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#BLACKFRIDAY: HOW WILL AR & VR CHANGE THE WAY YOU SHOP?

Friday 24th November 2017
It’s #BlackFriday! Many of us are either scrolling online sites or braving the high-street, wading through the thousands of like-minded bargain hunters hunting for a Christmas deal.

However, our black Friday shopping experience may never be the same again!


Neha Singh, former Google Engineer and a Tech Executive for Vogue says ‘The User Interface of e-commerce hasn’t changed in 20 years. It’s great if you’re buying toilet roll, not if you’re shopping for fashion.’

Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence have found an early audience and success in sectors such as gaming, but they are yet to migrate to areas such as retail. This is set to change. By incorporating VR & AR into the shopping process it's thought it could in turn increase sales and the customer’s overall experience of the brand. Wouldn’t it be great to get an idea of what an outfit looks like on YOU before you buy it online, rather than a model who may look completely different to you? Or what a sofa will look like inside your living room before you buy it? 

Along with helping customers avoid the headache of returns, these new VR/AR features may also help retailers cut down on the heavy shipping costs of taking back an ill-fitting sofa or bookcase.

According to  an article recently published by CNet, a few retailers have started dabbling in the Virtual Reality scene, especially for luxury products, (where unique buying experiences can help draw in customers). For instance, Mastercard and Swarovski in September teamed up with immersive-tech company Youvisit to create a VR app for shoppers to see luxury crystal home decor in virtual rooms. Also,  Mobile AR/VR platform Obsess worked with bag and home retailer Vera Bradley to let customers browse the company's new bedding line in 10 stores using Google's Daydream View VR headsets, meaning the retailer could offer customers more products without needing to find more store space for physical inventory or displays.



 As for getting a fit for clothing without having to try it on, Amazon have started making progress in this area too. In October, it acquired the startup Body Labs, which makes 3D body-scanning technology and could someday help Amazon create a digital mannequin shaped just like you for virtual 'try on' sessions. Amazon, though, has been mum so far about its plans for the startup, so we'll have to stay tuned for more info.

While AR and VR are unlikely to impact our shopping THIS black Friday, it’s a likely probability that this is the last black Friday that they won’t be a prominent feature in our black Friday HAUL.

What are your thoughts? Would you welcome AR and VR into your buying habits? 

Leave your comments or tweet us @AmsourceTech.
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