New Zealand’s first virtual, interactive 3D store

Original article

Virtual shopping experience

Spark is changing the way Kiwis shop online with. How? With the use of a virtual store experience that is designed to look and feel like a real Spark store. 

The new online offering is the first of its kind in New Zealand. Using architecturally-accurate modelling and innovative interactive design to create a unique 3D shopping experience. 

Developed by arfected, in consultation with creative agency 99, it was initially designed to help Spark better serve and connect with its customers. Unfortunatelty not everyone could visit physical stores as a result of Covid-19, but the concept has been expanded to create an entirely new retail experience focused on virtual sales and service. 

Let’s get shopping!

The virtual store brings Spark stores into the digital world. Therefore, it delivers a richer online shopping experience for Spark customers. They can explore the virtual store, browse interactive 3D models of key products, view product demos or overviews and chat with retail team members via a Live Chat function. 

Customers can also purchase products. They can click on the ‘buy now’ button, which takes them back to Spark.co.nz to complete their online purchase. In addition, they can also chat with a team member to discuss product options, such as: pricing and plans. Similar to the experience they would have in store.

Some words of Spark

Chris Fletcher, Spark Consumer Channels Lead says he is excited to provide customers with an alternative shopping experience. Especially now New Zealand begins to adjust to life after lockdown. 

“While we worked hard during lockdown to repurpose some of our stores into no-contact emergency distribution centers, the Covid-19 crisis has prompted us to think about things differently. Unlike our usual website, which is in a more traditional e-commerce format, the virtual store mimics the way people are used to shopping in a brick and mortar store, and provides customers with a unique, useful, and enjoyable experience,” he says.

 

“It is a great example of what Spark is doing to keep the customer experience alive and serve our customer’s needs. It delivers the kind of interaction our customers can relate to and, through a world-class digital experience, bridges the gap between the virtual world and the New Zealand communities that our retail stores are a part of.”

 

Some words of creative agency 99

Danielle Barclay, Director of Experience Design at 99 said the project was a great example of brand innovation. Its spurred by the Covid-19 crisis and applying creativity to solve customer problems.

“The team is extremely proud of this innovative project and has worked tirelessly to deliver this ambitious and unique experience while in lockdown,” she says.

Once customers arrive at the virtual world, they will find themselves on a street outside the store. Here they can look around at their surroundings. The waterfront surroundings create a distinctly New Zealand atmosphere around the store. 

To enter the store, the customer simply clicks on the front door. Inside, they will find an immersive, 3D display of the latest products, offers and store fittings unique to Spark. They are able to interact with and purchase products, watch demo videos and chat to retail team members.