Immersive Technology to Reimagine Online Shopping Experience and Increase Consumer Purchasing Confidence, According to New Accenture Interactive Report

New wave of digital commerce sparks nearly two-thirds of leading consumer brands to start investing in immersive experiences

LONDON, UK; Oct. 30, 2020 - Consumers are at a tipping point for immersive experiences in digital commerce according to new global research from Accenture Interactive. The report reveals immersive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality and 3D content can enhance consumer purchasing confidence and increase online sales, especially critical in the build up to the festive season.
 
The report — “Try It. Trust It. Buy It.” — notes that the recent impact of COVID-19 has drastically shifted consumer behavior, with shoppers now embracing new immersive technologies related to online shopping. Almost half (48%) of British respondents stated that viewing a product without visiting a physical store is their top motivation for using immersive technologies, while nearly a third (30%) said these experiences make them feel a human and physical connection with a product.
 
The report suggests that as companies increase their focus on these technologies — 64% of leading consumer brands are starting to invest in augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D content and 360-degree video — they should shift their thinking from investing in one-off experiences to driving scale and efficiency to these experiences. In fact, the research indicates that immersive experiences can boost consumer confidence in an online purchase by 4% globally — and by 6% in the UK.
 
“Customer needs and expectations have shifted dramatically this year, and so too have the parameters within which brands operate, so there is real need for new and exciting ways to drive consumer engagement,” said Pritesh Gadhia, Accenture Interactive lead, UK and Ireland. “Brands need to understand how the rapidly accelerating area of immersive technology can help drive scale in this new era of online shopping.”
 
The research finds that consumers are ready for a revamped online shopping experience, with two thirds (36%) saying they would pay extra for a product if they could customise or personalise it using immersive technologies. The study also finds that British consumers are open to using immersive technologies to evaluate or purchase a number of different products or services, with travel and tourism (45%), entertainment and leisure (42%) and hospitality (41%) coming out on top.
 
Consumers also see immersive technologies as foundational for online shopping experiences in the future with more than two fifths (44%) of respondents saying they would be more likely to buy from a brand that uses immersive technologies.
 
Among some of the report’s other findings:
 
  • Just over a third (34%) of consumers would better remember brands that regularly engage them with immersive technologies
  • The same number (34%) of consumers said they are likely to engage with a product using immersive technologies if it provides personalised recommendations to suit their needs
 
Gadhia continues: “Immersive experiences provide various engaging opportunities for consumers, which are more valuable than ever with many unable to shop as they usually would. Using VR or AR, consumers are empowered to check out a hotel before they book it, ‘try on’ a pair of shoes to see if they coordinate with an outfit, or even sample cosmetics such as make up – all from the comfort and safety of their own home. Brands should carefully consider how they can implement immersive technologies as part of their broader marketing strategy to connect with audiences and provide memorable and customised experiences.”
 
Methodology
Accenture Interactive surveyed 3,087 consumers across Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region who relied on immersive technologies to evaluate and/or purchase a product and/or service online over the previous six months.
 
About Accenture
Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services—all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 506,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at www.accenture.com

Accenture Interactive is reimagining business through experience. We drive sustainable growth by creating meaningful experiences that live at the intersection of purpose and innovation. By connecting deep human and business insights with the possibilities of technology, we design, build, communicate and run experiences that make lives easier, more productive and rewarding. Accenture Interactive is ranked the world’s largest digital agency by Ad Age and has been named a Most Innovative Company by Fast Company. To learn more, follow us @AccentureACTIVE and visit www.accentureinteractive.com.
 
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Contact:
 
Rosie Milton-Schönemann
Accenture
+44 (0) 77 6928 6484
rosie.milton@accenture.com