How Bang & Olufsen uses VR & AR to improve conversion

Bang & Olufsen is using an iPad app as a selling tool to show customers how its luxury audio and electronics products fit in their own homes. 

Simon Silva, global customer experience manager, Bang & Olufsen, described how the high-end retailer has rolled out the BeoHome Design app to 650 stores across the globe.

The app uses augmented reality to allow home-visit sales assistants to demonstrate how Bang & Olufsen products would look like in a customer’s home, while virtual reality allows store staff to map floorplans in minutes to achieve a similar goal to “fill the imagination gap”. 

“What is retail? We’re trying to convince customers to buy our products,” explained Silva. “And what I’ve noticed is utilising AR and VR does that in a second. What it does is it gives customer confidence they’ve made a smart purchase.”

Speaking at the VR World event in London, Silva described how with luxury goods, customers often need confirmation and certainty they’re making the right purchase, and this is where VR and AR comes in, by significantly reducing the decision making time. 

Silva said the selling tool also helps during the installation stage of the shopper journey: “It’s far easier to move 130kg speaker digitally than physically in a customer’s home.”

The app – which was designed by an Austrian company, ViewAR – secured £60,000 worth of sales for Bang & Olufsen in the first two days of use. Silva described how one customer was “blown away” by the retailer’s flagship £54,000 speakers, but said they were far too big for his home. The sale assistant booked a private car to the customer’s home to show them what the speakers were going to look like using the app. “They closed the sale there and then,” said Silva.

Another example was a customer kitting out their entire 17-room home with Bang & Olufsen products. The VR functionality was used in store to map out the home and virtually install the products. The store assistant then walked the customer through the different rooms after linking the app to an 85-inch in-store TV.

“We know technology is breathing new life into bricks and mortar retail and enhancing customer experience,” he said. “It doesn’t take away from the store experience it just enhances it… and it’s really important brands utilise these emerging technologies to enhance customer experience.”