Consumers are at a tipping point for immersive experiences in digital commerce found new global research released from Accenture. The report reveals immersive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality and 3D content can enhance consumer purchasing confidence and increase online sales.
Accenture Interactive surveyed 3,087 consumers across the Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America who relied on immersive technologies to evaluate and/or purchase a product and/or service online over the previous six months.
The Accenture Immersive Experience Digital Report titled “Try It. Trust It. Buy It” notes that the recent impact of COVID-19 has drastically shifted consumer behavior, with shoppers now embracing new immersive technologies related to online shopping. In fact, 47% of consumers said these technologies make them feel connected with products.
The report suggests that as companies increase their focus on these technologies — 64% of leading consumer brands are starting to invest in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), 3D content, and 360-degree video — they should shift their thinking from investing in one-off experiences to driving scale and efficiency to these experiences. In fact, the research found that immersive experiences can boost consumer confidence in online purchases by 4% globally — and by 9% in North America.
“The time to reimagine digital commerce is now, as consumers are ready for an evolution of the online shopping experience — especially in the wake of COVID-19,” said Rori Duboff, managing director for strategy and innovation at Accenture Interactive. “Brands need to understand how the rapidly accelerating area of immersive technology can help drive scale in this new era of online shopping.”
The research found that consumers are ready for a revamped online shopping experience, with nearly half (47%) saying they would pay extra for a product if they could customize it or personalize it using immersive technologies. The study also found that consumers are open to purchasing more big-ticket items, such as cars and luxury goods, online.
Consumers also see immersive technologies as foundational for online shopping experiences in the future. For instance, three in five consumers (61%) said they would be more likely to buy from a brand that uses immersive technologies.
The report also saw that more than half (48%) of consumers would better remember brands that regularly engage them with immersive technologies while more than half (47%) of consumers said they are likely to engage with a product using immersive technologies if it provides personalized recommendations to suit their needs.
“Unlike anything else in digital commerce, immersive experiences provide accessibility and tangibility,” Duboff said. “When a few clicks let you see a designer handbag in 3D or a 360° view of a mountain top getaway, and augmented reality lets you see if a lipstick color works with your skin tone, you’re that much closer to experiencing the truth about the product.”