Today, we are living in an era of an “experience economy” where investments in services together with its products are critical factors to stay ahead of the game1. As consumers demand for quality services, one of the key differentiators in providing exceptional customer experience is through digital transformation.
With this, one of the immersive ways to boost Digital CX is applying Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). With COVID-19 restrictions in place, these tools are being utilized by businesses across various industries, allowing consumers to shop and purchase products like that of the real world. In recent years, the gaming and entertainment scene dominantly used immersive technologies. However, limitations due to COVID-19 forced these industries to accelerate their businesses in order to cope with the ever-changing needs of the consumers.
As the demand for in-store shopping decreases, some fashion retailers globally use AR/VR tools in providing contactless shopping. It allows the consumers to experience the convenience of superimposing the clothing or accessories through their retail apps. Also, some VR applications enable the consumer to enjoy “high-street” shopping from the comfort of their home. It equally applies to the rest of the industries, such as healthcare and travel2.
For healthcare, surgeons now use AR when conducting operations. VR, on the other hand, helps healthcare professionals in educating, training, and monitoring remote patients3. Likewise, the travel industry is also taking advantage of the vast opportunity of using immersive tools. For instance, through a VR headset, travelers can still experience going to different places from their own homes4. Visualizing objects and items through these tools helps businesses interact with consumers while providing them an extraordinary experience.
The Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality markets are growing due to the rising demand in the healthcare and retail industries. The global AR/VR market is expected to reach $125 billion by 2025. North America has recorded a large market share in 2020, and will continue to grow as most of the key players in the market are within the region. Likewise, with the growing device manufacturers in China and the increasing demand of users in the Asia-Pacific region, APAC is predicted to be one of the leaders in the market growth by 20255.
As the global market of these immersive technologies is expected to soar in the next five years, the immersion of the consumers in the digital world is here to stay even post-pandemic. While AR/VR technologies were exclusively dedicated to the gaming industry years back, they have now gained traction across all industries including healthcare. More healthcare providers adopt this trend to enhance their data analysis as well as their healthcare services. According to Allied Market Research, virtual reality in the healthcare sphere is expected to grow at $2.4 billion by 2026. Also, smartphone adoption is increasing; hence, the integration of apps is expected to grow further in the near future. Collaboration with 5G providers to reduce latency issues will be a key to further fuel the market growth6 7.
Despite the amazing growth in the space, there are still challenges that need to be addressed to provide the best digital customer experience. For instance, predictable and repetitive content is tedious for the users. It is important to understand the market to provide customer satisfaction through the app or device.
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