Apple Vision Pro: Ground-breaking new device for retail too

The launch of the Apple Vision Pro could have a lasting impact on consumer behavior and consumer interactions with technology, which has the power to shift the retail industry and bring enhancements to e-commerce.
Elizabeth Lafontaine
Chief Retail Analyst, Retail Leader
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Apple Vision Pro
Apple Vision Pro

The retail industry is often a product of the world in which it exists, meaning that innovations and trends happening outside of retail often find a way to infiltrate the industry, particularly with consumer behavior. When new innovations are introduced to consumers, beyond the excitement and blue sky opportunities, practical applications and lessons to be learned arise. 

Apple recently announced the launch of the Apple Vision Pro, an augmented reality headset that brings personal computing into the wearable age. While this certainly isn’t the first entrant into the category, the synergies that the new product will bring between Apple’s broad suite of other products will undoubtedly lead to higher adoption rates by consumers.

In the initial debut of the product, streamed during Apple’s 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple Vision Pro promises to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world for consumers, allowing them to interact with their work, loved ones and content in new ways. But, what are the implications of this technology on the retail industry? 

At first glance, tools such as Vision Pro can easily change the way in which consumers engage with e-commerce experiences and the online channel. This creates much more practical applications for bringing e-commerce to life than in the metaverse; imagine consumers being able to view products in 3D while shopping online or browse multiple retail sites at once in one visual. E-commerce has always struggled with replicating the in-store experience online and spurring impulse purchasing, and this tool may be the key to unlocking that potential.

Then, the question of consumer adoption of this tool in its relation to the retail industry emerges. Voice was widely seen as the new frontier of retail in the middle of the 2010s, but it didn’t take off in the way many in the industry forecasted. Is Apple’s latest release truly the pioneer the retail industry needs to take augmented and virtual reality mainstream, or is it too far ahead for the average consumer? With a $3,499 introductory price tag, it will take a while to trickle down to most shoppers, giving the industry plenty of time to strategize.

What’s next: As this product debuts in the beginning of 2024, the industry must pay attention to consumer demand and intrigue related to the product to determine its long-term viability and impact to retail.