Romerils trial exciting new virtual shopping experience
Updated: May 6
Jersey’s high street retailers are among the worst affected by the present Coronavirus crisis. And likely to continue struggling post-lockdown as consumer anxiety and social distancing keeps footfall low.
Through innovative re-purposing of existing technology, Romerils is trialling a new online retail experience from next week. Shoppers can enter a virtual version of the company’s Dumaresq Street store, recreated in perfect 3D detail. They will be able to wander through the showroom, browse goods on display and even purchase them.
Creating the experience
The process starts through precisely mapping and high-resolution photographing the entire store. Sophisticated software converts this data into a virtual reality rendition of the store. Presented online, customers access through a normal web browser and then move around and between showrooms through simple navigation.
Items on display are tagged, allowing customers to click each for more details, to purchase and arrange delivery. There is the potential for a further link to item suppliers, allowing customers to find more information on full product options and range.
As the shop display changes, perhaps seasonally or during promotions, it’s a simple re-mapping and photographing process to update the online retail presentation.
For Romerils, the application fulfils both an immediate demand and long-term requirement, as explained by MD Steve Jewell:
‘The application immediately resonated with us. Closing the retail operation of our shop during the present lockdown prevents customer access to nearly all our products and displays. As soon as I saw a demonstration of what’s possible with this application, I recognised it presented a viable alternative and convenient shopping solution for our customers. The image quality and smooth navigation is far superior than expected, creating a seamless experience.
‘We can easily put our entire 27,000 square feet of retail space and many products online to access from home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And that can continue after lockdown is lifted – customers can browse the showroom online before visiting. Or visit and then complete the purchase online. It fits perfectly with how we plan to change our future marketing. I believe this is a great example of local innovation, and at a time when island retailers have to improve and increase service to win the backing of customers wanting to support the local economy.’
The application uses equipment and software normally employed when designing or redeveloping buildings. Recognising its potential for so many other uses, local company T&G Structural Engineers created M3D to develop the application and market the service. They have worked closely with Romerils to create the virtual store and populate its products. M3D have also been discussing similar opportunities with other island retailers.
Elaborating on the trial and future plans, Johnny Moffett of M3D said:
‘With the Coronavirus lockdown badly affecting local retailers, we wanted to help in some way. The application had already proved itself through an online virtual reality exhibition created for local art dealer Private and Public. Knowing Steve from Romerils through our structural engineering work, we quickly arranged a demonstration based on his store. With such a positive response, we have moved to a full trial and developed a product offering.
‘Creating and stocking the virtual shop is straightforward. Having shown the Romerils demonstration to a range of other retailers, there’s clearly wider interest in the application. And it goes beyond the present pandemic restrictions. We believe the application offers a powerful complementary future retail experience too.’
A range of service plans and pricing options is available making the virtual retail application accessible to all sizes of local businesses. Plans start with a standard service, to which customers can choose add-ons, including seasonal retail space updates and extra item pins.
To support businesses in the present challenging trading conditions, M3D is offering a 10% discount on an annual payment, or 12-month payment plan starting at £60.74 per month.
To view the demonstration version of Romerils’ virtual reality shop visit: www.m3d.je.
For further information on the application or interest contact email@example.com or call 01534 867060.