Nathan MacLean, MD of 3D and 4D design software supplier Virtual Worlds, tells us about the effectiveness of the latest CAD software technology and creating a positive outcome.
"Making any purchase for the home is an emotive experience, but none more so than when embarking on a kitchen or bathroom redesign. These are highly personal rooms and the decision making process in terms of both layout and what fixtures and fittings to include is akin to buying new clothes in terms of being influenced by individual tastes.
"Most of us will only ever buy a brand new kitchen or redesign the bathroom a handful of times at the very most, making it a largely unfamiliar experience and one that, ultimately, is a big investment, emotionally as well as financially.
"That is why it is so important for retailers to consider the psychology behind the purchase. How your customers feel will dictate how they behave and the more uncertain they are they greater the opportunity for doubt and fear of buyer’s remorse to set in.
"Retailers using 4D technology from Virtual Worlds as part of the design process report that as soon as the customer puts the virtual reality headset on and ‘steps’ into the design they are sold. Why? Because neuroscience is involved and the technology taps into the power of personalisation.
"By merging neurological and virtual sensory streams 4D technology delivers a series of powerful stimuli that provide an experience that is personal, contrastable, tangible, memorable, visual and emotional. Put simply, the technology sends messages that are friendly to the fast acting ‘primal brain’, which then permeates to the slower ‘rational brain’, thereby making it easier for the consumer to make a favourable decision.
"With Virtual Worlds 4D Theatre, for example, subtle cues within the programme are used to nudge consumers towards a purchase, almost subliminally but often with a positive outcome for the retailer. While the user is enjoying a virtual walk around his or her dream kitchen, they may notice some artwork on the wall displaying a positive message, such as ‘You Deserve It’ or ‘Treat Yourself’. They may recognise the wallpaper they have in their own hallway, seen through the open kitchen door, spot the view of their garden through the kitchen window or some post on the worktop addressed to them.
"Retailers have the ability to incorporate such personalisation techniques into the propping and styling of a design, so that the new room fits seamlessly into the consumer’s home, as if it’s always been there. By getting to know their customers, their hobbies and general interests, retailers can include more of this subliminal ‘buy me now’ messaging.
"Once seen, the 4D design stays in the mind of the consumer who now really wants that new kitchen or bathroom, prompting a return visit to the showroom at which point a ‘yes, let’s go ahead,’ is almost guaranteed.
"This doesn’t mean that the consumer is not fully on board with the design. By providing an immersive and very personable design experience with Virtual Worlds, all involved in the design, from the retailer through to the consumer will be much more confident that the finished room will be everything they imagined it to be."