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5 Cool Facts about Shopping in Virtual Reality

Posted date: July 20, 2017 questions-about-vr-shopping

Online shopping is not a novelty it once was. Now, anything you see on the Internet can be delivered to your door in a click of a button. However, there have been some pretty amazing advancements in the field suggesting that the next big development in purchasing online is here. It's virtual reality shopping. Read on to find out more!

1. How did it start?
While Amazon is a little behind, a big Chinese trade platform Alibaba has already started to embrace the future. In 2016, they have created a virtual experience Buy+. It allows customers to walk around virtual stores, "touch" and pick out items, take out things in their carts, and even try them on to a point. And the service is quite popular. Over 30,000 tried it in the first hour after the launch.

2. How can you try it?
Sadly, not all of us can access such an amazing service. In order to dive into the virtual reality setting, one must buy a special headset first. Some of them are relatively cheap. For instance, you can buy Google Cardboard for a couple dollars and connect it to your phone. However, if you want a more comprehensive experience, Oculus Rift or Vive might work for you. They are very immersive and allow you to experience the service better. On the other hand, they do cost a pretty penny and won't be useful to you unless you like video games.

3. Is anyone else doing it?
Many companies see merit in the technology. For instance, Ikea used VR to allow its customers to design kitchens and other rooms from the elements provided. It is not only useful, because clients can immediately visualize their spaces, but immensely entertaining! Audi created the first showroom existing completely in the realm of virtual reality, while eBay Australia wanted to turn its website into a department store.

4. What does it feel like?
People vary in their reactions to VR shopping. Some appreciate the impression of walking around imaginary stores and looking at different items, while others think that the technology is still too new and disorienting. One Ikea customer described visiting a virtual store like walking around a modified rendition of Google Street View. He enjoyed inspecting the items, but was disappointed because not all of them were available.

5. What's next?
Right now, the cost of the technology is pretty high so only giant companies can afford it. However, in just a couple of years, smaller businesses will be able to present their products in VR. Even now, such startups as Gatsby work on creating virtual stores for anyone who might want one.

The world of online shopping is about to become even more wondrous!

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