Virtual Reality Builds an Easy Product Selection Process

Giving customers the opportunity to experience finish and fixture possibilities before anything is built helps streamline the home building process and increase effective communication about product selections.

No longer a novelty, nearly 20% of Americans are using virtual reality regularly and about 4 out of 5 Americans report being familiar with it, according to a survey by Greenlight Insights. Experts expect the rising increase in use and popularity to continue, with the VR market expected to triple by 2024, according to Statista.

While gaming is about 25% of VR use, the majority is used for simulations and modeling to help users experience real-world possibilities that range from professional training and exposure therapy to home design and visual home design immersion.

“Virtual reality can help a homeowner who has so many decisions to make when they’re designing a house,” says Andrea White, director of architectural sales at Sierra Pacific Windows. “It helps them feel more confident about their decisions because they get to see what their options will look like in a realistic setting. They can move around in the space and really get a feel for it.”

Giving customers the opportunity to experience finish and fixture possibilities before anything is built helps streamline the home building process and increase effective communication about product selections. Plus, a VR simulation can create a more comfortable and satisfied customer.

Allowing drawings and renderings to “come to life”.
Allowing drawings and renderings to “come to life”.

Streamlined Product Selection Process

While 3D and VR modeling programs allow home buyers to experience a design and many common types of building products, specialty and high-end options aren’t typically integrated into those programmes. In order to experience these often large-scale features, companies like Sierra Pacific Windows have developed an Oculus-compatible VR app called VRXperience that gives customers the experience.

“In our virtual reality showroom, we have a 20-foot-wide opening that’s about 9 feet tall, allowing the user to interact and choose the type of specialty door they are considering. An architect, builder, or a homeowner might be looking at all the windows and doors in white oak and then they think, what would they look like with a black interior finish? And then they can see what that would look like, and the user can actually walk up to a door and unlock it and open it,” White says. “If somebody is trying to make that decision, VR is going to help.”

Communication Tool

When the burst of tech-heavy-reliant communication during the pandemic combined with the already growing use of VR, some companies turned to creating virtual reality apps to provide the simulated experience of their custom products and large-scale options.

“We came up with the idea during the pandemic when we were not able to go visit architects in person,” White says. “Not all showrooms have enough space to put a 20-foot-wide door in them. This is another way for someone to experience what that would be like without the dealer having to invest to have a display.”

Customer Helper

More than just viewing and interacting with products, the Sierra Pacific Windows VR app also includes videos naturally integrated on a TV that help explain product features and a virtual attendant to help guide the user.

“There are so many decisions and choices that need to be made, the more you can help a client make them, the better it is for everybody,” says White.

For more information about the Sierra Pacific Windows app and to experience it at a local showroom, head over to https://www.sierrapacificwindows.com/WhereToBuy/

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