So how are brands using immersive experiences to demonstrate the features and capabilities of their products? Here are some of the ways they are creating meaningful experiences that blur digital and physical boundaries to solve for the problem of proximity in digital commerce.
Put me there
Immersive experiences simulate physical environments. The goal is not to create the “next best thing” to being there in person. It is to create something even better—an experience that makes every phase of the journey to purchase more captivating and insightful because consumers feel connected. Take Emirates, for example. The airline uses virtual reality technology to offer 3D models of the cabin on its website. Travelers can make informed choices when selecting their seats and preview the environment to make the most of their time on board later. Beauty legend Dior launched a virtual reality store based on its flagship location in Paris. The 360°, 3D experience makes shopping online less transactional. It encourages customers to browse and connect to the products—and to the brand.
See it on me
Immersive experiences help consumers understand how a product will look on them or in their environment. YouTube offers an AR solution that people can use to virtually try-on cosmetics. MAC Cosmetics was the first brand to leverage it. Consumers can test out MAC lipstick and shop while watching makeup tutorials. It’s a fresh fusion of technology, in-store experience, influencers and creativity. Always an innovator, Nike has turned to AR to help consumers get the right fit for their shoes. Consumers use the Nike Fit feature on Nike’s app to measure their feet with their smartphones and get guidance on the right size in a specific style. Solutions like this offer exciting possibilities to answer the age-old “will it fit?” question for online shoppers. However, brands must be mindful of consumers’ concerns about data privacy and be transparent about how personal data is being used to provide such experiences.
Teach me more
Immersive experiences educate consumers on the full value of products with a “hands-on” approach to education that beats reading a cumbersome owner’s manual. It is a way to educate consumers on product specifics before they buy and on a regular basis after purchase to build engagement. Toyota is one of many automakers leaning into immersive experiences in this way. Toyota’s AR experience helps consumers self-educate in a “choose your own adventure” style. Consumers select the car model and standard features they want to explore. There’s no app required. The virtual car tour is available through banner ads on social media, allowing Toyota to scale its reach. In the electronics industry, Bang & Olufsen offers an AR experience app for consumers to see products in their own environments, turn “on” speakers to test out sound quality, learn about product features and option and contact the store with any questions.
Forget clunky VR headsets, these technologies are for everybody
The days when designing immersive experiences meant designing for clunky VR headsets that few consumers own are over. The democratization of immersive technologies has removed barriers and opened up access.