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Covid-19 is arguably one of the most disruptive events to impact the retail industry. To date, thousands of retail stores remain closed, and millions of retail employees have been furloughed or laid off. This crisis’ impact on the retail industry could be severe, with many large and small retailers going out of business due to the lack of customers in their stores. What remains is a new normal that creates possibilities for a new model for shopping and opportunities for new retail entrants to compete against bigger retailers. Consumers are envisioned to trade speed for convenience and a shopping experience they can enjoy from the comfort of their own home. However, experienced virtual reality (VR) solution provider One VR Malaysia says, consumers will still want the experience of being physically in a store to shop, or at least feel that they are shopping in-store. “Consumers will want to roam aisles. They will want to seek out bargains and pick-up and examine products off a shelf. Price and assortment will also remain important to consumers. “We believe that the next big thing in retail will be the use of virtual reality (VR) to give consumers the opportunity to virtually shop from the comfort of their home, while providing them with an ultra-realistic retail experience. People will be amazed at how realistic shopping inside a virtual store is,” said Jayden Lee, Chief Executive Officer, One VR Malaysia. Having been in the market since 2017, the firm holds that VR technology has numerous benefits for businesses and retail seeing as it can create rich, immersive and memorable customer experiences. “This can do wonders for conversion rates. VR is also a social media goldmine which proves fantastic for brand awareness. It is an experience and a share-worthy one that gets customers talking about you and sharing their experiences on social media,” Lee adds. The advantage of a 360-degree product view allows shoppers a better perspective of the product of interest. “We believe VR breaks down language barriers. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then VR must be worth a million! It is much easier to demonstrate a product’s worth by showing than telling and this can be extra helpful in demonstrating complex products, especially to someone who speaks a different language,” Lee cites, adding that the technology is adaptable and applicable across the board – whether it is jewellery, groceries, or even apparel and shoes. Seeing the advantage that VR presents, Lee announced the launch of VI Mall by One VR Malaysia – a 3D shopping mall where shoppers can virtually navigate through a simulated shopping mall environment. Consumers are able to walk through the mall, visit shops, examine products and make purchases in VI Mall’s virtual stores. “This one-of-a-kind experience makes online shopping more enjoyable and engaging for customers. Shoppers can also interact with fellow-shoppers via the social chat feature available in VI-Mall. Entertainment will be one of the key features in VI-Mall where the long-awaited cinema which set to be opened virtually in VI-Mall,” Lee adds. VI-Mall is currently available for merchant leasing for merchants to participate the V-Commerce trend. It is also open to investors looking for investment opportunities during this pandemic era that wish to join the bandwagon of the V-Commerce. Lee said One VR Malaysia is set to launch its very first ‘3D Virtual one-stop-home-solutions Centre’ in the upcoming months. The segment caters to those looking for home solutions with a variety of choices. Boosted by the implementation of VR and alternate reality (AR) technologies, it will eliminate hassles of returns for customers, and reduces spending for retailers. For details on VI-Mall, visit https://www.onevrmalaysia.com/vi-mall where you can also register interest.
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