“What role do you see VR playing in helping shape the retail experience? And can you name anyone who is doing it right?”
I am excited about the ongoing development of VR and AR in retail. There are a number of applications for this type of experience. AR can provide an interactive layer to the traditional shopping experience by allowing customers to learn more about a product, explore versions of a product (colors) or how it was made. Customers can use an app on their phone, scan the product or a code and engage. I also like the example of an interactive mirror when clothes shopping, allowing customers to virtually try on clothes options to see how they look. VR will have a little more of a challenge to get a foothold. It provides great promise to take a consumer in to an experience: sit in a car or go to a resort and see what you can experience firsthand. Longer term, I could see VR allowing consumers to virtually walk in to a store from their home, see products for sale, interact with them and shop. Your virtual mall can elevate the online buying experience all from your couch. Of course, that would require consumers to have the hardware and software in home to power it, which is something that is still off in the future. As with all new technology though, it will only be a novelty until someone can make it easy to access, easy to use and provide a real value for the consumer.