Virtual reality is coming to shopping.
Reuters reported Friday (Sept. 11) that Trillenium, a startup based in the United Kingdom, has been creating “virtual stores” — a blending of tactile shopping with eCommerce on smartphones and other devices.
The intersection of the real and the visual comes as consumers look at an object, look across different angles at a particular item and also socialize with peers about what they are buying — a technology that, in effect, as Reuters notes, is “bringing to life an eCommerce industry currently dominated by search boxes and static pictures."
In an interview with the newswire, Dave Evans, commercial director at Kantar Retail Virtual Reality (as the name implies, the company uses virtual reality to help clients, namely retailers, develop brick-and-mortar locations), said that “the current dot com experience is pretty sterile. So, if they can improve the experience, you might dwell a bit longer, spend a bit longer online exploring products because you can get closer to them and buy more.”
Trillenium, for its part, according to Reuters, may ride the wave of virtual reality headsets in 2016 coming from Facebook and Google that will tap into the consumer market. The company has backing from ASOS, one of the largest retailers in Europe, which holds 9 percent of Trillenium through its venture capital operations, and support from tennis professional Andy Murray, who invested in the company through crowdfunding company Seedrs, which in tandem with two angel investors has raised £335,000 for the company.
Trillenium has said it is working on a virtual reality demo for ASOS, with a goal to be used by at least half of the company’s 88 million users eventually, according to Trillenium Founder and CEO Hrvoje Prpic. Under the relationship between the two companies, brands that are listed on the ASOS site would pay to be featured on Trillenium’s virtual store — with a “more limited version,” sans 3D viewing with goggles, on smartphones.
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Over the near- to mid-term future, according to the executive, Trillenium wants to raise £1.8 million from venture capitalists and also bring to market a platform where clients can build custom sites for their stores through a template.