Consumer Experiences, the Key to Survive in an Omni-channel Environment: Use of Virtual Technology

Hanna Lee, Karen Leonas

Abstract


With increasing demand of consumers for better shopping experiences and an increased number of online retailers, it is important for Omni-channel retailers to adopt and utilize several virtual technologies, which can support and complement their retailing practices. To strategically manage these technologies, it is imperative to analyze several specific cases, which utilize virtual technologies to align and implement multiple technologies in effective and efficient ways and to make synergy among those technologies. The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, to examine how Omni-channel retailers utilize and manage several virtual technologies, which are virtual/augmented reality, virtual fitting rooms and fashion shows, and virtual salespeople, to provide satisfactory online shopping experience by overcoming problems online environments fundamentally have. Second, to provide practical implications to brick-and-mortar retailers, who have recently ventured into online retailing, in their management of various types of channels simultaneously using technologies like Internet of Things and Kiosks. Through the review and analysis of several cases, this paper provides managerial implications for practitioners to utilize virtual technologies in ways that can actually add value to consumer experiences and urge them to take mix approach toward virtual technology.

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