eBay, Australia’s largest marketplace and iconic Australian retailer, Myer have joined forces to provide a glimpse into the future of shopping by creating the world’s first Virtual Reality (VR) Department Store.
Within the experience more than 12,500 products from Myer can be browsed, selected and added to cart using eBay Sight Search™.
Jooman Park, Managing Director eBay Australia and New Zealand said: “Until now we have not had the opportunity to physically experience the transformative effect VR could have on retail. By building the world’s first VR Department Store here in Australia and observing the reactions of thousands of consumers who trial the experience, we have the opportunity to lead the world into the next phase of retailing.
“It’s been important to us that we don’t just replicate the ecommerce experience in a virtual environment. We are taking the best elements of traditional retail and expanding on them to improve browsing, selection, personalization and efficiency.”
Myer CEO and Managing Director, Richard Umbers said: “This exciting collaboration with eBay reaffirms our commitment to omni-channel and building a truly contemporary and innovative retail offer.
“Our customers can now immerse themselves in the experience of shopping inside a Myer store from wherever they may be, with product information updated in real time to ensure everyone can keep up with the latest offers from Myer.
“This really showcases a department store that can bring the love of shopping to life across both physical and digital environments.”
The Virtual Reality Department Store connects to the existing eBay.com.au API (Application Programming Interface) which allows Myer’s product range, pricing and stock information to be updated in real time, a first for virtual reality experiences globally.
From today, eBay and Myer are offering customers the opportunity to receive their own shopticals (specially designed virtual reality viewers) to start their VR shopping experience. 15,000 shopticals will be available free of charge from www.ebay.com.au/VR.
Sydney residents and visitors are also able to experience the VR Department Store by booking their place at a special exhibition at The Harbourside Room, Level 6, 140 George St, Sydney on Thursday 19 May and Friday 20 May. Places can be secured via Eventbrite (http://ebay-myer-world-first-digital-innovation.eventbrite.com.au).
Owners of shopticals simply download the eBay VR Department Store app on their smart phone, and insert their phone into the shopticals with the app open to start their virtual shopping experience.
“We hope our shopticals make it into the hands of technology lovers, but more importantly, shoppers who might not live close to a department store and can now experience virtual shopping from the comfort of their own home,” Park added.
How it Works:
1. Personalise: the shopper selects their areas of interest at the beginning of the experience and the store is custom built around these needs, making the most relevant products visible first. As shoppers move through the store, the smart technology suggests other products that might be desirable or interesting, based on what the store knows about them.
2. Browse: using eBay Sight Search™, the shopper views a product in the store and by holding their gaze on it, the product is selected and automatically floats towards them, with the top 100 products available to view in 3D, and more than 12,500 in 2D. The shopper is able to quickly move through different departments of the store, making the shopping experience much more time effective for today’s busy consumer.
3. Research: shoppers simply lock eyes on information icons to receive full product specifications, as well as price, availability and shipping details.
4. Purchase: shoppers just hold their eyes on the ‘Add to Basket’ icon to complete their purchases via the eBay app.
ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, said this partnership reflects the commitment of these industry leaders in advancing the ecommerce experience and omnichannel approach to retailing.
“We congratulate Myer and eBay on this exciting initiative, and we look to the future of virtual shopping technology for both retailers and customers alike.
“This immersive platform blends both digital and physical retail environments, providing a seamless experience for consumers to personalise, explore, research and purchase products.
“Truly a first for the industry, the development and trial of this technology is at the forefront of retail innovation and represents promising new opportunities for retailers,” Mr Zimmerman said.
Australian consumers can be the first to experience virtual reality shopping, with Myer and eBay offering 15000 cardboard virtual reality viewers free-of-charge. These ‘Shopticals’ are available from www.ebay.com.au/VR.