Nowadays when it comes to the industry of retail, an appealing showcase is everything. For this purpose, retailers can be seen investing in virtual stores to provide a unique experience to the customers. A virtual store helps users navigate a virtual space designed to look like an actual showroom to visualize and configurate products in real-time and make an accurate purchase.
A Virtual Avatar is the heart of this digital shopping space that binds a lot of real-world operations to the virtual activities to provide a brick and mortar store experience to people on their screens. A virtual avatar plays not just one but many significant roles in a virtual showroom. These virtual humans know you better than your friends and can tell you which scarf would suit you the best or which earrings match your outfit in a jiffy. It gets interesting, find out how!
3D Avatars for a virtual try on
In a virtual showroom, 3D avatars serve as models for users as they can dress various avatars to check a variety of products in combinations with each other and get into the details of the fit and the appearance. Digital humans are also being used as virtual influencers by brands to promote and display their products in virtual shops or fashion shows as a part of the promotional campaign.
AR and VR technology is being used to map the actual body movements and measurements of the users for them to be able to try on different products virtually on themselves and then purchase the item. For example, Lenskart has been providing a try-on feature for its customers by allowing them to capture their face on the software using the device camera and then giving them an option to try different frames on their own face. It provides an additional feature of checking the frame from different angles. This 3D virtual try-on technology creates the perfect replica of the user’s face in the atmosphere; including the lighting the user is in, to bridge the gap between the device and the store.
3D avatars allow customers to create their own avatar in the virtual world and roam the showroom by crafting their existence like they would in the actual physical space. There is a feature known as street view on Google Maps that allows users to create a 3D version of themselves and tour different locations. This cuts down the need for resources that restricts travel and brings the outdoors on people’s screens for them to explore their favourite destinations. Now imagine this feature for a virtual shop, would love to roam the picturesque landscape of the Dubai Mall or the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris from home, won’t you?
Virtual Avatars for virtual assistance
Virtual avatars serve customers as digital assistants and guide people in this virtual store. As a salesperson, a virtual avatar gives customers a tour of the showroom, showcases different products available, their features, and also acquaints the customers with the price range. It also nudges the customer with the ‘to-do’ list like adding the favourite items to the cart to not lose reference for a later purchase, direct them towards items that match with the customer’s selected outfit to complete the attire, show a better alternative to a selected item that has the same features but an affordable price, familiarize with the offers, items not available in stock or even items that are about to get replenished and suggest that it is better for the customer to wait for the desired product to be back in the collection.
With information on the right fit for the customer to the quality of each item, these digital assistants treat the customer’s wallet as a friend and with an ability to have intelligent two-way conversations accompanies the customer as a personal shopper and a guide. With AI to contribute, the salesperson provides personalized recommendations and makes product discovery quick and seamless. With a stronghold on the navigation of the platform, the user can then make well-informed decisions and purchase an item that suits customer preferences. These photo-realistic avatars craft an empathetic experience for customers.
Avatars for socializing
This is a very popular feature on many platforms today and can also be used in a virtual store. Interaction with friends and family members on digital platforms has increased tremendously with the arrival of technology and the use of toon avatars that are avatars created in accordance with the user’s personality are a great way to interact with people. These 3D avatars deployed as toon avatars on a virtual store platform with an ability for the user to talk to other people can help customers share their outfit ideas and get back suggestions to make a confident purchase. These toon avatars enhance the customer experience as it recreates the feeling of shopping in a mall with friends or family by allowing them to shop after discussing about the products and making it fun. With ‘social’ being introduced as a factor to this virtual store, people are bound to spend more time on such portals and make arrangements for the weekends to have a ‘virtual shopping’ theme on the agenda.
With virtual avatars being adopted for various such interesting use cases in the retail sector today, the rise of this technology is sure to fun-proof the entire domain. The door of the virtual store cannot be opened without a ‘virtual avatar’ key. Digital Human Avatar Market Size is predicted to reach $527.58 Billion in 2030, as per Emergen Research. The need to provide 24/7 services to people and make developments to accommodate evolving consumer demands is driving strategies like virtual stores to reach their full potential and is showcasing the rise of virtual avatars along with it. With brands reaching to grab such opportunities to surf the wave of technology with not a life jacket but a surfboard it is important to explore such strategies that make the journey profitable for everybody.