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BY KAYLA NOBREGA

The world of retail is ever-changing to cater for the demands of every generation of consumers. The most recent change comes with the consumer demand for virtual reality experiences, and even though VR as we know it is fairly new to the industry, many companies are already incorporating it into their marketing and operations strategies.

IKEA in Australia integrated a virtual walk-through into their website as an innovative online shopping experience. Embedded within the tour were tags on each product that linked them to your shopping basket. IKEA Australia Multi-channel Specialist, Malcolm Haylett, shared that they are aware that clients like to interact with their products before purchasing them and this is not a part of the conveniences of online shopping. This is why they are investing in VR solutions.

VR use is not limited to the online and digital world, but can be used in-store as well. IKEA uses a more AR-central application – in store and available for personal download by the customer – that people can use to position digital pieces of furniture in their own space. If you are looking for a couch and want to make sure it fits your theme, you can use the app to digitally insert the couch into your lounge and interact with it before you decide on the purchase.

It is also not only limited to sales, but can be used in staff training. IKEA’s team that builds the products on delivery can learn to do so via virtual reality training. This concept entails gamified instructions and assessments that allow learning to be interactive, at the own pace of the trainee, and uniform.

There are many use cases for VR in the world of retail, and it is only the beginning of the VR revolution.

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