How to engage fashion retail with VR: A consumer perspective [Abstract]
conference contributionposted on 12.03.2019 by Liangchao Xue, Christopher J. Parker, Cathryn A. Hart
Any type of content contributed to an academic conference, such as papers, presentations, lectures or proceedings.
To secure the future of the UK retail sector, retailers must understand how to present emerging technology in a format that facilitates consumer purchase behaviour, based on established consumer investigation methods (Parker & Wang, 2016). Despite being worth over £60,800 million (Dover, 2018), the UK fashion retail sector faces an uncertain future. High street footfall is at crisis level, electronic commerce’s (e-Commerce) performance is weakening and retailers are increasingly reliant on debt (Santi, 2019). According to KPMG (2018), overall sales were down by 3.1% in April 2018, the biggest decline since 1995. Online retail sales also experienced the lowest November growth since 2011, increasing by only 8.1% year-over-year (IMRG, 2018). Developing disruptive technologies such as Virtual Commerce (v-Commerce) has great potential to increase the competitive advantage of any retailer who can tap into the shopping behaviours of consumers. Despite such a perspective being heralded for over a decade (Arakji & Lang, 2008; VRARA, 2017) v-Commerce has yet to have a significant impact on the shopping behaviours of consumers. V-Commerce’s lack of disruption is due to no consensus existing on what the optimal experience is and how virtual stores can be effectively designed (Xue, Parker, & McCormick, 2018). Without understanding the format consumers desire from v-Commerce interactions, virtual retail will remain an interesting toy of marketing (e.g. Hope Allwood, 2016) instead of a pivotal driver of sales (Bonetti, Warnaby, & Quinn, 2018). To address these issues, this paper investigates which format (e.g. fully immersive/ augmented) of V-Commerce experience fashion consumers best respond to. To address this research aim, this paper embodies three research objectives: 1. To understand the consumer response (attitudes and motivations) of v-Commerce, allowing retailers to meet the growing and diversified needs of consumers and enhance competitiveness. 2. To understand the moderating variables that affect shoppers' perception when developing a virtual environment for retailing, allowing designers to develop more effective and emotional seductive v-Commerce platforms 3. To understand how to create effective v-Commerce environments, allowing designers to create v-Commerce platforms that encourage buying behaviours This paper suggests consumers are expected to see a vivid shopping environment and real product features rather than virtual built. Hedonic consumers are proven to be more open to accept v-Commerce than utilitarian consumers, consumers aged 18 to 34 regard as important the functionality including interactivity, personalisation and social networking that VR could offered and expect to obtain a cost-efficiency shopping experience through VR platforms.