eBay and Myer launch world's first virtual reality department store in Australia

By Addie Thomes

eBay and leading Australian retailer Myer have launched the first-ever virtual reality department store, giving Australian consumers a glimpse into the future of shopping.

The innovation allows customers to immerse themselves in a new experience of shopping inside a Myer store, with product information updated in real time. More than 12,500 Myer products can be browsed, selected and added to a shopper’s cart using eBay’s Sight Search function.

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.

"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. Residents of Sydney were also able to experience the VR store by booking their place at a special exhibition.

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Read the May 2016 issue of Business Review Australia and Asia magazine

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