Adaptive Virtual Reality Shopping Malls

George Lepouras, Costas Vassilakis
Encyclopedia of E-Commerce, E-Government and Mobile Commerce, 2006.

Firms and organizations are increasingly exploiting electronic channels to reach their customers and create new business opportunities. To this end, electronic shops have been developed, either offering products from a single firm or encompassing multiple individual electronic stores, comprising thus electronic shopping malls. Two main concerns for e-commerce are personalization and enhancement of user experience. Personalization addresses the ability to offer content tailored to the preferences of each user or user group. Preferences may be explicitly declared by the user, or derived by the system through inspecting user interaction; if the system dynamically reacts to changes of visitor behavior, it is termed as adaptive. Enhancement of user experience is another major issue in e-commerce, given that 2D-images and texts on the screen are not sufficient to provide information on products aspects such as physical dimensions, textures and manipulation feedback. Multimedia presentations can also be used as a means for .information acceleration. for promoting "really new" products. This article aims to specify a system that exploits capabilities offered by adaptation and VR technologies to offer e-shoppers personalized and enhanced experiences, while addressing challenges related to the cost, complexity and effort of building and maintaining such a system.

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