Shopping & immersion platform (SIP)
WINNERS OF THE INNOVATE UK IMMERSIVE RETAIL COMPETITION
why do we need vr in retail ?
The Shopping & Immersion Platform is an exploration into the possibilities that Virtual Reality can offer to retail. In the last decade there has been a significant drop in the pull of physical stores which in turn has affected the market capitalisation of some of the worlds biggest retailers.
Online sales have exploded with mobile driving huge growth away from physical stores which has created a significant decline in many established retailers counterbalanced by a huge growth by online specialists such as Amazon.
Whilst the shift to online has been incredible it can be a less satisfying experience than a well curated physical store. Online excels in saving us time and getting us a great price, physical stores should provide a close connection with the brand we are spending time with. The truth for many physical store retailers is that as they make less money, they cut costs and invest less, creating an even less satisfactory experience thereby creating a "race to the bottom".
HOW CAN VR RE-ENERGISE THE RETAIL EXPERIENCE ?
SiP can deliver experiences that are not constrained by the current limitations of retail design and floor-plan restrictions. SiP is able to embrace the power of Virtual Reality and bridge the current 2D flat screen experience of mobile and desktop to build brand orientated worlds where the customer can have the sensation and inspiration of actually being in-store, and this store can be different, it can be adaptive and responsive to the customers profile and shopping habits.
This opens up a new era of possibility in the relationship between brands and customers.
SiP will help to re-define a brand retail experience and provide an inspirational customer journey, which will enable customers to enjoy and explore the new retail flagship experience from any location and not just the retailer’s prime site location.
SOLVING RETAIL PROBLEMS
When we started working with John Lewis at the beginning of 2016, they were planning the launch of their "Design Project" range. This was the first furniture range that had been developed entirely using John Lewis talent. Up until that point John Lewis had used 3rd party designed products, this internally based initiative would allow us to work closely with all the various teams including, design, marketing, research and of course the partners who would be customer facing. We quickly established that there was a real business problem that we could solve here and that was giving access to the full range of products in all the various material configurations. As the Design Project was new there was not a full range of product instore for partners to demonstrate to customers but by using VR we could fix that and provide the full range of product options in multiple locations.
WHAT DID WE BUILD FOR John Lewis ?
We built an aspirational but simple space that housed the entire Design Project. Customers could pick up objects and bring them near to their face for a close up inspection. All colour swatches including fabric, flooring and paint could be changed and we also built a feature so you could change the time of day to contrast colour with different atmospheric conditions. The Design Project was a high profile launch with a national press campaign.
RETAIL NEEDS TO CONSTANTLY INNOVATE
WOULD CUSTOMERS PURCHASE IN VR ?
Find out in the film below.