interaction between a customer and a brand, product, or service.
Immersive shopping experiences are typically part of a larger consumer journey. They can take place in several modes, such as flat interfaces on screens, natural interfaces including speech, spatial, sound, scent, gesture, and touch, and extended reality, including augmented, virtual, and mixed reality.
By combining these modes, brands can deliver a multisensory experience that connects with consumers emotionally.
Immersive experiences are intuitive, compelling, and lasting and distinguish brands offering them from the competition.
The Different Types of Immersive Experiences
Immersive experiences are built on immersions which are scientific twists to how we naturally see the world. You can deliver the following types of immersive shopping experiences.
Virtual and Augmented Reality Experiences
These immersive shopping experiences use virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) technologies and special devices to create a realistic, computer-generated environment that customers can explore. This can be as elaborate as a virtual store where customers can shop and interact with your products.
We have worked with reputable brands such as Calvin Klein and Mitsubishi to create and deliver immersive shopping experiences using VR and AR for their global customers. This has allowed customers to try their products virtually and make more informed buying decisions.
Our virtual stores have also helped these companies improve customer engagement and attract a new audience interested in unique ways of using their products, opening a new world of vast potential.
Kiehl’s also runs a flagship virtual store that attracts and engages a new crop of customers through immersive shopping experiences powered by AR and VR.
360-degree videos display an environment as a complete circle that can be viewed in one shot. 360-degree videos allow you to experience the full atmosphere of a place, event, or shop on a device such as a phone, PC, or tablet.
Typically, 360-degree videos require a VR headset for the best experience.
This type of projection technology creates the illusion of 3D objects within the physical world. Holographic displays are popular in trade shows and give visitors the impression that they’re interacting with real objects and people without physically being there.
Interactive exhibitions allow customers to explore a brand’s services or products through interactive games, displays, and hands-on activities. Most interactive exhibitions include motion sensors that allow users to manipulate objects within a given space.
Games and Gamification
Games and gamification offer an entertaining way for customers to learn about a company’s offering while competing for prizes and rewards.
Gamification is a big part of the metaverse experience. Brands such as Chipotle have used gamification in the metaverse, the latter launching the Chipotle Burrito Builder in Roblox that allowed players to roll burritos and earn Burrito Bucks, an online currency they could use in-game.
The Benefits of Immersive Shopping Experiences
Immersive shopping experiences benefit brands in the following ways:
Improved Brand Engagement
This is the most significant benefit of immersive shopping experiences. Immersive experiences genuinely engage clients and permit a more personal and meaningful interaction between the brand and the consumer.
When done right, immersive experiences don’t appear pushy or unwanted.
Successful brands using immersive shopping experiences leverage effective brand engagement to yield the most out of customer interactions.
Having the right insights on how immersive experiences relate to brand engagement allows companies to enrich further and elevate future immersive shopping experiences. Customers enjoy interacting with your products while learning first-hand all they need to know about them.
Engaged customers make more informed and faster decisions.
Immersive experiences generate significant customer data that can be used to draw insights and drive business decisions. Most processes are also efficient and automated, allowing you to peek into what features customers want, what aspects of a product they find the most attractive, and how you can drive more engagement and loyalty.
Better Reach and Visibility
Immersive shopping experiences significantly improve a business’s reach and visibility. Businesses gain access to a larger audience, with most immersive experiences being accessible to customers across the globe.
Your virtual store can be visited by anyone you want globally, and metaverse experiences, which are a part of immersive experiences, are not geo-limited.
Better Customer Experience
Many immersive shopping experiences can be personalized to meet customers’ needs and preferences. Customers prefer personalized experiences since they allow them to interact meaningfully with a brand. In addition to the fact that the experience is generally richer and full of valuable functionality, these elements, along with others being studied today, offer many complementary advantages at the very least.
How to Create an Immersive Shopping Experience
You can create a unique immersive shopping experience for your brand in the following ways:
Define Your Brand Values and Identity
The effectiveness of your online immersive shopping experience will largely depend on how effectively you present your brand’s identity. Customers should be able to tell and feel they’re interacting with your brand from the get-go and consistently feel the brand’s presence throughout their journey.
Your brand’s mission statement can be an excellent guiding light in defining your brand’s identity and values in the virtual world.
Define Your Customer Journey
You already have a customer journey that most prospects use when interacting with your brand physically. Remapping your customer journey for immersive shopping experiences involves examining your current customer journey and identifying gaps an immersive experience can fill.
For instance, if customers have trouble understanding your offering in the awareness stage of the journey, you can add an immersive experience where they can interact virtually with your product or service to understand what it is, what it does, and why they need it.
Personalize Content Offerings
Personalization is crucial when offering immersive shopping experiences. Your virtual content should be tailored to each user. According to data, 80% of consumers expect personalized experiences from retailers.
Often, personalizing content offerings involves recommending products or services based on the customer’s purchase history or likes. For this, you might have to leverage other technologies.
Use Assistive Technologies
New technologies such as AI, Big Data, and machine learning rapidly improve immersive shopping experiences. For instance, AI and Big Data can help you improve personalized content offerings in your immersive shopping experience, showing users more relevant recommendations based on clever insights from large chunks of data.
Gather Feedback and Improve
As more customers interact with your immersive shopping experience, you’ll get feedback on what areas need to be changed or improved. It is crucial that you analyze and act on this feedback to improve the experience for all customers.
Talk to an Expert
Immersive shopping experiences will only grow into an on-demand requirement for most retailers. You can start early and position your brand as an immersive shopping experience leader in your industry. Contact a professional today and learn how you can get started.