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360 virtual tours to the rescue?



We are hearing from every direction that our local High Street shop is dying, but what if new innovation through online technology could be used to help try and save bricks and mortar retailers?


I believe a majority of people are familiar with Google’s Street View, which provides a great way to view a local environment from the outside of a business and can then take to the inside of a ‘space’. The downside with this technology is that it is very limited at showing the business in its best light. It’s ‘clunky’, non intuitive and limited in its movement. Most importantly, it is only two dimensional, simply just looking and seeing.

But, now with Matterport (www.matterport.com), the 3D/360 virtual tour solution, providers can take you up to this next level. When entering a Matterport space you can go virtually anywhere within the captured space. Better still, the software is more intuitive and responsive, the model can be viewed from a unique external “dolls-house” view, helping put everything into perspective.



So what comes next? How can we help that small shop trying to compete locally, online? The solution is what Matterport call “Mattertag”, hotspots which can be attached to products within a space. Similar to a high street shop, you can add chosen products into a shopping basket, which can then be delivered. Now, a local store can expand to compete on a global stage, but more importantly continue to service its local community. Yes, this can already be done with a traditional image/description website but our millennials want and expect more. This future of shopping combines not only the convenience of online shopping but also increases the engagement of the customer by making it much more immersive, bringing their once, simple online browsing to life. Every major technology company out there is developing AV (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) systems, so soon your Amazon style shop will need to adapt or be left behind.


This type of store already exists, Walmart (www.walmart.com) the biggest retailer in the world has had this type of online shop for over a year. So, now I hear you say where are all the others? Ford had the first commercial car, however motorways took a little longer. These changes are all about being flexible and responding to your customers needs, starting early helps you introduce them to see if you can take advantage of a technology being adopted across many other market sectors.


We are looking to work with a few retailers that want to dip the toes in the water and see if our opinion is what their customer want.

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