Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Feb 24 2015 22:07:59

How Will Virtual-Reality Shopping Impact Small Sellers?

By: Ina Steiner

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Like something right out of a William Gibson Sci-Fi novel, the Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that can transport you to far away places without ever leaving one spot. And you can buy a Samsung Gear VR headset based on Oculus technology at Best Buy for only $199 (a Samsung smartphone is required to operate the headset).

In Wednesday's Newsflash, EcommerceBytes takes a closer look at how virtual reality could impact shopping - and we look at research that shows a majority of consumers are interested in virtual shopping.

Being able to visit a store and browse goods in a virtual reality environment from the comfort of your home may not be too far off - but will small merchants and sellers be able to afford to participate? What will it take to make products viewable in VR marketplaces and showrooms? That's not clear at all.

Wired paints a picture of VR solving the problem of finding clothes that fit and flatter. "Everything you see is your size, and you can try outfits on an avatar that has your identical proportions." 

Once the technology is in place to make it truly possible to see if a bathing suit or pair of jeans is really flattering to your body, however, will it be within reach of small players? 

Let us know what you think of virtual reality (has anyone test driven a Samsung headset?) and how it could impact shopping in the short term and long term.




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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Feb 25 07:02:30 2015

We heard the same things about the Segway.  It was going to change the world.  Time magazine called it one of the biggest failures of all time.

Time will tell. The fact that a Samsung smart phone will be required to operate a headset is a little puzzling.

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by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 25 07:49:09 2015

I think this will take. And places like Etsy and eBay will make it work for sellers. Our "stores" will just have store fronts.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Feb 25 08:59:32 2015

But will colors be exact or look different when the item is in front of you.

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by: Orwellwasright This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 25 10:36:40 2015


Total bullcrap

I've been hearing about ''virtual reality '' since the 70's, in 40 years there has been virtually(pun intended) no advancement

Not even close to being an actual reality

technology nowhere near close to a mass market infusion

And don't forget if and when VR shopping actually works you would have to reformat and reconfigure everything to conform to VR requirements

Maybe my unborn grandchildren will one day shop in a virtual walmart (shudder) but not in my lifetime

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 25 11:06:37 2015

I can think of several reasons , this idea is just plain stupid .VR was a joke in the 80s , & still is. Ridiculous!

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by: P.Dorf This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 25 11:15:35 2015

LOL

don't know if google are taking the p*ss, but for $5 or free download.

https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/

fraction of the cost. sorted

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by: Eric Saeger This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 25 11:42:58 2015

Meh. Forget avatars -- I'm sure the first wave of this stuff will look like the virtual makeup segments of "Love Lust or Run," where the shopper sees themselves wearing the color/style. Thus it's most likely relegated to fashion.

Of course, it might be farther off.  Around 1999 I was with a software group that was predicting the imminent takeover of all telephone communications by VOIP. Take a wild guess whether or not a newly minted MBA was leading the charge.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Feb 25 17:27:27 2015

Excuse me, but I seriously doubt that majority of consumers even know or understand what virtual reality is.

Maybe a few early adopters, techies, and "Matrix" film fans.

Obviously a marketing ploy to sell Samsung smartphones.

The last e gadget I saw that resembled this device was a DVD screen built into a pair of wraparounds like this one.

How long did that last?

Samsung should eventually offer an iPhone version as well if it the idea doesn't flop.

More eye candy for the me centered, entitled generations to admire themselves in high end fashion, on furniture and homes they can't afford, or in cars they can't afford because they're too busy spending discretionary income on the latest tech device, garish tattoos, and lattes.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Feb 25 20:00:40 2015

Ming post reminds me of the fate of Google glass.

Just because it sounds great doesn't mean that it will be.  And the backlash against Google glass, well I'm guessing that wasn't expected.

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by: BB2 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 26 01:53:52 2015

My prediction... No. It's not ready for prime time. But, it is inevitable... or some technology very much like it.

Give it another 5 years. We'll be talking about it on eCommerceBytes. By then, beta testers and early adopters will have worked out many of the kinks. Software manufacturers will start releasing products that make simulated VR easy for the online seller. It will be part of the next wave of innovation online sellers will need to incorporate in their business model, or they'll risk falling off the evolution bandwagon.

Eye candy doesn't interest me. I am a 50-something looking to stay in business over the long haul.

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 26 02:11:02 2015

It's the return of the ViewMaster!

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by: Twisted Sticks This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Feb 26 10:26:53 2015

I think this is so beyond stupid but then I am a senior adult. Maybe for the younger crowd.  

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by: iwasjoe This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 26 11:54:54 2015

I can see this working for the lard butts to big or to lazy to get in a car and go to the store. I have a hard time looking thru a pair of binoculars. But I fall in the line of old far-s. and think this idea of not being able to wait till I get home to search for what I want on a 32" monitor on Bonanza is silly.
We have enough trouble with using a phone while driving don't think we need to add VR to it. .  

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by: quirkyantiques This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 26 13:30:06 2015

I HAVE the oculus Rift DK2 and let me tell you-it seems like we are FAR away from it being a household norm. I have a top of the line gaming laptop-the Razer Blade pro and it's much bally-hooed top end nividea GeForce graphics card is NOT fully compatible-what the heck....
I either have to BUY a dedicated system now just to run the thing or throw away $350. Unimpressed....

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by: Donna G This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 28 12:39:12 2015

If it does work and become the norm. People will use their avatar to shop. Find the name brand style, size, and color they want  . . . and then go to eBay to find it cheaper. Just like they do now. Hopefully.



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