Virtual reality to extend product ranges in stores or showrooms

Lise KELLER - 15/05/2019

Expand product lines in a virtual, immersive and efficient showroom

A recent UBS report forecast that 75,000 stores will close by 2026 in the US. This figure is exceptional because it goes well beyond the levels of closures seen in previous years. UBS is announcing a very strong decline in specific sectors such as clothing, appliances, and home furnishings.

In this context, how will brands expand their product ranges outside the usual commercial areas?

E-commerce: the big bad wolf

Online shopping growth is increasing every year, and is forecasted to reach 25% of sales by 2026 (compared to 16% currently). In fact, the American consumer spends an average of €5200 per year online, which is 50% more than 5 years ago. The causal link between the reduction in sales areas and the increase in online commerce is obvious but too simplistic to offer a full explanation.

Pure e-commerce players are going against the tide.  In the USA, online furniture retailer Wayfair and mattress brand Casper are opening sales outlets. Amazon is also opening points of sale, with talk of 3,000 shops open by 2021! Closer to home, furniture specialist has also opened showrooms in Paris and Antwerp, confirming the trend.

The point of sale becomes a showroom

Some people see it as nothing more and nothing less than a cleaning up of the market. Analyst John D. Morris (D.A. Davidson) believes that “Retailers have held on to their physical stores for too long” while customer expectations have changed.

“Less Is More”: the trend now is towards streamlined stores with less chaos, fewer choices, and more visibility. Indeed, the brands that survive are those that will listen to their customers and reinvent themselves. If the customer wants a product in blue, and in a different size, they can go online.

So how do you manage expandable ranges, streamlined points of sale, and smaller surfaces?

Retail VR has the solution – you must digitalize the offer. We offer tools to help you extend your in-store ranges in a virtual, immersive and efficient way.