This is your covered Saturday in downtown Portland, Oregon, and I'm going to the park to walk my dog, Betty. What I find in this evening is anything but typical: instead of meeting a few homeless people sleeping on benches and walking companions for dogs, I meet hundreds of people of all ages walking in the southern parks. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and I was delighted to see so many Portland residents enjoy one of the city's most popular resorts. But how was this Saturday different from the others and why did this happy crowd invade my neighborhood?
Looking more closely, I noticed that everyone was talking with their phone, some even had two, three, up to four different phones. I had to learn more about what was happening and if my suspicions were true, it was a kind of online community. My thoughts immediately turned to Pokémon Go, but was it not a thing of the past and did this game attract such a large sample of the population? There were families, young children, groups of teenagers, adults – some solo, but most of them traveled in groups. I stopped a group that was kind enough to answer my introductory questions and I learned that it was indeed a Pokémon Go Community Day . A special world event featuring rare Pokémon and other goodies in play during a dedicated time window. According to Wikipedia Pokémon Go has logged more than one billion downloads worldwide and has 147 million active users per month.
So, how does this story relate to immersive commerce and fashion? Good question! Like or hate Pokémon Go, there is no doubt that this is the most widely used immersive application yet. The secret sauce that its creator, Niantic, has prepared is full of lessons for anyone looking to take advantage of immersive technologies to create brand experiences and ultimately sell more products. Let's take a closer look at how branded marketers can create effective fashion and retail experiences with immersive technology.
1. It must be social
The most successful digital disruptors of recent years have one thing in common: they build the social in their DNA. Recent examples include Pokémon Go and Peloton, which developed a $ 4 billion business by replicating in the community a real fitness class at home. Tmall, in China, is an excellent example. This shopping app has taken advantage of immersive technology to provide its online audience with access to VIP events such as the hugely popular event [ Watch now, buy now "l & # 39; last year.
This "retail-as-entertainment" event is part of Alibaba's Singles Day shopping event and sets featuring renowned designers, celebrities, music productions, and more, all shot live in front of a select audience of celebrities.The live stream aired on more than 57 million viewers on immersive and 2D channels, and included a simplified "Watch now, buy now" application that allowed viewers to instantly purchase the products they had seen on the track. "Now Now" which allowed viewers to categorize outfits in real time, creating an instant trend report and sending comments to designers. According to Sean Lane, an immersive retailer and technical director of Digital Point B, the Singles Day event "has brought together more than 8 million users with their virtual reality headsets. They also had great success with the Tmall VR experiments with users watching the runway shows and taking advantage of the Buy Now feature.
2. Offer value to the customer
What differentiates a good immersive experience from another, is the value that it offers to the customer. # 39; user. To fix problems related to attaching a VR headset or downloading an AR application, the user must derive substantial value from the result. Innovative brands achieve their business goals in a number of ways while meeting the needs of their customers. Immersive technology is a great way to get users to places where they could not go otherwise. Providing customers with what they want and can not get anywhere else is a good formula for success. Change of Paradigm, a Paris-based B2B fashion app, offers designers and brands the opportunity to do so. Their high quality 3D models of luxury brand clothing are the best I've seen. If I were a clothing designer, I would like his Paris studio director, Franck Audrain, to create the digital version. As a fashion designer in its own right, Audrain has spent many years in the technology sector and meticulously imitates the most complicated 3D clothing. His team can create a hyper-realistic version of an already existing garment or build a digital proto-type of a garment that only exists in the imagination of its creator.
This recent RA experience at the Paris department store, Bon Marché, shows the details captured in the 3D fashion technology of Change of Paradigm.
The company has a patented technology that digitally duplicates each fabric to realistically describe the unfolding of the garment as it moves in space. This attention to detail and the fact that they can broadcast 3D resources across multiple channels such as the Web, VR and mobile AR make their offer appealing to luxury brands.
They are working on a virtual trial experiment that will rival everything we've seen so far, but there are still many years left. According to its founder Henri Mura, "immersive experiences that are currently effective in trying clothes are limited to jewelry, accessories and shoes. For clothing, if you want to go beyond a simple 2D overlay, you really need to understand how the material will fit the unique shape of the customer in 3D, then represent it in an immersive environment. We are working on a solution, but it must be perfect to deliver real value. "
Brands can bring added value to customers such as reducing friction on the way to purchase, such as the" See Now, Buy Now "feature in the application of Purchase Tmall VR or Create a Memorable Experience Macy successfully used Virtual Reality to offer Chinese buyers a unique opportunity to visit their flagship store in New York without having to leave China. Ensuring that the immersive journey is as intuitive and transparent as possible is an important part of the recipe for success.Many American brands are still struggling with this problem because immersive experiences often require unique downloads and a series of 39 actions by users before accessing the experience Puma's recent launch of an AR shoe is an example in Leque l the user must download a standalone application that can recognize the shoe and use special decorative filters similar to the SnapChat lens function. I'm not sure I find that useful.
3. Exploit the Right Immersive Technology for Work
Before creating an immersive experience, it's essential to understand your goals, your audience, and the technologies at your disposal to make your vision a reality. There are still many challenges to consider when building an immersive experience and it is essential to find the right balance between quality and scale. Are you trying to reach a niche audience like the 1% who can afford to buy luxury items or who has access to a smartphone? Is your marketing objective strictly to sell more products or do you want to connect with your audience? These types of questions must be clearly defined before you begin so that you can determine the best flavor of immersion – Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality or Mixed Reality – for the job.
There have been several RA, retail experiences that have been negated for mobile phones with poor results leading to posts like this, rejecting the value of the immersive technology of retailing .
Immersive retailer Sean Lane breaks it down "I think latency, ease of use and accessibility still prevent adoption. I found that virtual reality was increasingly adopted within brands, mainly for human resource integration, marketing and training. I've built some drivers testing VR internally for training, planning, global development, and so on. Although the experiences are good, they are not good enough. Motion sickness is still common in many people and the graphics are not realistic enough. Interoperability with other platforms is not transparent. However, I still believe that there are times when virtual reality is the right tool for this job. When you want to totally control an experience and direct the process, virtual reality allows a brand to do it. I think augmented reality and mixed reality are more likely to be widely embraced by businesses and retail. "
Where to begin?
Several resources are available for fashion brands that want to take advantage of immersive technology. . Hiring a specialist or creative agency to develop a strategy is not always an option, but a great first step if the budget is available. Other less expensive resources include publications such as Medium, which hosts a community of immersive professionals sharing ideas, and marketing sites such as MarketingLand.com. The 3DRC community (3D Retail Coalition), made up of brands, technologists and educators, seeks to solve some of the problems associated with 3D technologies for clothing and footwear.
The advice I can give you comes from Lane, who wisely proclaims, "The greatest victory of any of these technologies is to ensure that the use is genuine for your brand and not forced. When immersive is used to create real experiences that improve the interaction of consumers with your brand or to establish a brand loyalty or connection, THIS will lead to better results. "
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not those of the author, necessarily to sell land.The associated authors are listed here .
About the Author
Lisa Peyton is an immersive media strategist and a psychologist who specializes in media that focuses on the subject. user engagement and marketing applications of new technologies.