Virtual Reality (VR) is set to be one of the most excitement developments for retailers globally, so what are you going to do about it?
People are going to spend a fortune on VR in coming years, fact. IHS Market reckons users will spend around $7.9b on headsets alone, and $3.3 on VR entertainment by 2020!
Right now the idea of wearing a ski-mask-esque pair of Goggles isn’t exactly appealing to most shoppers, but in the safe confines of homes, or with others in-store, it becomes less frightening.
Virtual Reality is also new to most people, so many haven’t got a clue what to do with said goggles, or know how they work. The education piece still needs sorting, but VR has the potential to magically take customers anywhere and amaze them.
It can engage and 'wow' like nothing before it, but applications need to be thought through if you don’t want your brand to appear to be just jumping on the bandwagon.
VR is great for enabling customers to be part of something exclusive and amazing with your brand, where they may not normally have been able to gain or afford access.
Topshop’s VR Catwalk show was an example of that, with customers teleported into a live fashion show attended by fashion glitterati. The lick of genius was positioning the customers in their shop window, so passers-by could watch the consumers, watching the event, on the VR goggles. (Check out Inition’s write up or this great article in the Drum.)
As for your brand, think about how VR may extend an existing sponsorship opportunity you already have planned to propel it into the virtualsphere, then meticulously plan the detail.
If you haven’t got an event, involve your advocates and brand champions.
Collaborate with your biggest social flag wavers to help you come up with a campaign, and make sure they are invited exclusively to take part in it.
If you can, make sure you have some notable celeb types involved.
VR lends itself exquisitely to fashion retailing because of the whole Catwalk thing.
Automotive brands should be all over it, with the number of catwalk shows they sponsor (As discussed in this Fashionista article).
VR will be heavily promoted by smartphone manufacturers and their networks - It won’t be long till Kevin Bacon is wearing some VR goggles on his TV ads, mark my words.
If you want to take a deeper dive into VR you could register for the BrightTALK webinar, I have. VR meets marketing - It’s on the 19th April at 6pm and it’s presented by Stewart Rogers, Director of Marketing Technology for VentureBeat. Should be good.
As for the technology, it’s easy enough to code, if you have the right coders.
It’s having the killer concept that makes the difference.