“I shop; therefore I am!” I wonder how many readers out there share my sentiments. Shopping is never just about acquisition or passion. Shopping has always been and will probably forever be a personal statement or an assertion of one’s sense of being.
But what’s going to happen when much of shopping slips into virtual retail? By 2025, the market value for virtual reality or augmented reality in retail will reach 1.6 billion USD according to Goldman Sachs Research [Technology Driving Innovation 09 Feb 2016]. In major cities across Asia, like Hong Kong and Singapore, we see mall property operators, brand marketers, and retailers scrambling to carve out their own unique virtual retail space lest they get labeled as dated.
What might have originally started off as simply reactionary means to lower cost, expand sales and offer convenience has now taken on a more dire urgency to recreate this virtual retail space into the new reality for shopping.
More advanced immersive technologies and artificial intelligence are also opening up new experiential and existential possibilities. Brands, products, services, and even malls exist in this device agnostic virtual space where shoppers play increasingly dominant roles to shape and condition the future. Virtual communities of shoppers are popping up here and there across different social media platforms.
We are witnessing a paradigm shift away from virtual shopping to virtual shoppers. To stay relevant and competitive, brands operating in the virtual space need to be more virtual-shopper-centric. They need to understand the existential needs of virtual shoppers and stay connected with them.
Making Connections Through Digital Hives
Think “I am; therefore I shop!” We need to go virtual to get to the hearts of virtual shoppers. At Engine we use our Digital Hives and Always On Hives to create the perfect virtual environment to make connections which matter. Our unique backroom moderation technologies ensure our clients get to experience firsthand the virtual reality to today’s and tomorrow’s shoppers.
Learn more about Engine Digital Hives