- VR technology has massive potential for the retail space, especially as a means of augmenting the shopping experience
- VR can be used in creative ways in retail, such as creating more experiential shopping experiences
- Home Improvement stores are set to benefit as customers get an opportunity to truly visualize home remodels in a tangible way while sporting goods stores will be able to let shoppers test out athletic gear is something very close to the actual environment its meant to be used in
- As the technology continues to roll out and improve, retailers will have more opportunities to use VR in making sales and growing customer relationships
From the Forbes article:
Virtual Reality (VR) is a hot topic in retail at the moment. The technology was the darling of the International CES in Las Vegas this January and Samsung recently made news not with the hardware, but with new stores designed around showcasing the experience of VR.
Last week, Samsung debuted a VR experience at select AT&T stores, where users can try on a Samsung Gear VR by Oculus and take a virtual Carnival Cruise. There’s also a sweepstakes attached so customers can enter to win a real cruise of their own.
What does this promotion for a cruise line have to do with retail? Everything.
Retailers of all stripes are adopting aspects of “experiential retail,” adding everything from restaurants and cafes to more immersive experiences like the one from AT&T and Samsung.
Samsung has even stepped it up a few notches with its new New York flagship store that carries no products, but pushes experiences. The store—called Samsung 837, for its address—is created to host events. There are giant interactive screens, a kitchen, theater and a multimedia studio. It’s a facility set up to celebrate experiences, specifically the experiences created and viewed on Samsung products. VR is a part of that.VR has a lot of potential, depending on the type of retailer and product category. Home Improvement stores are set to benefit as customers get an opportunity to truly visualize home remodels in a tangible way while sporting goods stores will be able to let shoppers test out athletic gear is something very close to the actual environment its meant to be used in. Video game specialists will become early test centers, hosting events and promotions to let users experience the nascent technology.Some applications are harder to understand. A virtual shopping experience viewed through a VR headset I was demoed at a retail conference in January fell a bit flat, partly because it would require a the consumer to have a VR headset of their own. These currently ranges from bulky to a simple cardboard facsimile meant to give users a taste of the VR life, available for roughly $99 for the larger unit and just a few dollars for the cardboard…