Today's DIY toolkit – metaverse not pictured

EDITORIAL How Wickes and Kingfisher make it virtual reality

The DIY and home improvement industry was kind of boosted by the pandemic, with many of us being forced to finally admit defeat and all those nagging things that were wrong with our homes, things that we look to seven days a week. had to stare, to resolve.

Accompanied by ‘advice and encouragement’ from partners and husbands, many of us have now not only repaired that wobbly shelf, but have taken on bigger and more elaborate projects (why re-enter the loft, if we could expand it, just to say my own personal experience).

And DIY stores have been doing their own DIY projects around their user experience and, without mentioning the “M” word, have taken their own tentative steps into the metaverse.

Wickesfor example, has brought together the new staple of the DIY toolkit, the explainer video, with its own curated suite of tools and items to build an industry-leading retail video channel.

More than 130 videos are available, including buying guides, step-by-step tutorials, and design inspiration. Items in each video are listed in the sidebar, with the option to ‘add to cart’ without opening a new tab or interfering with the video.

The retailer has also partnered with RangeMe and now hopes that budding builders and avid home improvers will not only turn to Wickes to figure out how to grout the bathroom, but also buy everything it takes to do it.

The combination of video tutorials and the ability to easily buy what you need straight from that video is ideally suited to the DIY world. It’s an industry that really lends itself to the use of video and, in many cases mine too, the viewer never has all the tools they need for a given task.

Combining shoppable video — and all the SEO and hits that it can bring — with RangeMe’s product sourcing tools, many inspired DIYers are likely to watch legitimate videos while not working.

On a larger scale, DIY giant Kingfisher Group – owner of B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt, Screwfix, TradePoint and Koçtaş in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Romania and Poland – takes a cautious step in the metavers type, introducing 3D and virtual reality visualization, planning and design technology to support the planning and design of kitchens, bathrooms and storage areas.

By partnering with Marxent, Kingfisher enables shoppers to work from a single app to visualize items in place, map rooms, and virtually plan and design, alone or with retail agents.

Like Wickes’ offerings, this is a power combination. During the lockdown we saw an increase in the preliminary use of AR in DIY stores, but the offering Kingfisher has produced takes it to a whole new level of sophistication, giving consumers the basic overlay of an item in their home. to fully , 360, immersive VR of their rooms planned and visible as if you were in the room.

Both this and Wickes’s storeable video have pushed these two DIY stores forward as some of the most innovative players in all of retail and, to the mind, mark the first real applications of virtualization technologies – sort of a ramp to the metaverse – which we have seen. Together, they are elevating the concept of using next-generation digital tools to take both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail to the next level.

For the avid do-it-yourselfer, there is now the opportunity to plan a task in forensic detail, watch a series of videos on how to do it, and then purchase the tools and materials needed to complete the virtual to make reality.

For other retailers, it shows what’s possible and will push consumers to expect standard interactive, storeable video, VR and even the metaverse when they want to buy something.

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