eBay opens world's first virtual reality department store

- Technology - May 23, 2016

Online shopping platform eBay is partnering with Australian retailer Myer to launch new virtual relaity shopping experiences. 

The US multinational company, now present in many countries across the globe, is stepping into the world of virtual reality retail for the first time. More than 12,500 Myer products can be browsed, selected and added to a shopper’s cart using eBay’s Sight Search function. When or if the concept reaches Europe, is yet to be revealed by the ecommerce firm. 

How does it work in practice? Using a ‘shoptical,’ a specially designed virtual reality viewer, shoppers view a product, and by holding their gaze on it select an item which then ‘floats’ towards them. The video below shows the department store in action. 

"It’s been important to us that we don’t just replicate the ecommerce experience in a virtual environment," said Jooman Park, Managing Director eBay Australia and New Zealand.  "We are taking the best elements of traditional retail and expanding on them to improve browsing, selection, personalization and efficiency.”

By simply locking eyes on information icons they can access more detail about product specifications, price, availability and shipping. Finally, they hold their eyes on the ‘Add to Basket’ icon to complete their purchases via the eBay app.

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. 

eBay and Myer have made 15,000 shopticals available to customers free of charge at www.ebay.com.au/VR

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Read the May 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.

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