When it comes to retailers evolving their in-store customer experiences to drive sales and capture the attention of brand fickle shoppers, fashion often leads the way in adopting new technologies to optimize shopping experiences and build more brand loyalty. And when it comes to new technology, we love ourselves virtual reality.
Tommy Hilfiger is joining the group of fashion retailers dipping their toes in the virtual reality water with their latest in-store VR fashion experience.
Making its debut at the Tommy Hilfiger store in New York on Tuesday, customers will come across an in-store VR installation where they can slap on a Samsung Gear VR headset and watch the fashion brand’s Fall runway show in 360-degree virtual reality. For the viewer, it will feel like they are sitting front row of the runway show or even exploring backstage at Manhattan’s Park Avenue Armory, where the show took place on February 16.
The hope for Tommy Hilfiger is to elevate the shopping experience and evolve what it means to visit a traditional brick-and-mortar store. With virtual reality experiences like this runway show, fashion brands can connect with consumers on a more emotional and experiential level, and having this all take place within their retail store, makes going from rack to checkout just a few steps away.
It should be noted that fashion runway shows or backstage experiences in VR is nothing new. In August, Rebecca Minkoff began selling branded Google Cardboard headsets to let fans watch their runway show from the front row.
What fans of fashion brands are going to truly want are VR stories that they can interact with and that tell a story that is worth talking about with their friends. 7 For All Mankind did something different by creating in-store installations to show off a fashion story type music video with Jaunt. One of our favorites has been the TOMS VR giving trips that the company has made available in-store, bringing viewers on a journalistic adventure to show what giving shoes to kids in need really looks like.
One thing is for sure, fashion companies know the importance of building brand experiences and with so many unique opportunities to create for virtual reality, many more brands will continue to experiment with the new medium.
The VR experience was created in collaboration with Amsterdam-based VR studio WeMakeVR.