Your chance to give shoppers a 3D Xmas experience

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Professional Jeweller teams with Holition for very special offer.

Professional Jeweller has teamed up with augmented reality specialists Holition to offer readers of the magazine the chance to be among the first 10 independent jewellers or designers in the UK to offer customers an online 3D experience this Christmas.

We are putting out a call for innovative retailers or jewellery designers to join the ranks of brands such as Boucheron, De Beers and Tissot by offering customers the chance to virtually try on a ring or a watch online using Holition’s groundbreaking technology.

Holition will create a special Christmas-themed online experience that will run on retailers’ or designers’ websites in the run-up to the crucial festive selling period. The tool will be an ideal marketing opportunity that can spin out into customer events, local press opportunities and, perhaps most importantly, viral opportunities through social networking sites.

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The 3D experience will be hosted on the website of the retailer or designer. Customers can print out special paper markers, either for a watch or a ring – the promotion is subject to a single object – which they then place on their skin where the real product would go, position themselves in front of a web cam and watch the image of a watch or ring appear on screen in place of the marker.

Customers can change the size of the product, turn it to view it from alternative angles and post images of themselves wearing it to networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The special offer is open to just 10 companies, either retailers with five stores or less or designers, and is on offer for £5,000, which is less than Holition’s cost price.

Holition will provide full support for the 10 companies that get involved and will also help them to maximise marketing opportunities that the experience will create. The online project is scheduled for launch in mid November and will be branded up with the participating retailer or designers’ logo.

The project can also be reskinned with a Valentine’s Day theme to extend its commercial longevity at a small additional price.

This is the first time that the technology, which can cost anything from tens to hundreds of thousands of pounds depending on specifications, will be made available to smaller players in the UK watch and jewellery industry. To date it has only been major global corporations that have jumped on board with the technology, such as Garrard, which used Holition to create a programme that allowed visitors to Vogue’s Street Lights exhibition on Bond Street try on one of its tiaras using virtual reality.

Other brands that have used the 3D technology to much applause include Boucheron (below) and Tissot, which dressed Harrod’s windows with the technology, allowing passers by to virtually try on new watches from the brand. Tissot posted videos of their reactions online.

Earlier this year, luxury jewellery designer Hannah Martin also teamed up with Holition to launch her most recent collection The Man Who Knows Everything. The collection’s hero design, a triangular sapphire-set ring, was displayed on top of a pyramid-shaped stand and guests stood in front a screen wearing triangular-shaped paper markers, which were sent as part of their invite to the event, and watched as the marker tranformed into jewellery.

Much like a virtual dressing room, Holition’s technology offers a more exciting and innovative way of trying on jewellery, especially as so many consumers research potential products online in advance of heading to bricks and mortar stores. It is also a chance for shoppers to have some fun and spend time on the retailer or designer’s website.

Professional Jeweller will follow the stories of the 10 companies that sign up to the project, from initial sign up to how they roll out the technology, the feedback from customers and impact on festive sales.

“UK retail is one of the world’s most competitive and innovative industries, and with Christmas sales accounting for 31% of value and 35% of volume, it is more important than ever to outshine the competition during this festive period,” said Holition chief executive Jonathan Chippindale. “Premium brands are constantly looking for ways to deliver cutting edge marketing campaigns and as one of Professional Jeweller’s Hot 100 Trailblazers, we are supporting the growth and expansion of the UK jewellery industry with a once in a lifetime offer to help stores stay one step ahead of the competition.”

Retailers or designers interested in being part of this groundbreaking project can apply up until October 28. The 10 selected will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Those interested should contact Lynne Murray at Holition on 020 7377 9659 or at lynne.murray@holition.com.

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