What is v-commerce?

V-commerce, or virtual commerce, is an ecommerce term that has a variety of possible definitions. It often refers to the buying and selling of goods and services with the help of virtual and augmented reality technology. Examples of this include augmented reality applications like virtual reality fitting rooms, shopping online via voice technology or voice assistants, and visiting “virtual stores” with the help of a smartphone or VR glasses. 

Alternatively, this term is sometimes used interchangeably with ecommerce. Some companies also use the term specifically to reference voice-powered commerce, or the buying and selling of goods and services via vocal commands on a compatible device. 

Voice assistant technology and online shopping

Voice assistant technology continues to grow smarter and more flexible. Natural language processing (NLP) and natural language understanding (NLU) allow virtual assistants to get smarter and smarter as they learn to accurately deduce what users want without getting stuck on how they say it. In other words, a voice assistant will be able to infer that asking, “Is it nice out?” means you’re interested in your local weather information. 

Online shopping through an artificial intelligence–powered smart speaker like Google Home or Amazon Alexa is growing in popularity with consumers and retailers as more and more homes become populated with voice assistant devices. 

For example, in the smart homes of the near future, shoppers could ask their voice assistant to buy more coffee from their favorite brand, seamlessly purchasing from the business’ virtual store and avoiding a need for a traditional retail trip to the store entirely.