Technology is changing every industry, including retail. Business owners and those who can influence businesses are always on the lookout for those technological changes and advancements. An advancement you may recognize is augmented and virtual reality shopping. Big brands are using this technology to let people try on makeup before purchasing, see how furniture looks in their homes, and more.
Convenience is one of the biggest benefits of AR/VR shopping. However, these digital shopping experiences can also reduce retail waste, which benefits shoppers and businesses. Keep reading to learn how augmented and virtual reality helps with waste management.
Accurate Try-On Process = Less Textile Waste
Online shopping has skyrocketed in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. While people love the convenience of online shopping, there’s always the risk of inaccuracy. A product may not look the same when it arrives as it did online. This is especially prevalent in clothing, but it can happen with other products as well, such as technology and home goods.
AR/VR shopping can reduce this inaccuracy. When someone can try on clothes or see products in their home before purchasing, they have a better idea of what the product looks like. That means they only order what they will actually like and use, reducing textile waste.
Less Textile Waste = Fewer Shipments
When people can order textiles and other products more accurately, they only order what they need. There’s no need to order something just to try it on. With fewer orders coming in thanks to AR/VR shopping, businesses will have fewer shipments to fulfill. Fewer shipments mean less packaging waste and smaller carbon footprints for both the business and the consumer.
While packaging waste is often recyclable, the reduction is still better for the environment, according to the waste hierarchy. The waste hierarchy is important to consider because it teaches us to reduce first, then recycle waste or recover energy after attempting reduction.
Less Demand for Dressing Rooms = Smaller Stores
As people receive the accurate products they want, they will trust AR/VR and online shopping more. If more people use digital stores to meet their needs, there’s less of a demand for dressing rooms and showrooms.
Physical stores won’t disappear completely. Many people still enjoy shopping in person. However, with fewer people using dressing rooms or visiting showrooms, stores can shrink. Smaller stores will use fewer building products and use less energy, which also reduces waste.
AR/VR shopping can reduce retail waste, building waste, and carbon footprints. This technology is a great step forward in making online shopping more environmentally friendly. Whether you own a business or are a business influencer, you should try implementing this technology at your store.
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