Bringing together virtual reality (VR) and eCommerce, Six Hundred Four recently opened a VR sneaker store. Through the virtual experience, eCommerce customers can “walk” around the company’s flagship store and add items to their shopping carts without having to use a headset, the company announced in a press release.
“Typical VR experiences are limiting because they require a headset. You can’t type with a headset, and frankly, most people don’t even have one,” Six Hundred Four Founder James Lepp said. “We didn’t want to have those constraints. Instead, our experience can be used anywhere, any time, on any device.”
Six Hundred Four’s retail space serves as an art gallery and a shoe store: The company calls the concept a “sneaker gallery.” And this type of space lends itself to a VR platform, the company said. But getting Six Hundred Four’s business model across to customers online isn’t always easy.
“You won’t find a brand like ours anywhere else in the world, so the concept is new to all of our visitors,” Lepp said. “In the store, we can enlighten you as we guide you around. Online, however, it hasn’t been so easy. With this virtual store, online visitors will gain much more insight into what we do.”
Six Hundred Four is hardly the only retailer to embrace VR technology. Barneys New York, for example, recently announced its spring campaign “Mantle”: a virtual-reality experience with the Martha Graham Dance Company and Samsung Electronics America, Inc. The VR short film reportedly marries fashion, tech and contemporary dance, premiering exclusive designer looks to Barneys New York customers straight from the runway via the Oculus Gear VR, Samsung’s VR app and Barneys’ website.
And Walmart launched its tech incubator Store No 8 last year with a vision to develop VR, personalized shopping strategies and delivery advancements, such as drone and autonomous vehicle technology. Store No 8’s strategy is not to develop tech in-house, but to acquire and support startups that can deliver that sort of tech. It has now pulled in a VR startup, Spatialand, to spearhead VR product development for the big-box retailer’s stores and website.