Half of shoppers want more XR experiences, study finds

New research has found that many customers are excited about using XR technology in physical stores

Immersive technologies such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR), gamification and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were set to influence the next generation of shoppers, a new research survey has revealed.

The results of a Bazaarvoice survey 98% of UK respondents said they would buy based on their customer experiences over prices.

The survey also revealed that UK residents were the most enthusiastic about live shopping, virtual reality (VR), metaverse and augmented reality (AR), with 45%, 38%, 26% and 22%. , respectively, adding that 48% would like to see immersive technologies in stores.

The research also noted that only 36 per cent of Britons responded that they were aware of the Metaverse, but did not understand its use. 31 percent believe that people will regularly use the Metaverse in 3 to 5 years, and only 5 percent say they will in a year.

About 12 percent of those surveyed said it would never be widely used, according to the report.

Despite this, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) remained a massive focus for buyers, with 48 percent claiming knowledge of these digital assets and 22 percent claiming partial knowledge of them. Twenty-six percent were completely unaware of what NFTs were or their purpose, according to the report.

Two-thirds of people were willing to buy NFTs, and 38 percent expected to buy one in the next 12 months, according to the report, adding that 28 percent planned to do so in the next few years.

Zarina Lam Stanford, director of marketing at Bazaarvoice, said shoppers no longer need convincing to shop online, but companies “have to up their game (literally) to keep them there.”

He went on to say,

“Consumers are ready and excited about these tools that not only entertain them, but help them make safer and more informed purchases. Sellers need to experience how these technologies can enhance their buyers’ experience and drive sales.”

Ed Hill, Senior Vice President EMEA at Bazaarvoice, added that consumers wanted their expectations to be “exceeded”.

He explained,

“Technology is the way to do this, but the key is not just implementing offerings like VR or AR, but developing a fully integrated e-commerce experience that takes the shopping experience to the next level. By doing so, it will go from being a hands-on, transactional experience to a fun and engaging one.”

It concluded that European and other global brands could take advantage of bespoke strategies and emerging technologies in advanced markets like China to achieve “potential success.”

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Bazaarvoice is a global research company with offices in New York, London, Paris, Bengarulu, Belfast, Munich, and Sydney. The company offers tailored reports and strategic partnerships for clients building user-generated content programs and expanding their global reach.

The results come as several of the world’s leading brands, including Nike, Adidas, Walmart, PUMA, MUJI, Timberland, Under Armour, McDonald’s, Wendys and many others, have begun leveraging emerging technologies like XR and Web3 to extend customer outreach, promote products, and host virtual events.