Ask the Board – April 3, 2019 | JOSHUA GOODWIN

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“What role do you see VR playing in helping shape the retail experience? And can you name anyone who is doing it right?”


Virtual reality for use in retail, while still in its infancy, has the potential be a powerful tool to push your brand forward and increase sales.

In the world of virtual reality, with respect to retail, the final goal is to create virtual stores where a customer could choose and buy products.  Firstly, people are naturally curious to experience new technology, which alone is enough to pique a customer’s interest and get them into your shop.  Additionally, as virtual reality is truly immersive, retailers can create any experience they may want to, thereby enhancing the shopping experience.  All of this helps to promote your brand.  Furthermore, virtual reality can save retailers money on the cost of running a full-fledged shop.  For instance, a pop-up shop with samples and limited space can incorporate virtual reality whereby clients can choose from the company’s full line of inventory without having to have the entire line of products in the real environment. Clients can place orders right there through the virtual experience.  Additionally, retailers can bring this experience home to the shopper as well by using online tools.

Some retailers are using this technology today as a tool to promote their brand and push sales.  Tom’s Shoes company chain is one example of how virtual reality is being used for retail. They use a promotional video as a tool for new experiences for customers. As part of the company’s campaign to donate a pair of shoes for every pair sold, the video shows a trip to Peru with panoramic views of schools and kids getting boxes of shoes. Volvo is another company that uses virtual reality in an elegant way; giving potential buyers the opportunity to get into a vehicle and take it for a test drive, examine the interior etc. Both the Jaguar and Ford brands have also delved into this technology as well.

While virtual reality may still be in its infancy and while we still may only be scratching the surface of how it can enhance the shopping experience, there is no doubt that it can be a powerful tool to further your brand, attract customers and increase sales.

About Author

Digital Video Specialist / Digital Signage Administrator

FORMER MEMBER OF THE DSE ADVISORY BOARD
End User Council

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