Walmart showcases its vision of VR as the future or retail
Store No 8, the technology incubator of retail giant Walmart, has showcased a number of incoming technologies it feels are set to revolutionise retail in the coming years at its recent innovation gala.
VR took a prominent place among the pioneering tech, highlighting the importance the company thinks immersive experiences are set to have in the retail landscape.
The event showcased experiences produced from five VR developers, all of which are focused on using VR to solve different problems in the ‘v-commerce’ space.
Here is a rundown of the five experiences on show:
8i X Bonobos
The male clothing site that Walmart acquired earlier in 2017 for $310 million showed what it would be like if shoppers could use 3D holograms to try on clothing virtually.
Using volumetric video technology to allow users to select virtual versions of clothes and then have it mapped on to an accurate representation of their frame. The platform allows them to see how the fabric moves and how well the item would fit.
Fyusion x ModCloth
ModCloth is a women’s clothing site that Walmart took over in March, and is looking to allow shoppers to use their smartphones to see what items would look like on them.
The shopper uses their phone to take a 3D image of themselves, and the platform then allows them to see what the item would look like on them from all angles, from wherever they were using the phone. It is hoped that this would negate the need for changing rooms and that users would only need to come to the physical store to actually pick up the item once they had decided to buy it.
Obsess X Rebecca Minkoff
This experience allowed for the creation of customised ‘virtual stores’ which allows retailers to create interactive virtual experiences that reflect their brand identity within their physical stores, or on their ecommerce sites.
An example of this would be shoppers being able to ‘sit in’ on catwalk shows featuring the latest releases and allow them to purchase items directly from there.
Showcasing Atom View technology this experience allows two or more people to explore virtual items at the same time in an unprecedented level of detail and interactivity. This could allow for social shopping through VR.
This technology could also open the door to employees located in a different area to the customer being able to provide direct customer service.
The FAB (families and babies) is the first safety tool that uses VR, AR and AI to help users identify child safety hazards in their home and provide product recommendations based on each family’s specific needs.
The aim is to allow shoppers to browse for items while technology takes care of the health and safety thinking.
"Right now, we're in the middle of a cultural shift away from burnout and based on the connection between well-being and performance," said Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global.
"The companies that will win the hearts and minds of consumers are those that shape our daily lives by making everyday experiences, like shopping, easier and less stressful.”