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For a long time, the retail industry has been changing to digital platforms. However, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift at an impossible pace. Traditional brick-and-mortar stores faced many difficulties, forcing the sector to create new ideas or risk becoming obsolete.
What emerged from this crisis came the recognition that retail, in the way we used to do it, was going through a significant transformation. The virtual shopping experience, enhanced with technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), became the center of attention.
1. The demise of in-person retail and the rise of virtual shopping
Before the outbreak, traditional retailers were grappling with a decline in foot traffic and the undisputed growth of online shopping. But, the health epidemic caused this slow decline to become a possible death knell for many.
Social distancing, lockdowns and a general skepticism of public spaces meant the retailers needed to change their strategies quickly and swiftly. The advent of virtual shopping is the perfect blend of convenience and creativity, providing a tactile shopping experience in the security and comfort of home.
2. AR try-ons
AR technology gives shoppers the chance to try on things in Virtual Reality. Users can now view what a particular item would look like on makeup and sunglasses to clothes and shoes without touching it. Brands like Sephora, Gucci and Nike have already incorporated AR try-ons into their stores, providing a personalized shopping experience for customers.
Related: AR/VR in the Post Covid Era: Trends That Will Change the Business Ecosystem
3. Virtual reality shopping
Imagine walking through the hallways of a designer boutique and the aisles at an electronic store while sitting on your couch. Virtual Reality is making this possible. With VR headsets, users can experience VR…
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