5 Trends from Retail that Property Marketing Must Adopt
From something as simple as self-service checkout to interactive fitting rooms, retail is ever progressing into a more tech-savvy industry. Physically going to the shops has had to become more appealing due to the power of the internet and sites like Amazon or Nike online etc. This leap into a very futuristic shopping has made customers experience much more enjoyable, with people wanting to queue up for the latest Apple product for hours simply to experience their local apple store.
These experiences are created in several different ways, here is a list of the top 5 trends from retail that property marketing needs, to make the sales experience more appealing:
1. Interactive Billboards – Topshop took this idea in 2015 and launched it in London, placing billboards around the capital which showed digital runways. People could then tweet using one of the trend hashtags and they would get a shopping list based on that trend. A quick statistic about billboards to give you that ‘you learn something new everyday’ feeling. 71% of consumers often look at roadside billboards, with 56 % of consumers saying that they talk to friends and family about funny or interesting billboards they see while on the road. Imagine a billboard with a VR walkthrough of a property or simpler just photos, a step further than that would be a link to a personalised VR experience allowing the viewer to make their own way around the property.
2. The complete Augmented Reality (AR) Experience – Here is another cool fact for you 61% of consumers prefer stores that offer AR experiences – and 40% of them would pay more for your product if they have the chance to experience it using AR. AR is fast becoming the technology to use with retailers like Lacoste using AR to allow customers to try on shoes without even having to put on a physical pair. Just look down at your feet whilst holding your phone and there you have it, this is quite literally putting the experience in the customer’s hands. The AR Magic Mirror (Mirror Mirror on the wall…) is an experience at Westfield which allowed a customer to look in the mirror and the mirror would show them who was the fairest of them all, I mean would allow them to see how clothes would look on them and plan outfits according to the products in store. Imagine this for your house, you’re standing in a penthouse suite for sale in primrose hill that is on sale for £16m, classical music is playing as you watch out over the world passing by on your balcony. You turn around and the light has captured the interior furnishings beautifully with no worries in the world. You get tapped on the shoulder and are brought back to reality, open your eyes and your iPad is in your hand with floor plans on your office desk. This is the potential power of AR, it has the capability if used properly to really transport you to another place or in this case property.
3. Tour Guides or Stylists – Many companies have been using this technology to assist people with making fashion choices, to taking people on tours of well-known landmarks. Topman’s latest use of this was a at home ability to skype call a stylist in a store who would show you the type of thing you might want to buy based upon some preferences which you select before you begin. They would then bring the products to the skype call and physically show you what they looked like and then you would be able to buy the products throughout the call. This is a unique way of using the technology again to personalise the way customers experience shopping. This in relation to property marketing could come in handy, a lot of first-time buyers may have no idea what it is they were looking for or even what they liked, giving the buyer the option of having some interaction with an assistant would be great. It wouldn’t have to be on skype however if someone came to a property showroom they could link into a VR experience which has someone talking to them about the properties based perhaps off preferences about their home that they input at the start.
4. Virtual Reality (VR) product cataloguing – when I was a kid at Christmas I used to love getting the Argos Catalogue and bookmarking and circling all the stuff I really wanted for Christmas, it ended up being most of the book but that’s not the point. Could you imagine seeing those products through your VR Headset being able to bookmark your favourite and keeping them, all stored in one place? Well, that’s exactly what Tommy Hilfiger did by creating a VR experience for their latest collection allowing people to walk through a catwalk with the models getting up close and personal with the latest of their products. This sort of idea would be perfect for potential house buyers, creating a catalogue of properties which people could scroll through, selecting them and opening a 3D design allowing them to walk into each house and room and really understand what the design of their house would look like. Although VR has been used throughout property and other industries this idea of a catalogue allows the potential buyers something a bit different it combines the use of VR to your traditional property magazine and brings them together in one place.
5. Beacons – Beacons are devices that use Bluetooth technology to send messages to mobile devices that are near them. Retail stores use this technology of Beacons to send relevant deals to customers when they are near products on sale or alert them to products they’ve bought etc. With regards to property marketing, this could assist in multiple ways, giving potential buyers what they desire; for example price information for properties, general information about what the properties consist of etc. Using Beacons, coupled with the use of VR cataloguing could create a personalised way of property shopping, it points the customer in the right direction based on their preferences and alerts them to this.
These 5 are trending in the retail sector and would be powerful if brought into the property marketing. All these really focus on customer experience and making it more user-friendly for potential buyers to really get what they want.