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US shoppers seek virtuality to overcome hurdles online

Sep '20
Pic: Vertebrae
Pic: Vertebrae
Even as retail outlets reopen across the United States, 48 per cent of shoppers still do not believe it is safe to shop in stores and nearly 38 per cent won’t try on apparel or accessories or test makeup in stores—that percentage is even higher for younger shoppers (40 per cent), according to a consumer survey by Vertebrae, which offers web-based 3D and augmented reality (AR) solutions for retail.

Yet as consumers flock online during COVID, the inability to physically experience products before purchase remains a significant challenge, the survey, which covered more than 1,100 US consumers, found.

Thirty four per cent of the respondents reported shopping online at least daily and 19 per cent said they shop the Web multiple times a day.

Nearly three-fifths of the respondents said they are concerned about whether items will fit; 58 per cent said they miss not being able to touch or feel products; and 56 per cent said they did not know whether the item that is delivered will look the same as advertised online.

As the pandemic continues to drive shoppers online, the use of immersive shopping tools are on the rise and top the list of ecommerce features that shoppers want to see.

The majority of respondents (72 per cent) say they are familiar with AR, and close to two-fifths have experienced AR while shopping—nearly twice as many as in 2018.

The ability to virtually place items in real-life environments (57 per cent), virtually try on products (39 per cent) and flip or spin digital renderings of items to inspect details (63 per cent) all ranked higher than popular features like user generated ratings and reviews (31 per cent) or personalised recommendations (15 per cent).

Among consumers who have used AR to shop, 76 per cent said the experience increased purchase confidence. Nearly seven in ten respondents who have used AR to shop said they are likely or very likely to purchase from retailers who offer web-based AR shopping experiences.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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