“Virtual SATURN”: Saturn launches Europe’s first virtual reality shopping world for consumer electronics

Ingolstadt, November 20th, 2017: Something which was long considered a far-off dream has become reality. Customers can now immerse themselves in a fascinating virtual shopping world, view products in 3-D, and seek advice from employees in the form of avatars. This brand new shopping experience has been made possible by consumer electronics retailer Saturn, which has just opened “Virtual SATURN” – Europe’s first virtual reality shopping world for consumer electronics. Using a VR headset, Saturn customers can examine numerous products in the virtual environment of a modern loft or inside a space station on Planet Saturn – and then buy them. Virtual sales assistance is offered by experts from Saturn, reflecting the company’s customer-centric strategy increasingly focused on service and added value. Saturn will be unveiling this new shopping experience during a ten-week tour at 20 Saturn stores, where customers will be invited to put the new system through its paces. What’s more, “Virtual SATURN” can also be downloaded as an app for use at home with a VR headset.

Following the successful HoloTour this summer with the avatar named Paula, during which Saturn introduced customers to the fascination of augmented reality shopping with the Microsoft HoloLens, Saturn is now presenting yet another innovation set to change the future of shopping. “Virtual SATURN” enables customers to enter a completely new world of virtual reality where they can experience and purchase the latest technology trends. If customers like what they see, products can be easily transferred from their virtual shopping list to the Saturn webshop and conveniently purchased online. “Virtual SATURN” has been implemented by MediaMarktSaturn N3XT GmbH, which is driving forward MediaMarktSaturn’s digital transformation with a combination of cutting-edge technology and concepts and new business models, in conjunction with Saturn Brand Management and Munich tech startup Innoactive, a partner on the Saturn HoloTour.

“We see great potential in virtual reality and are firmly convinced that it will significantly change the way we experience things and also how we buy products. It’s therefore only logical for us to develop a shopping world for VR and so make this new medium and its possibilities available to our customers as early as possible,” declared Martin Wild, Chief Digital Officer of the MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group and CEO of MediaMarktSaturn N3XT GmbH.

Outer space or inner city: Two shopping environments

Visitors to “Virtual SATURN” can choose between two virtual experiences. They have the choice of being inside a space station on Saturn or alternatively in the living room, kitchen and workspace of a stylish loft. Numerous thematically related products can be tested in both environments. For example, wearables, smartwatches, 360° cameras and gaming accessories are available. In addition, the latest home trends such as OLED TVs, multi-room systems, kitchen appliances, games consoles, tablets, e-book readers and much more besides can be viewed and product information displayed on demand.
To make things even more fun, gamification elements have been added. For example, on Planet Saturn, products can be examined while floating weightlessly in mid-air and then tossed away into the infinite universe. There’s also a tape measure to measure items, and you can take notes with a virtual pen. Another gimmick which has been included is a reunion with Paula the avatar.

Individual assistance in the virtual realm

In connection with “Virtual SATURN”, Saturn is also testing virtual sales assistance. As Martin Wild explains: “An important part of our strategy is to spend more time advising our customers at home. That’s why we’ve made sure that in “Virtual SATURN”, our experts can provide guidance and assistance to customers. We can hence transfer a central part of our offering – individual customer assistance – to the virtual realm.” If customers so desire, specialists from Saturn can be beamed into the VR world and help them decide what to buy. This function can already be used during the store tour and will shortly be available to home users as well.

Expanded product selection and multi-user function in the pipeline

In the first test phase of “Virtual SATURN”, customer feedback will be evaluated, paving the way for the development of extra features. “In the next step, additions will include a larger range of products. We also plan to introduce a multi-user function so that up to four friends with VR headsets can meet up in ‘Virtual SATURN’ and go shopping together in virtual worlds,” stated Martin Wild. “As always, we’re involving our customers in development early on to find out what features give them the most added value. After all, the possibilities of VR technology are practically limitless.”

Enjoy “Virtual SATURN” in store or with your own VR headset

“Virtual SATURN” will be showcased at 20 Saturn stores across Germany during a ten-week tour starting at the end of November. Customers will be invited to extensively explore the virtual shopping realms on the following dates at the Saturn stores listed below:
•    November 23rd–25th, 2017: Ingolstadt and Munich Neuhauser Strasse
•    November 30th – December 2nd, 2017: Hamburg Altstadt and Aachen
•    December 7th–9th, 2017: Berlin Europa-Center and Cologne Hansaring
•    December 14th–16th, 2017: Berlin Alexanderplatz and Düsseldorf Sevens Home of Saturn
•    January 11th–13th, 2018: Braunschweig and Essen
•    January 18th–20th, 2018: Hanover and Oberhausen
•    January 25th–27th, 2018: Dresden and Dortmund City
•    February 1st–3rd, 2018: Munich Theresienhöhe and Bochum
•    February 8th–10th, 2018: Regensburg and Frankfurt Zeil
•    February 15th–17th, 2018: Stuttgart and Mannheim

For people who already own an Oculus or HTC VR headset, the “Virtual SATURN” app can be downloaded from the Oculus Store and Viveport. A version for Windows Mixed Reality is planned at a later date:
•    App download for HTC Vive
•    App download for Oculus Rift

Carsten Strese, COO of MediaMarktSaturn Germany and in charge of Saturn’s sales, had this to say: “Saturn’s brand promise is ‘Live and experience technology’. ‘Virtual SATURN’ goes perfectly with this. We’re using it to offer our customers a fascinating, completely new shopping experience and enable them to try out future technology. At the same time, we’re augmenting our multichannel strategy by adding an innovative shopping channel and integrating the digital and real worlds even more closely.”

Go here to find out more about “Virtual SATURN”.