Walmart is going virtual. In an effort to transform the brands in-store and online shopping experience, the company has acquired virtual reality shop, Spatialand. Last year, the startup worked with Walmart’s technology incubator, Store No.8 giving the retail giant intimate familiarity with the VR firm.
Spatialand, founded by Kim Cooper, designs software tools allowing creators to transform current content into immersive, virtual reality experiences. Along with a team of 10, Cooper will work with Walmart on developing and delivering this deal. Katie Finnegan, overseer of Store No.8, will serve as interim CEO.
When asked about the mission in merging virtual and augmented reality with retail, Finnegan shared her group is honing in on retail experiences that may take up to 10 years to hit a mainstream audience. She also added virtual reality may not even fit into this particular vein with augmented replacing it completely.
In August 2017, the concept of AR/VR changing the shopping experience as whole was an exciting concept. The thought that decisions could be made for shoppers based on previous purchases as opposed to timely jaunts throughout aisles and racks has some drastic appeal. There was also the idea that a VR headset could transport shoppers to a desired store from the comfort of their home and virtually shop. Again, though, this is not something to occur anytime soon.
Alibaba, China’s largest online store, opened a virtual mall for its consumers to experience shopping without having to leave the house.
So, what is the projected timing for Walmart to share its AR/VR work with the public? As of now, it is estimated to take between 12-18 months for a reveal. Additionally, financial specifics of the deal have not been disclosed but it is speculated to be quite small.
Are you ready for virtual shopping?
Edited by Maurice Nagle