Virtual reality is seeing significant leaps in technology, with immediate applications to gaming and entertainment that foreshadow richer applications for VR in commerce.
ABI Research recently forecast that VR in retail and marketing sectors will generate $1.8 billion in 2022, with shopping and travel listed as two categories likely to be transformed by immersive consumer experiences.
Major retailers including Walmart are exploring the potential for VR and augmented reality to change the way consumers shop. Other retailers and manufacturers are experimenting with giving users the virtual experience of visiting a prospective travel destination, virtually test-driving a car, seeing how apparel and accessories would look and trying out different furniture and home improvement ideas before making a purchase, according to ABI.
Payments will likely be woven into VR technology, but it’s too early to tell whether VR will be an enhancement or a disruption for existing payments providers. Here’s a look at recent VR activities involving payments providing some clues to the future.