A stroll through the confectionery aisle, with a difference: Virtual Reality opens up new avenues

Sweets Business Forum participants go on a virtual treasure hunt

With Christmas just around the corner and Easter following closely behind, delegates at Berlin’s International Sweets Business Forum were given a special challenge: follow the Easter Bunny’s trail to find hidden sweets in the confectionery aisle of the GALERIA Kaufhof – but do it without leaving the Forum. Mission Impossible? Not with Virtual Reality (VR) to transport them in a flash and treat them to a virtual treasure hunt!

Over 550 participants at the International Sweets Business Forum got a taste of this impressive virtual reality experience at the end of November. A pair of high quality corrugated cardboard VR glasses developed by STI Group, combined with an app specially created for the Forum by fu communications, made it possible to stroll through the GALERIA Kaufhof confectionery aisle and collect the hidden sweets.

‘I was really surprised how quickly you could immerse yourself in the virtual world, and by the depth of that immersion. I felt as though I was actually standing there in the store, and I instinctively wanted to move my arms and legs to browse the aisles as I normally would. However it’s easier than that; you can control the app just with your head and eye movements,’ explains a participant.

New touchpoint in the customer journey

Claudia Rivinius, Marketing Director at STI Group, believes that VR applications for marketing are still in their infancy. ‘The medium works well across all industries. Whether it’s a trailer for a new blockbuster, a quick visit to the country your coffee beans come from, or a peek into the manufacturing process of a company – you can be so creative with VR content. But the key is to make that content easily accessible and to offer users a great experience with real added value. It’s the content that should stand out, not the technology; so a high quality, easy-to-use product is paramount.’

For STI Group, corrugated board VR glasses constitute a further touchpoint in the customer journey. Great as an additional giveaway with a premium gift pack, as a coupon for the next store visit or as part of an in-store promotion, VR glasses are the latest addition to the instore promotional toolbox.