“What Is Reality?” [7:09 pm]
And does it matter anymore? Dell to Sell PCs on Second Life
Dell held a press conference in the virtual world Second Life on Tuesday, announcing that the company has opened an in-world island with a retail store where customers can actually order PCs to be delivered to their home.
“Second Life allows us to connect with customers in a rich and robust way,” said Ro Parra, senior vice president and general manager for Dell’s Home and Small Business Group. “It will tell us what we’re doing right and will tell us what we’re going to improve. So we asked ourselves how to extend this relationship with the customer to create a different experience. We want to be where people are gathered and they’re gathering on the Web in growing numbers.”
Visitors to the Dell Island will be able to examine Dell products in an interactive, 3D way. They can rotate, change colors, and look at the inner components of a Dell PC. The Second Life stores are also linked in real-time to the Dell.com e-commerce system.
[...] Dell is not the first one to sell computer products in Second Life but it is certainly the first major manufacturer to have such a large commercial presence there. The island will be fully staffed with people in red jackets who visitors can ask questions to and have conversations with. Dell also plans to use their in-world conference rooms for retail focus groups.
Given the unobtrusive yet wholly immersive nature of the retail/marketing/market research experience, I can well imagine what Dell means when they speak of connecting in “a rich and robust way.” Talk about a controlled environment for marketing experimentation!