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Google gives store windows global audience via virtual walk

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Louis Vuitton's store windows on Google's Window Wonderland

Louis Vuitton and Cartier are among the 18 New York storefronts getting a digital audience this holiday season with help from Google.

Google’s “Window Wonderland” recreates the feeling of strolling outside iconic retailers on a consumers’ desktop computer, mobile phone or tablet. While about 5 million tourists descend on New York this time of year, many located in other cities, states or countries will not be able to get to see these in person, making this Google experience the next best thing.

Walking tour
For Window Wonderland, Google combined hundreds of high-resolution images to create an interactive panoramic display for each store. This allows the user to pan as if they are walking.

As they are virtually strolling, consumers can zoom in on details in the windows. For those with a virtual reality headset, a full 360-degree panoramic experience is accessible, complete with ambient noise from New York’s streets.

Window Wonderland experience featuring Barneys New York

Providing additional context for these displays, which can take up to a year to plan and execute, Google is also sharing audio tours from the creative directors of some of these retailers.

The entire list of retailers that partnered with Google on this experience are ABC Carpet & Home, American Girl, Barneys New York on Madison Avenue and downtown, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Burberry, Cartier, Fendi, Henri Bendel, Lord & Taylor, Louis Vuitton, Macy’s, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co. and Tory Burch.

With an interested audience that may not be in a store's physical location, retailers are finding ways to recreate their window displays for digital channels.

Department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue wandering through a secret garden with the help of 360-degree virtual reality video.

Created in support of its 2016 Glam Gardens in-store and digital experience, the virtual reality video is intended to introduce consumers unable to attend the physical aspects of the initiative to the beauty brands offered by Saks. Marketers have begun implementing virtual reality aspects into campaigns to turn flat, 2-D experiences into something much more immersive for consumers to enjoy and interact with (see story).

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