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Mall of America joins virtual reality revolution


Mall of America is using leading-edge technology to enhance the on- and offsite customer experience.

The Bloomington, Minnesota-based center is the latest retail participant to adopt virtual reality (VR) technology. A new, VR-based immersive experience allows customers to “see” retail, entertainment and live events within the mall.

The tour of the mall first transports viewers to the Sea Life indoor aquarium. Other virtual attractions include the Nickelodeon Universe indoor theme park and the JW Marriott’s Cedar + Stone restaurant. Radisson Blu hotel, and a live choir in the mall’s rotunda event space.

To view the mall’s content, users can download the Vrideo app, then use a VR device like Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear or Oculus Rift. This is the latest in a series of tech-based initiatives to help enhance customer experience at Mall of America. Recent announcements include complimentary WIFI, a mall-based virtual assistant app, and a paperless valet parking service.

“When you’re talking to someone who has never been to Mall of America before, it can be difficult to convey all of the features of our property,” said Emily Shannon, director of digital at Mall of America. “Using virtual reality, we can better communicate that we have five-star dining, a seven-acre amusement park, and miles of store fronts.”

Retailers including Lowe’s, Wayfair and Ikea have also recently released customer-facing VR tools. Mall of America is using VR more for promotional purposes and less to directly drive sales than those other retailers. However, the end goal of seamlessly engaging consumers in new and compelling ways is the same.
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