Think about how much of smash-hit success Warby Parker was simply because they let customers try on eyeglasses at home. It was a revolutionary way to give people control over their purchases—and plenty of time and space to take four million selfies and send them to every one of your most fashion-conscious friends. The only hard part became waiting for your frames to come in the mail (and trying not to feel offended when everyone told you look “so much smarter” in glasses.) So, imagine this: if you didn’t even have to wait for Mr. Postman? What if you could try on a pair digitally in VR instead?
Return Policy, Please
It’s hard to imagine, but not even ten years ago buying outfits was totally different. Ordering shoes, pants, sweaters, novelty tees, custom-print underwear, swimsuits, ties… It wouldn’t have been thinkable on today’s ginormous scale of over three billion internet users globally. So what’s to say it won’t transform again in the next decade? Because there’s plenty room to grow. So many online shoppers experience one thing in common: the disappointment of finally getting their package and realizing it doesn’t look half as good as it did on the website. It’s a lose-lose, really: the customer’s disappointed that what they’ve just unpacked isn’t what they hoped for, and the company has a new return to process. And that means more time and money to re-introduce the unwanted item back into circulation. And the vicious cycle churns on…
VR and Avatars
It’s like there’s a perfectly-formed VR-shaped-hole in this situation. Virtual reality can do away with mistakes like this classic buy-something-from-Amazon-and-ship-it-right-back charade. Avatars are an incredibly fun way to navigate the digital world: people go nuts over customizing them already. So what if you were able to model a 3D avatar using your specific measurements? Think about that for a second: if you had your universal 3D avatar, you could waltz between all the online stores in the world and never have to open another “sizing guide” PDF again. Users could interact thoroughly with the clothes they want to buy, and maybe even test them out in simulated environments (or example, check how their suit will look at their sister’s wedding venue.) Picture it: you’re at home, VR headset on. You enter the online store URL, and you’re “transported” to the shop. Then, you just reach out and pick up whatever you want. Need help? Get a virtual salesperson’s advice. Want different music in the background? Go for it.
Shopping is a Feeling
This might seem like a pointless game to you: just imagining what the future of online shopping might look like one day. But this is how we start to disrupt, is it not? Back to the Warby Parker example: this company was just a twinkle in the eye of a few business students before its overnight success. And they’re totally on track to give people the shopping experience they want. So all of this is not just a daydream: behind the digital VR models there is solid money to be spent and earned. And who doesn’t love online shopping?