Play as Orb Media aims to combat scroll fatigue with virtual purchases
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The e-commerce start-up, which uses an immersive platform to retain customers longer on merchant sites, aims to raise 1 million euros to develop its offer
Orb Media, an Irish e-commerce start-up that claims to be able to change the way online retailers interact with their customers, is aiming to raise up to €1m in an 18-year plan months to develop its operations.
The company, founded in 2017, has developed an immersive platform that uses subtle elements of gamification to keep potential customers engaged with a website longer, and thus improve an online retailer’s sales.
Orb is supported by Enterprise Ireland and has worked with brands such as Burberry, Jameson and Vogue over the past two years. It claims to represent the “next generation of e-commerce”, integrating 360 and virtual reality into its software offering.
With its Burberry project, Orb Media has developed a 360-degree virtual simulation of a store interior. Customers could explore the store through the screen and click on the products they were interested in to learn more. Rather than a simple image of a piece of clothing, they were then presented with a fully immersive experience encompassing video and audio elements.
It’s a much more attractive deal than what’s currently available on many retail websites and Ciara Sheahan, founder of Orb Media, is convinced that her product is the future of sales.
“Seven out of 10 consumers give up on product scrolling or potential purchases,” Sheahan said. “It’s called scroll fatigue. The websites have not changed in the last ten years, in that they have the same interface with the same checkout. Basically, what we see on our screens is two-dimensional. »
Orb Media wants to take these websites and make them immersive, virtually bringing a customer into the store. “We can keep consumers engaged for long periods of time with voluntary, proactive engagement,” Sheahan said.
Orb’s platform builds on the lesson well understood by all video game creators: providing doses of dopamine as a reward for certain activities is an effective way to keep playing.
“If you think about player loyalty, they’ll go without food, they’ll go without sleep, they’ll miss the social experiences to stay in their game,” Sheahan said.
“We take those discrete elements and weave them, along with retailer or brand strengths, into the experience. If we think about players and how they respond to prompts in a game, it’s about ‘integrate an element of that into the shopping experience.’
For many brands, keeping a browser on their website for four minutes counts as a serious result. But on the Burberry project, Orb Media kept users on the site for an average of 22 minutes, with some staying up to 47 minutes.
“Five to seven years from now, things are going to be totally metaverse-focused,” Sheahan said. “What’s to come is absolutely breathtaking, and we’ll be in that space when the market moves on.”
This Making it Work article was produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland