According to eBay and Myer, they have created a world's first: consumers can visit a web shop completely hands-free thanks to a virtual reality application. Is it a gimmick or the future of shopping?
3D store experience
Everyone who downloads the eBay Virtual Reality Department Store app can use a simple cardboard headset to enter Australia's largest department store Myer's virtual store, a complete 3D store experience.
At first, consumers will get to see different product categories: women's clothing, electronics, household products... Afterwards, the shoppers can personalize their shopping experience by choosing the categories they prefer. The app will also analyze their shopping behaviour in order to suggest other possibly interesting products.
Buy with your eyes
A remarkable fact is that the VR application uses eBay Sight Search technology: if someone stares at a product, he actually selects it and it will "float" towards you. The top 100 is already available in 3D, while everything else (of 12,500 different items) is currently still only visible in 2D.
A simple head movement will bring up product information, stock and shipping options, while looking at the "add to basket" icon will actually finalize the process, leading you to the eBay app. For the time being, payments are done outside of the virtual reality app, but developers are working on a solution. Not only should VR payments be seamless, but they are also working on social shopping, so that one can shop with a friend for example.
Is this the future of retail experience or just a passing gimmick? "This is just a first glimpse of what shopping could become in the future", eBay Senior Director Marketing & Retail Innovation, Steve Brennen, said. "Imagine this: shop in a London boutique with your sister from New York while you are sitting on your sofa in Sydney."
This video shows how the eBay / Myer VR app actually works.