Virtual Reality: Contributing to the Shopping Experience

  • The Retail Innovation Lab
  • December 10, 2015

Our previous blog post from The Lab concluded with the takeaway that virtual reality (VR) and its viewing devices are proving to be invaluable resources when it comes to bringing a brand’s positioning and personality to life. The Lab has seen multiple VR campaigns surface since attending thinkLA’s 2015 Trend Breakfast, and our viewpoint remains unchanged.

One VR campaign, in particular, that caught our eye comes from The North Face store in South Korea. In an effort to promote its newest winter jacket, the retailer encouraged shoppers to sit down in a makeshift dog sled and strap on a pair of Oculus Rift VR goggles. The shoppers were then immersed in a virtual adventure, with a pack of huskies pulling them through a snow-laden terrain. The real surprise, however, came when the virtual part of the experience ended and the reality set in. As sales clerks removed the goggles, something unexpected happened. A real pack of huskies were clipped to the sled and immediately began guiding the shopper on a thrilling tour of the mall.

Check out the video of the promotion:

The Lab was drawn to this campaign for a multitude of reasons. First, we found the content (snow-laden terrain and mushing huskies) to instinctively compliment the capabilities of their newest winter jacket. The North Face designs apparel that can keep its customers warm in places where traveling by car is not even an option.

Second, the combination of virtual reality and physical reality brought the brand’s motto, “Never stop exploring,” to a palpable dimension. Every day should be an adventure according to The North Face, and they have the clothing to support you through it.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, The Lab gravitated toward this campain because the VR expereince was actually launched inside of a brick-and-mortar store. 

The retail lanscape is undoubtedly changing; just take a look at some of Alcone’s previous blog posts as proof! We are seeing more and more retailers undergo renovations to make the consumer shopping experience an unforgettable one. Because, at the end of the day, it’s as much about the product as it is about the process of purchasing that product.

 Considering how VR can take a shopper anywhere in the world without having to leave the physical retail space, we would not be surprised to see more campaigns, similar to the one launched by The North Face, emerge in the future.

Check out some of Alcone's promotion marketing and retail marketing work hereContact Us today to learn more about leveraging new technology for your brand!