Can virtual reality reinvent the digital circular?
Retale, which enables consumers to browse weekly circulars from dozens of retailers on computers or mobile phones, is adding an Oculus Rift-based counterpart to its mobile app. While promoted as the first “virtual reality, location-based shopping companion,” the launch promises to offer the first VR view of circulars and e-commerce shopping overall.
Consumers will be able to view a digital version of the weekly promotional circulars from nearby major chains with the promise of saving consumers “time and money researching deals.” Using Oculus Rift when it becomes available sometime in the first quarter, viewers will be taken to a “virtual showroom” where they will add items to their shopping list from the 3D versions of merchandise displayed. From there, the mobile app will send a push notification confirming the addition. Users will receive navigation information to guide them to the nearest retail location to purchase their selection.
Retale said VR is particularly suited to its location-based mobile platform.
“We have seen mobile grow from zero to 90 percent of our revenue in just under three years,” said Christian Gaiser, CEO of Retale, in a statement. “In the same way that mobile has rapidly emerged, we see VR as having the same disruptive potential and impact for the retail industry.”
While Retale guides customers to make purchases at stores, a few articles following the launch explored the potential of direct purchases through VR-browsing on websites.
“Of course, it’s only a matter of time before we see a virtual reality app that allows users to shop for and buy products without leaving their couches,” wrote Christian de Looper for Tech Times.
- Retale Previews Enhanced Online Shopping Experience With Virtual Reality Platform – Retale
- Retale Is Bringing Virtual Reality Shopping To The Oculus Rift – Tech Times
- Retale is bringing VR shopping to the Oculus Rift – The Verge
Will virtual reality help digital circulars replace paper circulars? How do you see VR possibly transforming the circular experience for good or bad?