Why Virtual Shopping Experiences are the Real Deal

Posted by: Jess Chambers - 10.11.23

Nothing beats browsing around a showroom for a stylish new sofa, a fully integrated kitchen or some statement flooring. Comparing the colour swatches, checking the different custom configurations, and carefully choosing those all-important finishing touches…

But who says a hands-on shopping experience is best in a retail showroom?

Giving your customers an immersive experience is much more than a convenient alternative, it can greatly enhance the whole customer journey, increasing engagement and converting a ‘let’s just have a look’ into a ‘must have purchase’.


We’ve seen the future and it’s digital visualisers

Digital visualisers and product configurators are becoming essential marketing tools, particularly in a post-pandemic world where the high street is no longer king, and retail overheads are being squeezed by inflation. 

Whilst today’s shoppers have become accustomed to buying products online with sometimes only a single image, however immersive tech – like VR and AR – has the potential to create a more sophisticated eCommerce experience. Giving shoppers the ability to visualise how an item might look ‘in-situ’. Bridging the ‘online – offline’ gap and building consumer confidence in the process. 

Remember, it’s all about providing the right content at the right stage of the buying journey. 

Gone are the days of a linear buying journey – users can enter and exit your funnel at any stage across numerous channels. The beauty of digital visualisers is that they take the guesswork out of what is often a complex buying decision and persuade shoppers to take action. 


Keeping it unreal

Today’s ever-demanding consumers demand more than ever. Images on a white background simply won’t cut it and retailers need to go beyond what’s possible in the real world, by bringing products to life using digital visualisation tools and dynamic custom configurators with pixel perfect product rendering. Giving customers access to powerful tools at their fingertips to control how they sort, customise and compare products. 

Let’s not forget that this pre-purchase process should be fun! Consumers will always have a need for functional information and product testing while shopping, but many are also increasingly keen to enjoy the research process or simply ‘play about’ with tools for a while. Something that can’t be done in a traditional furniture store. This is three-dimensional window shopping, and you are invited to make it as entertaining as possible.

Capture customers’ imagination and insights

Online configurators and visualisers also provide a smooth transition from experimentation to purchase, through automatically providing price, applying discounts and adding correct items to carts. This gives retailers a chance to provide an enhanced customer journey and upsell through suggested products based on design trends, current customer popularity or special offers.

Once customers have had a play with the online tools, you can then provide additional re-engagement opportunities using CRM strategies like suggesting/confirming options selected or providing order updates via email, SMS etc. Rich in metadata and able to drive demand across new audiences, digital visualisers and configurators can capture customer data and insight that will lead to greater opportunities in the future.



Ride Shotgun’s digital visualiser and product configurator capabilities can provide your customers with a truly immersive and customisable shopping experience. One that’s completely seamless, adaptable and highly personalised. 

By utilising BTS (behind the scenes) automated content creation we can offer customers the chance to experiment with literally every possible product combination that simply wouldn’t be feasible or affordable using traditional methods.

Imagine using photography for a project like this; shooting every element of every bed, in every colourway and variant – with the exact same aperture and lighting would be a mammoth task. We estimate that our digital-first solutions are at least 50% cheaper than if they were to purely use traditional production methods.

Having this level of hands-on creativity to play around with is highly engaging for shoppers. 

Any related products can be linked directly to the shopping cart, building out baskets for product packs and custom options to improve the overall user experience and to aid cross-selling opportunities. Customers also appreciate a helping hand with prompts like: ‘How many packs of flooring will I need?’, “How many tiles will I need” or “useful extras” which are then calculated on the fly.

That’s not all – We can also generate personalised images of products (rather than using the same image for the product’s life cycle) that can be published on social platforms. It’s a great way of creating free product awareness and brand exposure through user generated content.


Digital Visualiser/Configurator benefits

As a trusted and proven production partner, Ride Shotgun can help revolutionise your eCommerce offering. With end-to-end strategy, design, tech dev and CGI specialists all working on your project via just one touchpoint, your dedicated account manager. 

We can help you to:

+ Increase consumer confidence
Help customers to instantly visualise their future purchase.

+Boost sales with customer configurators
Boost conversions with a fully customisable configurators and up-sell opportunities.

+ Bridge the online-offline gap
Provide a 3D catalogue of your physical products online.

+ AR, VR + Metaverse Ready
Provide unique and engaging AR, VR and metaverse experiences.

+ Reduce returns with “Try before you buy” 
Reduce returns and exchanges, as products are more likely to match customers’ expectations.

+ Get to market faster
Reduce the need to manufacture pre-made or custom products and get to market faster using CGI.

To explore the benefits of a personalised and engaging experience for your online customers contact our team or check out our Product Configurators services page.