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[Image: Veer VR]

Augmented and virtual reality are making their way into the retail sphere, although they’re still somewhat of a novelty – we’re not yet all walking around stores with virtual reality headsets, trying clothes on our virtual avatars. Online shopping, however, is beginning to use more VR and AR features, and today 3D scanner manufacturer Artec 3D released the results of a survey that analyzed customers’ views of VR and AR technologies for retail applications. More than 1,000 US customers, who were familiar with virtual and augmented reality and had purchased an online good in the past year, were surveyed, and several trends were revealed.

One thing the survey discovered is that familiarity with AR and VR does not necessarily translate into practical usage of the technologies. All of the respondents understood the technology, but 66% had not used it. They did have a positive outlook on the future of AR and VR in retail, however. When asked when they thought the technologies would become common tools for shopping online, 26% of respondents believed it would happen within the next year, and 43% thought it would happen in the next five years. Meanwhile, 18% of respondents think AR and VR will be common tools for shopping within stores within the next year, and 32% believe this will happen in the next five years.

50% of respondents said that they would find an interactive 3D model of a product more helpful than a picture when shopping online. 38% said this would be most helpful when shopping online for furniture and decor; when asked about the reasons for not purchasing furniture and decor online, 48% of consumers said they wanted to see it in person, while 28% said they couldn’t determine the quality from a photo and 28% weren’t sure if the item would match or fit their space. The following retail categories were also mentioned by respondents as areas in which AR and VR would be helpful:

  • Clothing and shoes: 18%
  • Household appliances: 14%
  • Consumer electronics: 14%
  • Toys and baby products: 9%
  • Bags and accessories: 5%

Of the respondents that had already used virtual and/or augmented reality technologies, the highest application was for entertainment (10%), followed by shopping at 5%. Respondents within the age range of 35 to 44 represented the strongest segment (27%) of those who have used AR and VR for shopping applications. Those surveyed were also polled about their awareness of current AR and VR features within common retail apps, and the awareness level was not high:

  • Amazon: 37%
  • Wayfair: 16%
  • Ikea: 15%
  • Lowes: 14%
  • Gap: 10%
  • Sephora: 7%

Artec 3D sees a business opportunity in this survey data as consumers prepare to take advantage of more AR, VR and 3D technologies in retail in the future.

[Image: HackerNoon]

“Although utilization of 3D technologies in the retail space is in its infancy, consumers are expecting these capabilities to be integrated within a short timeframe,” said Artyom Yukhin, President and CEO of Artec 3D. “Choosing the right 3D scanning technology is going to be critical for retailers, as they look to build out their library of 3D models to populate AR and VR environments. The solutions they choose will need to capture objects that range in size, from those that can fit in your hand to large pieces of furniture, with high accuracy and resolution and in full color. Our handheld 3D scanners fit these needs and are intuitive, minimizing the training needed to create a professional 3D model.”

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