Myer joins eBay for world-first virtual reality department store
Internet marketplace eBay has partnered with Australian retailer Myer to create the world's first virtual reality department store.
A glimpse into the future of shopping, the two companies launched the app on Thursday, which allows consumers to browse and buy more than 12,500 products from Myer.
The technology uses a virtual reality headset with a smartphone - and app - attached. The idea is to place shoppers inside a virtual world surrounded by products to purchase, rather than walking around a virtual recreation of a Myer store.
Using eBay Sight Search, it's like a shopping cart found on regular online stores.
To generate interest in the new VR shopping channel, eBay and Myer are also offering 15,000 customers a free cardboard viewer, known as a 'shoptical'.
Given it will be the first time eBay has released VR shopping anywhere in the world, eBay Australia and New Zealand told the Australian Financial Review that the US-based company will be closely watching shopper behaviour to learn what they like and reject, in the new environment.
"In a sense this is stage one with the market testing it, so we can learn something. We see technology leaps and platform changes coming in the future," said eBay's Australia and New Zealand senior director of marketing and retail innovation, Steve Brennen, in speaking with AFR.
"We knew Australia was ready to go first with this because we see how much VR equipment is being bought here on eBay ... from January through to April we've already sold tens of thousands of headsets."
The app is compatible with VR headsets like Samsung's Gear VR, but also with cheaper options like Google Cardboard. It took 12 months for eBay to design the app.
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