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Retale steps into virtual reality showroom through commerce app

The coupon company believes that virtual and augmented reality will be the most disruptive innovation in retail, and is attempting to get ahead of the game with its new VR app. The Retale virtual reality feature is incorporated into its smartphone app, and Occulus Rift users will be accessing a new app, which opens up the door for a wide range of consumers to accept the new feature.

“The advantage of the virtual experience is to encounter the products more deeply without ever leaving the comfort of your sofa,” said Pat Dermody, president of Retale. “Being able to enter the environment and simulate the experience of seeing, touching and engaging with the product in 3D is an advantage over flat art or video.”

Virtual shopping
Retale is converging the online and offline retail industry through its new virtual reality push, hoping to give consumers a shopping experience which mimics the in-store experience but at home. While mobile and online shopping is becoming a predominant source of revenue for retailers, Retale is hoping to continue innovating for users to receive the most effective experience.

Users of the original app have access to the virtual reality feature in which the home page allows users to browse retailers near their location. They can view weekly advertisements and check a map, which displays the retailers within their area.

A virtual showroom experience is created specific to each retailer where users can browse a store similar to a bricks-and-mortar experience, by clicking on “take me to showroom.” Shoppers can interact with items of interest by clicking on a specific product to reveal its information.

Consumers who are interested in specific products can add them to a shopping list through a button, which immediately adds the item to virtual record within the Retale app. To purchase the item, the app shows users which stores in their area have the item in stock.

Virtual reality retailers
Target also launched a mobile tool that acts as an interior designer for college-bound shoppers, linking with their social media profiles to provide a personalized and interactive selection of merchandise (see more).

Also, Online art distributor enabled users of its revamped iOS applications to virtually decorate their walls, develop personalized art galleries and transform favorite photographs into masterpieces (see more).

These retailers are showing the importance of augmented and virtual reality in the commerce space.

“Yes, going into the physical store and actually coming in contact with the physical product would be 100 percent real but the virtual world should be able to provide shoppers with the next best thing,” Ms. Dermody said. “Starting with the flyer content as the point of entry simply says to the shopper we have that product, it is featured somehow, usually at a compelling price and cyou can experience through VR in a way that you could not through previous media and finally if you like what you see and experience, you can put it on your shopping list.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily