Updated: Oct 20, 2022
As online retail evolves, more and more e-commerce platforms are incorporating virtual reality (VR) into their user experience. VR allows shoppers to "try on" products from the comfort of their own home, before they buy. This is a great feature for retailers of clothing, accessories, and now, mattresses. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the benefits of VR for mattress sales, and how you can start implementing it on your website.
Brandon Bain Joins The Fam Show to Discuss Virtualization in Bedding
Virtual Reality, or VR, is no longer just a figment of our imagination. It's a technology that's rapidly evolving and becoming more and more accessible to businesses and consumers alike. So how can VR be used in the e-commerce space? And what are the benefits for retailers and consumers?
The bedding industry is being impacted by virtual reality in a number of ways. 3D renderings of bedrooms are becoming increasingly realistic, offering customers an immersive experience that allows them to visualize how a particular bedding set will look in their own home. 360 degree room views are also becoming more common, giving customers a complete view of the bedroom and providing them with a better sense of scale. In addition, photorealistic images are being used to give customers a realistic sense of how a bedding set will look once it is installed. These images are often generated using computer-aided design (CAD) software, making it easy for bedding companies to create realistic 3D images of their products. As virtual reality technology continues to develop, it is likely that the impact on the bedding industry will only grow.
Englander Virtual Showroom created by Bedhead Marketing
The bedding industry is currently in the midst of a major shift, thanks in part to the rise of virtual reality technology. 3D renderings and immersive experiences are becoming increasingly popular, as 360 degree rooms and photorealistic images allow consumers to get a better sense of what they're buying which creates more trust among consumers and confidence to buy products "site unseen". As a result, bedding companies are beginning to invest more heavily in virtual reality, in order to give shoppers an omnichannel experience and create the feeling of shopping in-store. This shift is likely to have a profound impact on the bedding industry, as companies scramble to keep up with the latest technology. In the end, only those companies that embrace virtual reality will be able to survive.
There are a ton of useful applications to create virtual bedding experiences:
• B2B: A virtual showroom to demo new and current products to retailers
• D2C: Direct to client online sales (v-commerce) to experience the bed online in a new way
• Training: A virtual training platform for RSA education
• Asset Manager: A unique way to provide digital assets to partners
• Prototyping: Showing concept beds not currently developed in an immersive way
There's a ton of applications within each of these that are very interesting for manufacturers and retailers. For example, D2C can create easter eggs (or scavenger hunts) and post the challenge on social media to unlock products and secret discounts. They can create exclusive "by invite only" rooms that offer only high-end beds that can be accompanied by a live virtual attendant. You can require a certain number of videos to be watched to unlock a discount. This incentivizes education when online there is often a race to the bottom price.
You are also un-bound by physical constraints of 360 photography. With these virtual rooms, they are 100% graphically designed which means:
a) You can make them as unique or elegant as you'd like
b) You can make them as large as you'd like
c) You can change items in the room without a new photoshoot
Sherwood Bedding Virtual Showroom created by Bedhead Marketing
How do Virtual Room Settings & Showrooms perform on a mobile?
These rooms look just as great on mobile devices, however we've found most shoppers enjoy them the most on tablets, laptops and larger screens to get the full experience.
How do they return an ROI?
Depending on how you're deploying a virtual room, your return will vary. For instance, virtual training may cut costs of working hours in store and traveling, while also creating a more engaging experience. Installed as a module on your website, you may experience an estimated 10x longer user engagement which translates into huge SEO benefits. And of course if used for D2C, you're able to provide a unique and fun way to buy so you may experience much higher conversion ratios, and better informed customers that are less likely to return their mattresses.
How much does it cost?
Virtual Rooms cost are a development cost and a monthly hosting cost. The development is priced based on the number and type of digital assets and the hosting is priced based on the traffic requirements.
How do I get started?
A video consultation is scheduled to explore options and understand how you envision deploying a Virtual Room or Showroom. We create a triage document to prepare the total scope.
Immersive experiences are not the future, they are the present. The question is, do you want to be the organization that leads the bedding category or lags behind!