Last month we discussed 6 reasons why you need VR for your next event. A good product sells itself. In theory this makes sense, but in practice it just doesn’t work that way. Customers first need to be aware of a product, subsequently be convinced that the product is actually useful and also is better than competing products. It takes considerable time, energy, money and insight to get the product to the customer.
Webshops and other online platforms help in bringing the message across, still many customers have trouble connecting to items online. Virtual reality has proven to be an effective tool to increase sales and create product awareness. Here are five examples of how companies use VR to improve sales.
1. Don’t bother the customer
“May I help you?” Although this question sounds helpful and friendly, many customers don’t actually want to be ‘assisted’ the moment they enter a store or a webshop. Still, sales reps have a job to do, and communication can improve sales. Another method is to create a gallery of VR products or services the user can access at their leisure without prompting by a salesperson.
With a kiosk mode for 360 video it’s easy to let the customer look at commercial videos in a controlled environment, while providing a free choice to the user. It also takes some burden of the sales representatives who spend less time telling the same sales pitch ad nauseum.
Even if a row of houses look identical from the outside, the interior will differ greatly. This provides a challenge for realtors when they want to present a house to a potential buyer. Using 3D models the colors and interior design can be virtually matched to the preferences of the client. This evokes the feeling of actually living in their new home, that might not even have been built yet.
The realtor can ask about personal preferences beforehand and customize the VR presentation. In some cases these alterations can be executed in real time, but this is not always feasible. With a kiosk mode for 360 video you can even present alternate versions of the same architecture.
3. Show prototypes for pre-orders
Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo often feature products that only exists as prototypes or slick 3D renders. With virtual reality prototypes can be demonstrated in a much more immersive manner, employing interactive features that will convince the prospective buyer.
Cars are a typical product that can be sold by merely showing a VR kiosk demo. Before a real life test drive the interested customers can experience the look and feel of the automobile, and convince them to pre-order the item. This works for all types of products that are still in the design phase, it can even influence the final product.
Many brands must go to great lengths to stay relevant. How can you convince that your snack is superior to other brands? Flavor alone won’t cut it, you need some additional brand building to get the word out. Doritos gathered a couple of YouTube Influencers and created a VR Battle.
The resulting videos can be displayed using a kiosk mode for 360 video, and of course on YouTube for all viewers. By coupling brands with relevant Influencers it’s possible to make a brand name or product go viral. Don’t think the Influencer strategy is only effective for a younger audience, celebrities have been used to sell products for literally centuries. With immersive VR presentations this type of advertising has received a welcome breath of fresh air.
5. Sell an experience, not a product
This benefit is related to Influencer marketing, but is not limited to using celebrities. Millennials are increasingly interested in experiences, ownership and consumables are less important for this generation of customers. That brings new challenges for manufacturers, how can you convince someone to buy a product if they would rather travel the world? By placing the focus on the experience and offering the ‘tools’ to travel around many brands have found a new way of promoting products.
For instance brands of trekking clothing, extreme sports gear or wearable technology place heavy emphasis on the things you can do with their products. Instead of showing a shining new Swiss Army knife, you will now see a weathered knife cutting through rope in a dense forest. With kiosk mode for 360 video at events it’s easy to present multiple scenarios that directly address the desires and needs of the customer.
Connect with the customer
Up until quite recently the standard method of advertising was showcasing the product and its features. Recently marketing professionals switched to addressing the needs of the customers and answering them with suitable products. Nowadays the emphasis is placed on making connections with customers, and providing a context for the products and services.
As the client has become more sophisticated, so should the marketing evolve to remain relevant to the customer. Virtual reality is a powerful new tool that companies worldwide are using to increase sales and brand awareness.