A leading retailer of craft and design products in Ireland has launched a new online store that will allow customers around the world to view their products.
Kilkenny Design has launched the first virtual reality store of its kind in the Irish market, allowing fans from all over to access an immersive in-store experience from the comfort of their home.
The popular retail brand sells fashion, jewelery, household items, gift items, textiles and crafts, both Irish and international, from its physical locations throughout Ireland.
But now he has taken the shopping experience one step further, as he launched his online store at Kilkennyshop.com last month.
The move followed a significant increase in online traffic to its website since the first phase of the Covid-19 pandemic and related blockade, in March 2020.
“Covid has changed the way we buy, and in response, we have established a very strong omnichannel presence,” explained Emer McCarthy, director of group strategy and e-commerce at Kilkenny Design.
“Our online store offers our customers a new way to connect to our in-store retail experience anytime they want and from anywhere they want,” he added.
Unlike the standard e-commerce experience, which fosters speed and efficiency, Kilkenny Design’s online store offers customers who browse online an engaging, discovery-based experience.
“The customer experience is the center of everything we do. It is incredibly important to us and our new VR store allows our customers to collaborate with the Kilkenny Design brand in a completely new and unique way at a time when the way of buying has undergone such a dramatic change, ”he explains. McCarthy.
The design and layout of the online store are inspired by Kilkenny Design’s flagship store on Dublin’s Nassau Street.
Visitors who click on the “Virtual Store” link on Kilkennyshop.com receive a panoramic view of the commercial floor.
They can move between different sections (such as jewelry, gifts, wellness, and household items) by selecting products to display on virtual shelves and shelves, just as they would in the real world.
It is about bringing together the benefits of the physical and digital worlds and, as such, creating a new world, the “figital” world, which you can buy at your own pace, at a time that suits you and from anywhere in the world. world. world, ”McCarthy says.
Customers can experience the Kilkenny Design online store in one of three ways.
They can use desktop and mobile browsers to explore the store in a non-immersive environment, accessing detailed product information and purchasing items (for the best experience, users should use Chrome or Firefox).
Alternatively, they can experience an immersive 360-degree view of the store using VR headsets and phone controls, such as Oculus, or on their smartphone, using a Google Cardboard VR headset. In VR mode, customers can browse sections and products in the store. They cannot buy items or access detailed product information.
“We have approached the new Kilkenny Design VR store with different customers in mind. You do not need a virtual reality compatible device to experience it. You can access it as a virtual store on your desktop or mobile phone. You can walk in it, buy it and add it to the cart, ”says McCarthy.
“This means it’s accessible to a much wider audience, which is extremely important to us, because we understand that virtual reality is a relatively new consumer technology that not everyone will have access to.”
The Kilkenny design virtual store has been launched after a year of development involving cross-collaborations between different divisions of the retail group.
“We had already started researching our pre-Covid online store, because it’s here into the future of retail, but the pandemic really needed the move to new ways to give people access to our brand and products,” he said. confirmed McCarthy.
“We had the vision to grow our market share through the adaptation of VR technology, which really puts us at the forefront of emerging trends in retail worldwide and allows customers, new and existing, to buy our unique Irish design offering in places where you don’t have a physical presence ”.
Kilkenny Design is always looking for new channels and new ways to serve customers, says McCarthy, who says there are more things to come (practically) from the company.
“We see this launch as the first phase of our virtual reality store.
“We will look closely at the coming months, closely monitor analytics, and use the data to learn and report on how we are moving forward with our broader e-commerce strategy,” he confirmed.