Traditional and online retail giants such as eBay and Myer have teamed up to launch the “world’s first virtual reality department store”. It is “a glimpse into the future of retailing”. Nowadays to connect with your customers, its got to be done in the real world as well as the virtual world. Virtual reality is fast becoming the “fourth channel of retail”, along with physical stores, eCommerce and mobile commerce.
Shoppers can use either their Android or Apple smartphone and a free virtual reality headset to browse the store, navigating through 12,500 products and purchase items just by glancing at them in a VR space. Most of the products will be displayed as 2D images and the top 100 products represented in 3D models that shoppers can turn, twist and even travel inside to see details. There’s more, you can now visually see tens of thousands of products in a couple of seconds within a store.
It is predicted that an upcoming feature would include, allowing friends living in different parts of the world to meet up with their digital avatars and go on a shopping spree together. It will get to the point where we think the virtual store will know you better than you know yourself, for example, it will know your leg measurements, your foot measurements, it will be able to add products on to you and see how those jeans fit or those shoes fit.
To access the virtual reality store, people can go to eBay.com.au/VR and download either the Android or iOS app. With the app loaded onto your smartphone, you put the phone into a VR headset, such as a Samsung Gear VR or a free cardboard VR viewer available from eBay. When you enter the virtual reality store, you personalize the department store by choosing three categories you’re interested in browsing. If you look at an item in the VR space, you can see details of it including price, availability and shipping details. To add it to a cart, you look at the “add to basket” icon next to the item. Shoppers then exit the VR space to finish their transaction through the eBay app.
Definitely a game changer for retail, it will create a more personalized, deeper shopping experience than you would have on your regular smartphone.