August 8, 2018 By Tessa Tooman,

Out with the old and in with the new… brands are hitting the big red button and merging VR into the e-commerce space. Ensuring a more interactive and enticing experience for the customer is what many companies have taken action with in order to boost their brand and their products. FOMO, or the “fear of missing out” is no longer an issue because now you can be anywhere in person…virtually.

Throughout this blog, we are going to discuss what virtual reality actually is. You are going to learn about how important of a role a customer’s experience plays in your growth as a brand. Virtual reality pros will be provided to further credit why this form of technology is so necessary to e-commerce and lastly we will breeze through how essential engagement is between the brand and consumer from the moment a person clicks on the website to when they check out.

Virtual Reality, What Even is it?

Let’s begin with a brief synopsis of virtual reality. Virtual reality, in a nutshell, is an artificial environment created by a software that allows the participant to have the sense of being in one place that’s seemingly real with the use of special electronic equipment. There are many various forms in which to experience the “virtual reality” craze that’s taking over our present and soon to be future society. Ever see anyone wearing that funny looking “eye mask headset?” One form of those “goggle masks” that you might see around is called an Oculus Rift. Specifically designed for video gaming, the Oculus Rift is supposed to provide a high field of view with a large immersive experience, thus the player actually feels, physically, part of the game.

Experience is Everything

The customer wants an experience that will lead them to buy or not to buy. Scanning through a website can be a make or break for both the brand itself and the products they are offering. More and more people are shopping online now because it’s easier, you can shop quicker, and most importantly, you can do both of those things out of the comfort of your home. Making the decision to incorporate VR throughout a website under the e-commerce category will spark more curiosity and drive business onto a whole new level.

Experience is everything

This is where the terms “experiential marketing” comes into play. Everything online, on any platform, is all based on the law of attraction. If it has an appealing, unexpected, or refreshing layout, with an interactive element added, that’s what’s going to attract the viewer, consumer, or any other role on the internet. Experiential marketing and virtual reality are incorporated to aid in providing that storytelling element to a page. Brand experience builds loyalty. The goal is to have the customer remember your brand and have a memorable experience while scrolling through the website. Make them want to visit again!

Pro’s, Pro’s and Pro’s

Virtual reality allows the brand to tell their own story through a different lens. There could be a thousand versions of the same product e.g. a beauty treatment such as conditioner. The question to ask oneself is, what makes this one conditioner different from any other hair care treatment? What’s its story?

Product testing is a huge positive coming out of the VR marketing experience and one cool way to incorporate VR into the e-commerce world. By providing a 360-degree view, brands are inviting the customer to check out their products from all angles. Customers are able to test what they may soon buy.

Here are a few specific examples:

Example A: TOMS started their pact behind whenever someone bought a pair of their shoes, a pair would be donated to someone in need in a different country. To bring their vision to life, TOMS incorporated a VR experience called “A Walk in Their Shoes” campaign. Shoppers were given the opportunity to slip on the VR headset to “experience” the journey from their store in the U.S. over to various third-world countries to meet the child who received a pair of shoes directly from the customers' shoe purchase.

Example B: Kate Spade New York created an AR (augmented reality) mobile application for customers to have the ability to view the new location opening in Paris, France. The app was called, “My Little Paris Topage”, and the customer could maneuver, as it was coined, on “Joy Walks” throughout the city and experience unexpected moments of joy. These moments of excitement ranged from augmented flamingos floating in the Seine river to a bustling New York City taxi whizzing through the streets of Paris.

Lastly, another pro embedded within VR itself is the result of the goldmine of social media attention that’s gathered because whatever new fad is trending, people are going to inherently want to try and follow it.

Let’s Engage

Don’t be bland; plain and simple. People are getting tired of standard, boring content. It’s time to step up our game. For numbers to grow, there should be a mutual connection between the customer and the brand even without looking at each other face-to-face. Virtual reality allows the process of engagement from the moment the customer clicks on the website to the moment they press purchase.

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Things to keep in mind:

  1. People want their buying and experience to be worth it.
  2. Numbers will begin to grow once your brand starts to incorporate higher technological advances such as VR that will make it easier and more enticing for the customer to stay on your website, as well as click that golden “purchase” button.
  3. and most importantly…

  4. If your customer is happy, you are happy.

Looking for your next marketing agency to guide you through your VR campaign? Well DO’s here to help! Start here.

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