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Google Shopping Brings Holiday Windows to the Web

People can now virtually experience New York City’s holiday window displays with a new Google Shopping innovation.

“Window Wonderland,” an online platform, modernizes the 150-year-old tradition and brings 18 different stores to life on peoples’ computers, smartphones and tablets. With the platform’s high-resolution and interactive photos, New York City holiday windows are now accessible to everyone, including people that can’t make it to the Big Apple for the “most wonderful time of the year.”

Developing holiday window displays isn’t a seamless task for the city’s retailers. Immediately after the holiday season concludes, stores plan their window displays for the next holiday over the next 11 months. With more than five million tourists visiting New York during the holiday season, retailers feel the heat to put on the best show. Teams of artists, designers, technologists and welders come together to develop the holiday window displays. Users can also listen to audio tours that feature retailers’ creative directors and their perspectives on the holiday window display process.

For the platform, Google Shopping collected hundreds of hi-res photos from New York City retailers. With new technology techniques, Google Shopping transformed the images into interactive panographs. While virtually walking through the platform, users can see through the holiday window displays and zoom in for decorative details. With Google’s virtual reality headsets, “Window Wonderland” delivers a 360-degree panoramic view and transports users right to the front of all the stores, without leaving their original location.

On the holiday window display tour, users start their journey at Bergdorf Goodman’s 5th Avenue store and end their virtual walk at Tory Burch’s Madison Avenue flagship. For each retailer, “Window Wonderland” provides a small summary about their holiday window displays and access to each store’s website to shop for gifts and research information about merchandise shown.

Notable stores on the virtual tour include Lord & Taylor’s “Enchanted Forest” robotics display and Saks Fifth Avenue’s illuminated window display, “Land of 1000 Delights.” Google Shopping also features its own link throughout the tour, so users can shop for holiday gifts while browsing “Window Wonderland.”

Window Wonderland is part of Google’s Art Copy & Code project series, a Google initiative that fosters technology development for creative storytelling. The goal with Window Wonderland is to inspire other companies to use technology for their future brand experiences.