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EBay and Myer Create World’s First Virtual Reality Department Store

EBay and Myer are offering Australian consumers a taste of the future.

The digital marketplace and the popular Australian retailer debuted the world’s first virtual reality (VR) department store Monday, where shoppers can search for more than 12,500 Myer items and add them to their carts via eBay Sight Search. The VR department store connects with eBay’s existing API (Application Programming Interface) and enables Myer’s product information to be updated accurately in real time.

“EBay has always been in the business of predicting the future of retail, and most importantly creating it,” said Steve Brennen, eBay’s chief marketing officer and senior director of retail innovation. “With the world’s first virtual reality department store, we have challenged ourselves to build an exciting and engaging experience that makes browsing and selecting products easier than ever before.”

While wearing “shopticals” (specially designed virtual reality viewers), shoppers first personalize their buying interests when the experience starts and then the store is custom built based on those preferences, with the smart technology suggesting other items as they move throughout the space.

EBay Sight Search allows the shopper to view products in the store and select them with direct eye contact. More than 8,000 items are available to view in 2-D, while the top 100 products are available to view in 3-D. To receive full product information, including availability, price and shipping details, shoppers may lock eyes on the VR department store’s information icons. When they are ready to buy items, shoppers lock eyes with the ‘Add to Basket’ icon and review their selections. For express checkout, shoppers then remove their handset from the shopticals, log in with their eBay account information and complete the transaction on smartphones, laptops and tablets.

Starting today, eBay and Myer are offering 15,000 shopticals to consumers for their own VR shopping experiences. People in the Sydney vicinity may also reserve a spot at eBay and Myer’s special VR exhibition, which will take place at Sydney’s Harbourside Room next May.

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“The eBay team always has been at the forefront of retail innovation and the eBay Virtual Reality department store is another great example,” said Richard Brett, managing director of Pulse Communications. “It truly demonstrates how virtual reality can transform the lives of so many Australians.”

“When it comes to truly interactive virtual reality experiences, the rules are still being written,” said David Loughnan, digital director of Traffik who led the VR development. “The eBay VR Department Store pushes the envelope for both VR and e-commerce—not only by delivering a truly immersive shopping utility but also integrating directly with the eBay platform to develop an innovative retail channel of the future.”