Everybody has heard of Walmart. It’s the biggest retailer in America, with over 4,000 brick-and-mortar locations spread from coast to coast. Walmart is always trying to keep up with the new technology by constantly introducing innovations. It has spent billions for purchasing sites like ModCloth and introducing digital strategies that go head-to-head with Amazon. And, as of recently, Walmart sees the future in virtual reality!
Walmart’s CEO, Marc Lore, has been surveying the latest technology in the market, thinking how to leverage virtual reality and bring in-store experience to customers at home. Lore is confident that in near future we’ll be able to put on glasses and be transported to the store section you need right in that moment. Walmart called tech firms and other entrepreneurs to submit their ideas for virtual reality shopping-centric apps. Out of 200 applicants, five have entered the Walmart’s technology incubator, called Store Number 8 and developed great ideas which could really ease the way of shopping for customers.
Imagine taking a picture of yourself and then being able to try on different outfits via VR, or going into the virtual shop and meet with assistants that will help you pick the best-suited product for you! It would be great, wouldn’t it? However, as much as this technology seems amazing, there’s a setback- the lack of adoption that virtual reality has achieved among the audience so far. There’s a lot of wire, not a great field of view, and delays that sometimes cause headaches. But, this is fastly going away with every new day. Another hurdle is the expense of building such technology. It would take much more money than creating a high-performing eCommerce web store. However, Lore is confident that the competition will eventually drive the price down, making it easier for them to take advantage of it.
Walmart is all about changing the way people shop. It has changed the landscape of the brick-and-mortar stores and now it’s creating an interactive and engaging shopping experience that is unique to each individual.
In addition, check some of the ideas developed in the Walmart’s incubation room, that may take place faster than you think:
Buy From the Runway
An interactive virtual store would enable customers to sit on a fashion show and purchase items directly from the runway. This technology would basically create a virtual store within the actual store.
Another option is for the customers to take pictures of themselves using their smartphones and then use the image to see how clothes look like on them through VR glasses. This will allow them to get the real feel of the product without actually going in-store.
If buying online makes the shopping experience lonely, Walmart would make it possible for you to interact with other shoppers and experts as you choose products for your virtual cart. You could meet with a virtual fashion assistant to help to pick out the right pair of jeans. Or, you could ask an employee any questions regarding the products.
According to Walmart, the new technology would enable shoppers to try on clothes virtually, using 3D holograms. They would be able to see how the fabric actually looks like and get a sense of sizing, grasping a realistic preview.
An online tool would peek inside your home to tell you all about child safety hazards and which are the biggest risks there. The site would also recommend products and you would have the opportunity to test the items (virtually, of course) before buying them.
Sounds fun, right? But, will the customers embrace the new technology? We’re gonna have to wait and see. However, one thing is certain-Walmart really sees the future and this will undoubtedly bring a whole new perspective to the shopping experience!