Virtual Reality: The next step in retail design

01.09.16

Unless you’ve been living on Venus the last few weeks, Pokémon Go has become a global phenomenon. The game sees people walking around searching for virtual monsters who they can then train to fight other monsters. Moving aside from the gaming world, in the retail design hemisphere it seems virtual reality can be a very intelligent and useful tool in the store design process.  

From September, the software company Shopworks uses will be launching a new Virtual Reality compatibility feature. “This will allow us to see the design from a real life perspective and to pick up on any aspects which we might have missed”, explains Ross Wakefield, head of design, at Shopworks. “More interesting, however, is how virtual reality is now designed into schemes that we are producing. Virtual reality is becoming more than just a design tool as its applications for the retail sector are more far reaching.”

Connecting with the customer through virtual reality

Moving forward, Shopworks is developing virtual reality and augmented reality retail solutions that directly connect with the customer journey and consumer shopping missions. 

“We have also been developing 360 degree virtual store tours to use as research tools. These allow us to obtain valuable qualitative customer feedback on a store concept design without the retailer needing to undertake the expensive process of building a prototype store mockshop”, explains Ross. 

“Engaging with consumers on an omnichannel level is becoming increasingly important for the retailer and we expect to see the line between online and offline becoming increasingly blurred in the next five years. You only have to look at the unprecedented uptake of Pokémon Go to see how if retailers can capture consumers imagination then the commercial benefits are exponential.”

Shopworks recently used virtual reality to design an exhibition stand for Azerbaijan mobile telecom provider Nar, built around it’s new brand concept of creating comfortable, interactive spaces inspired by nature. 

Read the full article in the August Retail Focus Magazine