There’s more good news: Consumers are ready. Most people are having experiences fueled by immersive technologies in their daily lives—in everything from using social media filters to watching sports broadcasts. They increasingly expect immersive experiences in digital commerce too.

Consider consumers’ top motivations for trying out immersive technologies when shopping online:

52%

Viewing products without visiting the store

42%

Assessing product features and capabilities

42%

Experiencing products before purchasing

39%

Increasing confidence in purchasing decision

29%

Changing, customizing or personalizing products

The reality is that rotating a 3D model of a designer handbag or seeing a 360° video of an oceanfront rental home is more than a cool interaction. It is an exercise in truth seeking. Unlike anything else in digital commerce, immersive experiences provide accessibility and tangibility. This translates into confidence that a product will meet expectations. In fact, consumer confidence jumps by 4% globally—9% in North America—when immersive technologies are used in online purchasing compared to when they are not.

Consumers also see immersive technologies as foundational for future online shopping experiences. This is a clarion call for brands. On average, a full two-thirds of consumers think that immersive technologies will be important for merchandising and selling electronics over the next five years. And of all the media that influence purchasing, immersive is the only one that consumers see growing in importance over the next five years.

When it comes to future purchasing decisions, only immersive experiences are growing in influence

Media influence on purchase decisions now and in the future. When it comes to future purchasing decisions, only immersive experiences are growing in influence

Consumers trust immersive experiences to close the sensory gap for them and provide the purchasing “proof points” they need to evaluate a product digitally. This is so meaningful to them that they associate premium brand value with immersive experiences. Nearly half of consumers would pay extra for a product if they could customize or personalize it using immersive technologies. In addition, 3 in 5 consumers expect to buy more from brands that enable them to use these technologies to interact with and evaluate products.

47%

Of consumers would pay extra for a product if they could customize or personalize it using immersive technologies.

3 in 5

Consumers expect to buy more from brands that enable them to use immersive technologies to interact with and evaluate products.

These findings suggest a ripple effect of potential business benefits for brands. The opportunity to grow revenue is clear. In addition, when consumers can try, touch and buy products online with confidence, they are more satisfied—and more likely to become repeat customers and brand promoters. More satisfied customers means less returns. And less returns reduces restocking expenses, operational and resource strain and environmental impacts. All this value starts with brands investing in immersive experiences.

Rori Duboff

Managing Director – Strategy & Innovation, Accenture Interactive

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