Make it magical

Virtual Reality Could Help You Beat the 2022 Festive Slowdown

Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Historically, it’s also the most lucrative time of year for retailers. But as the cost of living crisis bites and disposable income shrinks, competition for customers is fiercer than ever. Inc recently forecast a slowdown in sales growth for the festive period, warning that both consumers and businesses had less money to spend. Retailers will need to work hard to cut through the noise and keep customers engaged.

Giving the customer a fully immersive experience through virtual or augmented reality (VR/ AR) is a way to do just that. It’s a fast-growing phenomenon which shows no signs of slowing. Recent Accenture research revealed that around 64% of all consumers have purchased virtual goods or taken part in a virtual experience or service in the past year and it’s predicted that 1 billion of us will be using VR by 2030. With omnichannel shoppers spending around 34% more than those shopping instore, retailers can’t afford to miss out.  

Make it magical

Last Christmas, French beauty brand Lancôme took its customers on a virtual trip to the Eiffel Tower through a magical portal experience via their smartphones. The experience, which customers unlocked by collecting four Lancôme products, transported users to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, with a magnificent 180-degree view over Paris. The experience was Lancôme’s first worldwide VR endeavour and was available at over 3,000 stores in every country the brand is sold in.

Sell a vision  

Augmented reality gives retailers an opportunity to create virtual simulations for users to interact with a product. John Lewis offers a virtual Christmas tree via an AR feature on its app, which lets customers view various festive trees in locations around their home before they buy. The nifty feature also lets them virtually view both decorated and undecorated trees and can be used to help narrow down decisions. There is also the opportunity to buy within the app itself for those who’ve found their dream tree. Retailers like Wayfair and IKEA have also rolled out 3D and augmented reality furniture visualisation tools.

When it comes to customers finding the perfect festive jumper, virtual try-on gives customers the option to virtually try before they buy. Forbes reports that retailers are now able to offer body tracking, 3D body mesh enhancements and even cloth simulation to continually recreate the movement of fabrics. Carolina Arguelles, ‎Global Product Marketing Lead, Augmented Reality at Snap told Forbes: "We believe shopping is more than the transaction. It’s really about the experience and we believe a better experience—one that's more immersive, connected with your friends, and emotional—is not only going to increase that buyer confidence but also build a longer-term loyalty to brands and businesses."

Make it Meta

Meta’s Occulus VR app was the most-downloaded app on Christmas day last year, which also saw the company add some festive elements to Messenger, such as new ‘soundmojis’ and seasonal AR effects. New Year’s Eve is the most popular day for AR effects on Meta platforms, with billions of effects opened in one day as this year began. Using AR on Meta could pay dividends for brands and their advertising campaigns and recent research carried out by the company found that campaigns incorporating AR ads delivered nearly triple the boost to brand lift compared with those that did not, and at a 59% lower cost for driving awareness.

Fully immersive

We wrote previously about how savvy stores are taking things into their own hands and re-imagining and investing in the in-store experience to keep customers engaged. The festive period is the perfect time to get creative with your own offering. Last year, the festive LEGO Carousel of Creativity was launched to celebrate kids’ limitless imaginations. The free installation featured five brick-built characters, with a section dedicated to displaying LEGO creations submitted from children. And for those who couldn’t attend, people were still able to take part virtually in the fun via the app.

To find out more about how you could start incorporating virtual reality into your business, speak with one of our account managers today. You can email at or ring us on +31(0) 88 494 20 80

David Mines
Business Development Director

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