Virtual reality (VR) has been an unstoppable force over the past few years, branching out from its initial usage in video games to finding ways in which to innovate the medical, sports, music and marketing industries, among many others.
The retail industry can now be added to that list, as a number of companies, both large and small, are utilising VR to stay ahead of the competition and offer their consumers the newest developments in customer experience.
VR potential in retail isn’t new, though – Tech Exec. reported back in 2014 of how Rebecca Minkoff were integrating technology into their physical stores and using Radio-frequency Identification Technology (RFID) to lead the way for the rest of the pack.
Last year, Myer and eBay teamed up to create the world’s first VR department store, a landmark move for the industry. The joining of one of Australia’s largest department stores with a global e-commerce giant gave glimpses into the future of retail.
Major innovations unveiled by the partnership included real-time updates around product information and availability while in VR, as well as the use of personalisation as soon as you enter the virtual store to create a more tailored experience for shoppers.
The latest development comes by the way of yet another partnership, that of Payscout and Visa. Payscout, a global payment processing provider, has launched a VR application called Payscout VR Commerce, with Visa providing their Visa Checkout technology.
Currently, the app only features one shop – Body Language Sportswear, an online sportswear company from Los Angeles – but the ability to pay in VR through Visa is a world-first.
Sam Shrauger, Senior Vice President of Digital Products at Visa, emphasised the benefits that VR offers to the consumer.
“Virtual reality is already one of the best ways to bring unique and immersive experiences to life, and we’ve now unlocked VR as the next frontier of digital commerce.”
Clearly, VR presents many advantages to both the retailer and the customer going forward. As today’s consumer increasingly demands personalised interactions, VR is the perfect tool to encompass the need of providing a unique experience while ensuring you keep your brand relevant through the use of cutting-edge technologies and platforms.