Dyson is virtually changing its game. Following the recent successes of cordless vacuum sticks and Airblades, the British tech company is now inviting customers to further immerse themselves in its products with the announcement of a brand new virtual reality store.
The ‘Dyson Demo VR’ allows customers to make their way through a virtual store stocked with 3D renderings of Dyson goods, including the Supersonic hair dryer, Corrale straightener and Airwrap styler. Customers will then be able to pick up the items, suss them out and even give them a test run. Virtually, of course.
As of now, these products are the only three available for virtual examination. However, Dyson has announced other products will soon be available, such as air purifiers and vacuums, the latter of which users will be able to test out on virtual floors with different vacuum attachments.
Marketing stunt? Sign of the times? Whatever you want to call it, the Dyson Demo VR is symbolic of a new pandemic-shaped market. As though influenced, not just by restrictions, but a pervasive agoraphobia, online shopping has become the default purchasing platform for more than a quarter of the earth’s population.
Dyson, and several other brands, are tapping into this virtual shopping opportunity.
“Covid-19 has presented the digital world with unprecedented opportunities, and we’re seeing a heightened focus on how companies are bringing their products to life for consumers virtually,” Dyson’s e-commerce director, Sean Newmarch told Glossy.
As of now, the virtual experience will only be available in Australia for Oculus headset users, via the Oculus store. However, Dyson is working on a 3D web platform which will present the same online viewing experience for users who don’t have a headset. Unfortunately, it won’t be quite as immersive.
But all this begs the question; why?
“It is the ultimate try and buy experience. It is about understanding how the technologies work,” a Dyson spokesperson told The Australian.
Newmarch echoed this statement.
“When we were faced with the challenge of our demonstration stores and our demonstration temples being unavailable (due to COVID), we moved quickly to embrace virtual reality,” he said.
Dyson founder and chief engineer, Sir James Dyson, was particularly excited by the opportunities VR presented, telling The Australian it was an engineer’s job to improve things and ensure people understand how products work.
“We have been harnessing powerful virtual reality technologies to engineer new products in our labs for many years, now we are applying those same technologies to reinvent how people explore our products,” he said.
“Our customers increasingly want to buy directly from us, which makes sense, because we created the technology, and we are best placed to look after them.”
As forward thinking as the Demo VR may seem, Dyson are not forerunners. In 2015, shoe and apparel company, Toms, installed VR headsets in hundreds of their stores to transport customers to Peru as part of a charity initiative. A year later, eBay teamed with iconic Aussie retailer, Myer, to create “the world’s first VR Department Store”.
Target, as well as US-based brands, JC Penney and Macy’s have also introduced Oculus-based VR shopping platforms.
Pioneer or avid participant, Dyson’s embrace of virtual reality represents both the future of retail and the expansion of Dyson’s marketing capabilities, as the brand continues to push direct-to-consumer e-commerce.
The tech company recently increased its VR capacities further, adding VR tours of its Los Angeles, Paris, and Guangzhou stores, as well live video consultations to its official site during the pandemic.
“We are only just at the beginning of this VR journey,” a Dyson spokesperson told Pickr.
“For Dyson, we believe the opportunities are endless, particularly when it comes to bridging the gap between the offline and online world.
“As we see greater investments in the VR space, we only expect to see the number of VR users increase.”
Image source: Dyson
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