If you were already steadily feeding an online shopping addiction, then prepare to be even more stuck to your screen with the news that iconic Australian retail giant Myer have teamed up with the country’s largest online marketplace eBay for the world’s first virtual reality department store.
The concept, which has been 12 months in the making, is simple as 1, 2, 3. All it requires is a VR headset, an iOS or Android device and the ‘eBay Virtual Reality Department Store’ app. When the app launches, customers can choose their departments of interest and browse from a custom virtual store that reflects these selections, navigating with just a ‘gaze’.
By hovering over a certain product, customers can view a 3D model and by hovering on information icons, view details like product specifications, price, availability and shipping details. See something you want to buy? Just shift your gaze to the “Add to Basket” icon which will take you to eBay to complete your purchase.
“Currently there are over 12,000 products providing a good range of inventory. The entire product range, pricing and stock information will also be updated in real-time which is a first for virtual reality experiences globally,” said eBay’s Senior Director Marketing, Advertising Sales & Retail Innovation Steve Brennan.
Does the virtual reality department store mark the end of multi-level schlepping and the real deal? According to Myer Chief Digital & Data Officer Mark Cripsey, there is no threat. “We are all about bringing the online shopping experience to life and we feel this is a great experiment to see if customers enjoy the virtual world as much as they do when they walk into a Myer department store.”
We can’t promise you won’t look a little weird flipping through a rack of clothes with your head, but it does mean no more pesky sales assistants or weekend crowds. From today, eBay and Myer and giving away 15,000 “shopticals” – specifically designed virtually reality viewers – for free.