Innovation That Matters

In virtual reality eBay, customers shop with their eyes

Work & Lifestyle

The Virtual Reality Department Store is an immersive, personalized retail experience, accessed via an app and 'shopticals' headset.

Last year we wrote about The Reality Theatre Mall, a fantastical, interactive commerce platform that hinted at how VR could be used to create the shopping center of the future. Now, eBay Australia has made that a reality — minus the fluorescent walls and random animals. The Virtual Reality Department Store, created by eBay and Myer, is an immersive, personalized retail experience, accessed via an app and headset, which lets customers shop with their eyes.

To launch the store, eBay gave away 20,000 ‘shopticals’ cardboard VR headsets, but the Virtual Reality Department Store can also be accessed using Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear. To begin, shoppers download the app and put on their headset. Then, they can browse more than 12,500 items from Myer’s product range, navigating the virtual store with their eyes via eBay Sight Search. They choose an area of interest and the store is custom-built around their needs, showing the most relevant products first. When they are interested in a product, they simply hold it in their gaze and it floats towards them, surrounded by other related products. Some of the items are even available to view in 3D. Viewers can also learn more about any given item by locking eyes on it, which prompts product specifications, price and availability to appear. Finally, to add something to their basket, the customer simply hold their eyes on the basket icon and can then complete their purchases in the eBay app.


What other retail experiences could be transformed using VR?



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