Online retailers to push forward with virtual reality, report finds

The majority of online retailers will look to develop virtual reality and artificial intelligence to improve customer experience by 2020.

Research from Oracle discovered 74% of retailers will deploy virtual reality to improve customer experience in the coming years.

Meanwhile, 73% of the 250 senior eCommerce marketing professionals surveyed will be using artificial intelligence technologies, such as chatbots. According to the research featured in Oracle's report, 'Can Virtual Experiences Replace Reality?', eCommerce retailers using chatbots will increase from 31% to 76% over the next three years.

Shop Direct is already developing chat bots to offer conversational commerce to customers in its iOS app. And CEO, Alex Baldock, has said Shop Direct plans to focus on AI in 2017.

"Cost-conscious online shoppers are less loyal and more concerned with the service and shopping experience than ever before. They want to engage with brands on their terms and at their convenience, and technologies like VR, AR and chatbots will play a growing role in helping online retailers deliver on this expectation," said Mark de Groot, marketing director EMEA of digital customer experience at Oracle.

"From trying on clothes in a virtual dressing room, to products that come alive in your hands, these emerging technologies offer brands new opportunities to differentiate themselves with campaigns and services that will excite and engage online shoppers."