How a Small Company is Using Virtual Reality to Bring Back US Manufacturing


Born from a Kickstarter campaign 3 years ago, Trayvax is an up and coming company that is breaking many molds. Their slim metal wallets offer an innovative new way to carry cash and cards and their slick web belts are truly unique.

But Trayvax isn’t just innovating products, they’re also innovating new ways to reach their customers. This week the company launched a 360 Virtual Reality Shop Tour to give viewers an inside glimpse into how products are made in the USA.

“We give a lot of shop tours to locals, but sell our products all around the world,” said Gerald Craft, marketing and communications manager. “We want to provide our customers in New York or London, for instance, the same opportunity to see US manufacturing in action.”

A Commitment to US Manufacturing

Trayvax has made a commitment to US manufacturing and hand builds all products at their facility in Bellingham, WA. They also work with local vendors across the state and additional vendors throughout the US. 

“Made in USA is important to us because it keeps money circulating throughout our local communities,” said Craft. “We want people to see that American manufacturing is alive and well. And what better way to bring them inside our doors, than with a virtual reality experience.”

US Manufacturers Slow to Adopt VR

The total number of active virtual reality users is forecast to reach 171 million by 2018. YouTube and Facebook already support VR videos which let viewers look in any direction— not just where the camera is pointing. Adoption by businesses has been slow, however, with only 30% of consumer-facing companies saying they will experiment with VR as part of their marketing efforts in 2017. That number grows even smaller when looking at small and medium-sized corporations. While VR video is being talked about as the next frontier in advertising, adoption has been limited to big brands.

This is due in part, to the fact that most Americans still don’t have the required VR viewers which are required to watch virtual reality videos. Consumers who do not have a VR viewer can still view VR videos in 360 format, however.

“We know that our customers are interested in VR, but many don’t have the VR viewers to fully immerse themselves in the experience,” said Craft. “To provide the best experience for our customers, we purchased 500 viewers and gave them out to random winners.”

Seeing US Manufacturing in Action

The new 360-VR video by Trayvax takes viewers on a shop tour, visiting each product line to not only get up close and personal with the item, but to see the manufacturing process behind it. 

“Until teleportation comes to fruition, we hope to pioneer the VR landscape by providing our customers with the most interactive online experience in the industry and proving that American manufacturing is alive and well,” said Craft.

 


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