The power of virtual reality is being felt everywhere and in every sector. And the best part of the VR story is that every sector feels it can offer something to them. Retail and e-commerce are one of those sectors where the VR technology may have an extensive application.
It has partnered with Australian retailer Myer to open the world’s first virtual reality departmental store. Shoppers, now, can browse through thousands of products at the comfort of home. They just need to download the Virtual Reality Department Store App. It works fine in conjunction with headsets like Samsung’s Gear VR.
The virtual reality departmental store features more than 8000 products, but it seems to confine only in Australia for now. However, it will have more products in futures. To avail the benefit of the store, it has its own Google Cardboard-like HMD, named ‘Shopticals’, to visit the virtual store.
You can select items from women’s clothing, electronics to other items. Users can select any product of their choice. The store algorithm has in-built algorithm that further adapts according to the choice of users.
Another advantage with the VR system is that users can select object only with help of sight only.
“eBay Sight Search” feature allows them to do that instantly. Though, you can add objects in the basket, but to checkout you need to take off the headset. It’s, however, a pretty awkward and irritating feature.
Brennen says, “How do you browse, select and buy? That should be done in a virtual world.” “At the moment, we’ve got it to the point where you can select, add it your cart, and then you’re thrown to the eBay app to check out.” he says.
The experiment of eBay and Myers is certainly praiseworthy, but VR retail will have to improve a lot if it wants to put a serious threat to physical stores. It will be interesting to see, however, how consumers respond to the new kind of shopping experience.