4D Theatre: Virtual Worlds'

Three-quarters of people will pay for VR design, says Virtual Worlds

Design software specialist Virtual Worlds revealed at its first 2019 roadshow that almost three-quarters of consumers it surveyed would pay for design using virtual reality (VR).

Polling visitors to last year’s Idea Home Show, Virtual Worlds found that 71% of consumers it talked to would be willing to pay for an VR design experience. And they would pay on average £110 for the opportunity to use 4D in their design presentation.

At this price, it would mean that a showroom need only charge for two 4D or VR presentations a week to balance out the monthly licensing fee.

The survey also showed 97% of people said that using the 4D would help them make an informed decision, 94% thought it would protect against buyer’s remorse and 97% said it would give them greater peace of mind.

The roadshow was hosted at Hansgrohe’s Water Studio in London’s Clerkenwell. Virtual Worlds invited retailers to discuss key industry issues and to test out the latest virtual reality (VR) and 4D products.

The company also took this opportunity to ask its retailers for feedback on how it could improve its service and better tailor its offering to the end-user.
It showed current and potential Virtual Worlds customers the benefits of putting on a show for customers rather than doing a conventional design presentation at a computer.

The event was also a chance to showcase the latest Virtual Worlds features and add-ons. One presentation was on the pricing and invoice software and there was a preview of the new Design Cloud app. This lets retailers share their designs with customers so they can take the full 3D design home and share it with friends and family.

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Speaking at the roadshow, Nathan MacLean, managing director of Virtual Worlds, said that the development of its software starts out as solutions to real retailers’ issues. For example, a common KBB showroom problem is the lack of space, and so using a 4D showroom means that retailers can showcase thousands of products without the need to install them in actual displays.

Over the past 18 months, Virtual Worlds has hosted nine of these events, each focusing on a different subject. The latest event looked at how showrooms are designed, how to bring customers in-store and how to add value to their offer and drive sales.

Retailers also had the opportunity to talk about showroom design with Pete Champion, director of 3D Design at I-AM London, whose company designed Hansgrohe’s Water Studio. His presentation covered how to create an interactive showroom and he gave examples from the broader retail industry to help get customers in-store and to add value to a showroom.

Retailers then took part in a round-table discussion of key industry issues, including how to bring customers into the showroom and how to drive sales.

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