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Wool & Water Launches First-Ever Shoppable Extended Retail® Experience

Extended Retail® transforms "nice-to-have" AR and VR experiences into one-touch virtual buying solutions for brands across their omnichannel retail footprint

Wool & Water announced the launch of Extended Retail®, the first of its kind shoppable augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experience for brand owners to enhance their omnichannel retail footprints. Extended Retail provides brands with the opportunity to leverage the recent shift in consumer behavior and seamlessly removes the traditional barriers associated with full shoppable AR and VR experiences.

"The pandemic caused a seismic and nearly immediate shift in how consumers experience life digitally," said Jeff Bodzewski, CEO and founder of Wool & Water. "And now that consumer behavior has finally caught up with the advancements in AR and VR technologies, and knowing that more than 8 in 10 consumers said they would choose a brand that gave them an AR or VR experience over one that didn't, it's brands that embrace and implement more seamless virtual shopping experiences, like Extended Retail, that will lead the way for the future of shopping."

Extended Retail by Wool & Water combines the most advanced augmented, virtual and mixed reality technologies with powerful launch and integration strategies that give brands a competitive advantage in the digital world. Extended Retail looks closely at a brand's shopper target, assesses which technologies should be implemented, and creates unique one-touch digital shopping experiences that become extensions of the brand's digital and physical conversion touchpoints. Categories with the most significant opportunity to drive immediate results are Automotive, CPG, Retail Accessories, and Clothing.

Bodzewski predicts retail is primed for further disruption. Direct-to-consumer brands have realized that their customers don't need to go to a store. But, he says, and has the research to support it, consumers want the same convenience, selection, experience (see/try), and the best prices available in stores also available to them virtually.

"Today's AR and VR shopping experiences need to be more than just entertainment for consumers," continued Bodzewski. "In order for brands to compete in the emerging digital world, they need to provide their customers with easy AR and VR shopping experiences. Extended Retail bridges physical and digital storefronts, and helps brands drive higher conversion and sales, increase basket size, and strengthen loyalty among their customers. Ultimately, we're giving brands a competitive advantage by creating entirely new ecommerce channels and supercharging and further monetizing their digital marketing efforts."

According to a recent Wool & Water survey of 1,000 US shoppers in February 2021, more than 80 percent of US shoppers said they would buy from a retailer offering AR and VR over a competitor that does not. Additional research includes:

  • 83 percent of consumers said they think AR and VR is likely to improve their shopping experiences
  • 80 percent of consumers said they would be interested in AR and VR as a way to interact with products
  • 68 percent of consumers have used AR and VR in the past 30 days

"With over 85 percent* of Americans already using smartphone technology to improve their mobile shopping experiences, it's important for brands to ensure they are fully utilizing the technology in the most effective ways," said Chief Strategy Officer and partner Justin McAneny. "Extended Retail is an all-in-one solution to help brands fully maximize and implement the most powerful VR and AR shopping experiences that the majority of US consumers are asking for from the brands they engage with."