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Retale envisions virtual showroom app


The Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset is slowly gaining popularity with retailers as a customer engagement tool, and an industry vendor is hoping to capitalize on the trend.

Location-based mobile platform Retale is releasing Retale Virtual Reality (VR) for Oculus Rift this year. Designed to be a VR, location-based shopping companion, it will provide an immersive, 3D environment where customers can shop context-based local offers.

Retale is building its Oculus app upon the intuitive retailer, product, and coupon browsing experience it provides on iOS, Android and Apple Watch apps. With VR capability, Retale seeks to add an immersive interface that connects the digital experience with an actual brick-and-mortar one. Users will be able to browse virtual showrooms and researching deals in a virtual world, learn about products in 3D and then add them to their shopping list.

Once the user has explored the weekly deals and VR showrooms offered by Retale’s retail partners, they are able to select products or stores that they’re interested in and add them to their shopping list on the Retale mobile app. From there, the mobile app will send a push notification confirming the addition, and users can receive navigation information to guide them to the nearest retail location to purchase their selection.

Retailers including J.C. Penney, Lowe’s and Canadian Tire have launched Oculus-based store promotions in recent months. VR innately blends the physical and digital worlds, so it is a natural fit for omnichannel promotions that digitally drive store traffic and purchases. As Oculus Rift and other VR devices become more mainstream in the coming years, expect more retailers and retail IT vendors to take advantage.

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