Coates Group Is Industry’s First To Deploy B2B Virtual Reality Tool

Coates Group, a global leader in digital merchandising software, kiosks, and digital drive-thrus, is the industry’s first to utilize Virtual Reality (VR) from a B2B perspective, allowing brands to physically see and develop new digital hardware and content within their own virtual store. Creating a never before seen experience in the world of digital merchandising, Coates is teleporting clients into a realm of possibilities at their new Lab in Chicago.


With retail and restaurant technology advancing so rapidly, bringing ideas and products to life before they are superseded is a real issue brands continually struggle with. With the Coates Lab VR tool, creative teams and designers can immediately see their merchandising ideas come to life using a VR simulation of the customers’ environment. Until now, the first time a client saw the finished product was at the end of the design and manufacturing process, stimulating a wave of inspiration about what would work better and how to improve the experience.


Unfortunately, these light bulb moments are often realized too late. The costs, time, and finite resources prevent the client from achieving the best result possible. The Coates Lab now transforms that experience allowing brands to go on that creative journey, test “riskier” concepts through the eyes of their customers without prototyping, time delays or incurring huge costs.


“We are delighted to offer this game changing advantage to our customers. The VR tool has proven to be a powerful and effective method to help brand designers, marketers and development teams efficiently ideate their own virtual store, and quickly land on the ideal design without costly and time-consuming prototypes,” says Leo Coates, CEO of Coates Group. “Brands can walk through their concept environment and change the content on digital signage using our proprietary Switchboard TM CMS, to test and visualize how different campaigns roll out in stores, allowing for real-time revisions to the proposed store environment.”


Coates VR experience includes:
· Visualize entire spaces and merchandising campaigns in the early design phase
· Complete design control from the point of conception
· Tailor and revise digital solutions earlier in the process
· Reduce piloting and modelling costs and time
· Test and develop through the eyes of customers for maximum engagement
· Conduct focus groups to collect real world insights


Coates has initially developed this tool with retail and quick service restaurants (QSR’s) in mind, given the opportunities and historical challenges. Recently, Coates worked with a global QSR to enhance the drive thru experience and tackle some of the inherent challenges faced by the customer at the drive thru. Coates allowed its client to experience and manipulate the customer journey through different merchandising options and updated hardware modeling. Coates and their client are ultimately working together to increase revenue by driving up-sell, reducing drive thru times and improving the overall customer experience.


“While VR is commonly used in gaming and other consumer applications, this is a new and innovative B2B approach to using VR in the digital marketing industry.” says Don Stroberg, Chief Operating Officer of Radius Networks a leading global supplier of beacon technology and Coates partner. “For creative teams and agencies who currently rely on concept and CAD drawings, 3D fly-throughs, or have to build replica test stores, this is a highly efficient and modern option.”


The VR experience elevates Coates’ digital hardware and software product development, personalization and pilot programs. Coates invites clients, creative teams and developers to stop by the Coates Lab in Chicago to experience this personalized VR experience. Please contact for a tour.


About Coates Group
Founded in 1963, Coates applies technology and solutions to deliver relevant, personalized digital merchandising content for quick service restaurant brands (QSR) and the retail industry. Coates’ data-driven CMS software Switchboard, self-order kiosks, digital drive-thru and outdoor displays are used by leading brands across 35 global markets. The privately held company is headquartered in Australia with offices in Japan, India, China, and U.S. operations are based in Chicago. For more information, go to


Author: VR Reporter

I am a hi-tech enthusiast, VR evangelist, and a Co-founder & Chief Director at Virtual Reality Reporter!

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