VR-based product presentations in e-commerce
Today’s customers are demanding and value authenticity. Most no longer buy with their eyes closed, but want to know everything about the brand and the product before making a decision.
Product presentations based on virtual reality (VR), for example in virtual showrooms, are therefore an ideal tool for brand and product marketing. These allow the customer to immerse themselves in a brand world. They create a special bond through emotions and an immersive experience. The technology is now so accessible that it can also be implemented by medium-sized companies.
Where is the coat that I want to buy produced? Where does the fabric come from? What does my holiday hotel look like from the inside? Or, how will my new car behave on a racetrack, for example? VR-based product presentations create extraordinary experiences and provide answers to questions that concern customers today – regardless of location. It makes no difference whether it is B2B or B2C. Thanks to virtual reality applications, companies can present large products such as turbines, construction vehicles or complete production plants in an innovative way. The representation of complex laboratory systems for the clinical area is much more realistic than, for example, with a few photos. For the B2C area, brands rely on VR-based product presentations, especially to make high-quality products tangible.
The possible uses of VR-based presentations are limitless
“A virtual tour through a hotel resort, the interior design of a sports car or a glimpse of an exclusive round trip – there are no limits to the possible uses of VR-based product presentations. This direct experience awakens a strong emotionality, which leads to better sales experiences,” summarizes Dr. Rolf Illenberger summarizes the advantages of VR. Illenberger is managing director of the Munich company VRdirect GmbH, which specializes in the development of virtual reality applications. He is convinced that emotions can be conveyed better through virtual storylines with 3D representations.
Gone are the days when 3D and Virtual Reality were only affordable for large corporations. Today, the implementation is also possible for smaller companies. Last but not least, the pandemic acted as a driver, as it suddenly prevented “real” product demonstrations. Virtual boats were established instead of trade fairs, and virtual showrooms instead of window shopping. And these forms of presentation are here to stay.
Low investment costs, large worlds of experience
Even if more personal encounters are possible again today, VR-based product presentations have decisive advantages. “Geo-independence, cost reductions and independence from the real world, which, for example, is now again characterized by contact restrictions,” says Sara Boss, Head of Sales VRdirect, listing the benefits of the 3D worlds of experience.
Even those who don’t live in a big city with flagship stores and don’t have easy access to real worlds of experience can experience products realistically. In addition: Web VR, which works without the use of VR glasses, can be used to implement great experiences for e-commerce with just a small investment. Integrating an interactive showroom on the website is also much cheaper than maintaining a real shop. Even if the pandemic will be over at some point in the future, specialists believe that the VR world created now will continue to exist in parallel. “Innovation plays a major role for customers. Especially in the B2C sector, they always want new, exciting experiences,” says Boss.
VR-based product presentations also offer consumers a new form of interaction. During a tour of a virtual showroom, information can be called up proactively. Instead of being receptive to advertising messages, customers act themselves, interact playfully and thus deal with the product. This new way of experiencing the product increases customer loyalty to the product – but in turn brings with it requirements for user-friendly staging. “So that the virtual showroom with its many buttons and possibilities does not overwhelm the visitor, it makes sense to introduce the user to the product via a story board,” recommends Illenberger. “The decisive factors are e.g. B. Successive sequences: Certain information is only displayed within the framework of a defined sequence. Or the user activates them, such as sweepstakes, which are only available after clicking through an entire experience.” Interactions also make it possible to quantify activities on the website in order to analyze customer data generated in this way with regard to users staying in the showroom or conversions achieved .
Ideal brand marketing using 3D moving image content
In addition, virtual worlds of experience have another significant advantage compared to shops: they convey a large amount of information at once. An important point, especially for target groups that are increasingly consciously opting for sustainable products. “Today it is extremely important for many buyers to know where the brand’s production facilities are located, where the raw materials come from and much more. In this respect, VR-based product presentations are ideal for customers who want to learn more because they convey a lot of information,” says Boss. That’s why brands integrate virtual factory tours into their website, for example, to convey identity and quality standards. This works ideally with moving 3D content because the viewer is given a global picture in a very short time. Companies are therefore increasingly turning to VR not only for product presentations, but also for brand marketing, to convey the core of the brand or, for example, for virtual onboarding events for new employees.
Credibility and experienceability are key features of VR-based product presentation. In addition, customer groups from all over the world can be addressed, often without the need to use language, because emotions are aroused simply by the moving 3D content. “We can put people in situations just by going online – that’s the core strength of VR,” says Illenberger.
Not only since Corona have brand companies been asking themselves how they can present their products in such an innovative way that they impress customers. VR-based representations are an ideal opportunity for companies to set up complete virtual showrooms, interact with customers and arouse their emotions through immersion. Web VR applications in particular on the desktop also represent a low-threshold option for medium-sized companies to create virtual worlds.