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How Can Virtual Reality Improve Your Retail Business?

Virtual reality is the next big thing for retail properties, providing customers with an immersive shopping experience that can drive sales and boost foot traffic. We’ll explore what virtual reality can do for you, whether you’re looking for commercial retail property for sale or just want to improve your current retail business.

Beacon Technology

Beacons are a Bluetooth-enabled hardware that transmit personalised messages and contextually-relevant information to customers’ mobile devices when in store. They offer opportunity to reach a customer at the right time with a relevant, personalised message. Placed in strategic places around your shop (you can attach them to walls or shelves), this omnichannel technology can deliver highly customised messages and send push notifications based on your customer’s previous purchase history. You can effectively target customers coming into your high street store in moments.

Beacon technology can also provide you with back-office intelligence. From the routes people take through your retail property to how long people stop at beacon-enabled displays, they can provide you with the consumer intelligence you need to optimise brick-and-mortar space.

Virtual Reality

Businesses can use virtual reality (computer-generated environments which are experienced through VR headsets) to create an immersive and seamless retail experience. Customers can try on clothes in a virtual dressing room or explore virtual showrooms, visualising their purchases quickly and easily - an advantage when the shop you’re renting may not have lot of space or a product may be out of stock.

Volvo, Audi, and Lexus have used virtual reality to let customers test drive their cars, while West Ham United F.C. recently provided prospective season ticket holders with a VR headset so that they could see exactly which seat they wanted to buy.

Augmented Reality

Many retailers are introducing consumer-facing augmented reality applications. They project virtual content and graphics onto a physical space, allowing businesses to better engage with their customers and give them a better understanding of their products.

Charlotte Tilbury, a leading beauty and skincare brand in London, installed a “magic mirror” which superimposed make-up on customers’ faces in real-time, allowing them to try on 10 unique looks in just 40 seconds. Helping customers avoid buying the wrong products, augmented reality is the natural evolution of “try before you buy”, saving time and cost for customers and your business.

JLL's Lead Director Tim Vallance agrees with this, stating, '“All industries can benefit from this as it is a way of allowing consumers to live the brand and make more informed consumer choices."

With active global users of virtual reality expected to grow by 147% from 2016 to 2021, there’s never been a better time to get involved.

  • Find the perfect base for a technology-led retail space with JLL’s retail collection.