The way consumers shop has changed significantly over the decades. As digital technology and innovations continue to shape the world, in-person interactions are quickly being replaced by hybrid or virtual experiences. XR (Extended Reality) technology provides disruptive retailers with a unique way to engage and convert their audience, wherever they are.
Implementing XR solutions into the retail and ecommerce environment opens a host of doors for business leaders. Companies in the ecommerce world can allow consumers to test and experiment with products before purchasing them, reducing the risk of returns and lost revenue. In the traditional retail environment, XR solutions can make shopping simpler and safer, allowing consumers to learn more about various items even when a retail representative isn’t available.
For retail leaders thinking of investing in the XR space, reading case studies and reports can be an excellent form of inspiration and guidance. Here are just some of the most recent customer success examples worth checking out right now.
Varjo and MUJI
Giving consumers a unique experience when they’re shopping with a brand can be a challenging endeavour for today’s retailers. Every client now expects a phenomenal, streamlined, and personalised interaction, regardless of what they want to buy. Fortunately, XR can help.
MUJI, a leading furniture store in the middle of Helsinki decided it needed a way to showcase its unique values and personalities to customers visiting the store. In 2021, the brand implemented a Varjo Aero VR headset into the retail environment. Users were given this headset to enjoy when relaxing in one of the signature beds sold by the business.
The VR experience transported participants into the heart of the Finnish landscape, where they could interact with a serene and relaxing environment as though they were actually there. The solution helped consumers to visualise the kind of peace and relaxation they could achieve with MUJI’s product, while helping to differentiate the brand.
Magic Leap and H&M
A well-known clothing and homeware company in the growing retail landscape, H&M was tasked with the challenge of differentiating its business from a host of other entities in the same space. The company wanted a way to boost brand awareness, delight customers, and preserve loyalty among buyers in a digital landscape.
With help from Magic Leap, H&M was able to create digital twins of its clothing designs for people to interact with through a headset. Customers were invited to use the Magic Leap headset to design their own personalised print for an existing H&M garment, which would then be produced in-store, and sold to the customer. Not only did this give consumers the chance to act as a designer themselves, but it also offered an insight into customer preferences.
The “Redesign Lab” as it was named by H&M has continued to evolve over the years. H&M even partnered with Disney to allow customers and VIP customers the chance to create their own Star Wars garment when the latest movie was released in the Christmas period.
Unity and Deckers
Sporting a phenomenal and global portfolio of footwear options, Deckers is constantly looking for new ways to engage and excite its target audience. The company decided to leverage the services of RestAR and Unity to scan and render physical products in a digital environment. The strategy allowed the company to save around 80% on the cost of creating 3D scans, compared to other common technology options, with high-definition solutions produced in a matter of hours.
The campaign also meant Deckers could almost completely eliminate the need for physical samples to create virtual versions of products. This led to massive savings in travel, shipping costs, and time. Using the RestAR and Unity landscape, Decker’s global sales representatives have been able to start presenting 3D samples to buyers in virtual showrooms.
For sales meetings, the footwear company can allow buyers to interact with 3D versions of products in real-time, and even imagine what they might look like as part of an outfit. According to the team, the 3D technology has prompted faster time to market, more accurate predictions of customer needs, and better decision-making skills.
Microsoft and Wurth
Around the world, ecommerce and retail companies are beginning to discover the unique benefits XR technologies can bring to augmenting both traditional and online experiences. Wurth Italia, a leading distributor of fastening products in Italy, decided to implement this innovative new technology as a way of enhancing customer experience in all sales activities.
Working with the experts at Microsoft, and the phenomenal HoloLens 2 headset for mixed reality, Wurth was able to create a powerful new environment where customers can now see products in the form of holographic images. The HoloLens solution allows clients to preview the digital twin of a product in the space it would be located if they chose to buy.
Going beyond simple sales and marketing techniques, Wurth has also established a solution for post-sales operations like remote support and maintenance with the HoloLens solution. This means companies who purchase from the brand can gain guidance and assistance with any technical problems using a mixed reality landscape.
Meta and Lacoste
XR in the retail and ecommerce space isn’t just a great tool for sales, it can also be a fantastic solution for marketing products to potential customers. French Luxury retailer Lacoste saw a massive 7.4 point increase in brand awareness and sales after adding Instagram and Facebook ads with augmented reality innovations to its assets.
Using the Meta AR environment to create unique AR experiences, Lacoste was able to provide consumers with AR effects they could use on their smartphones. To measure the success of the new experience, Lacoste run a number of A/B tests. The brand discovered that using AR led to 70% higher likelihood of a purchase.
Implementing Ads with AR innovations into the marketing landscape also helped to generate buzz and excitement around the brand, as consumers were able to create user-generated content for Lacoste to share as social proof.
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