First virtual store has potential to make online more immersive

October 5, 2016

eBay has teamed up with Australian retailer Myer to create the world’s first virtual reality (VR) department-store. It gave away 20,000 cardboard VR viewers (termed ‘Shopticals’) to Australian consumers, who could then download the eBay VR app, pop their phone into their Shoptical and experience a virtual shop. We asked some Brits to test the new tech and share their thoughts.

 

Engaging, fun experience! ​

Our shoppers couldn’t wait to give this ‘gimmicky’, future-focused idea a try. Many reported being ‘transported’ into a unique virtual world – a truly immersive landscape far beyond anything a website can offer. With eyes glued to the screen they felt totally unaware of their real surroundings. Though unfamiliar at first, they swiftly got the hang of exploring products simply by moving their head and selecting items with just their eyes – the whole process feeling relatively intuitive.

Room to dial up inspiration ​

It’s still early days for VR technology and there are still refinements to be made. Our sample wished the experience had been more inspiring, rather than concentrating on a lot of text-heavy product features. They wanted to see more products in situ; presented in a way that played to their passions and generated a real desire to buy e.g. tech housed in stylish room-sets ready to be explored or models wearing outfit ideas…

Overall this is a fresh, exciting move by eBay and Myer that, whilst still having a long way to go to build a truly seamless, immersive experience, could well point the way for many retailers. ​

 

 

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