In an innovative effort to take leisure in shopping centres to the next level, intu enlisted the services of Apache to bring Virtual Reality to the forefront of the shopping experience. Apache developed a bespoke interactive VR game and helped install a winter log cabin in the intu Victoria shopping centre in Nottingham, enabling shoppers to step into a Virtual Reality winter wonderland, decorate a Christmas tree, and share their creations online.
The experience ran until 21st December and marked the first effort in a strategic partnership between intu and Apache to examine the impact of VR leisure experiences on customer dwell time, loyalty, and the shopping experience. A larger roll-out of a suite of Virtual Reality experiences is expected across 15 shopping centres nationwide this year.
“This kind of social and interactive experience could become as commonplace for shoppers as stopping for a coffee with friends. It is providing a real moment of surprise and delight for customers in Nottingham which is likely to increase dwell time in the centre over Christmas and propensity to revisit to the benefit of our retailers.”
Karen Harris, Managing Director of intu Digital
The intu Christmas VR experience consists of four distinct room-scale VR booths utilising the HTC Vive, a first-of-its-kind Virtual Reality system featuring 360° absolute motion tracking and two wireless controllers. Apache have formed an intimate working relationship with HTC in order to eke out from their VR hardware the most compelling user experience in a public setting.
“Providing the opportunity for the public to try quality VR as part of a shopping experience is key to drive awareness and buy in, and the creation of custom made 360° room-scale content is a real first for HTC within a retail environment. We believe this is a great introduction to HTC Vive for all the family, and look forward to bringing the experience to shoppers this Christmas.”
Jon Goddard, European Marketing Director of HTC