Future Forward: Are You Shopping the Aisle…From Your Couch?

More and more shoppers are opting to use their laptop, tablet or mobile to do their grocery shoppingthese days. While it is convenient, it takes a bit of prep andknowledge about what you,which leaves little roomfor browsing or impulse. This does not bode well for manybrands trying to constantly capture sales from today’sshoppers who are at best “promiscuous loyals,” according to Byron Sharp’s book, How Brands Grow.

The current online grocery shopping environment omits many of the real store experiencesthat many shoppers rely on. Or it did until now. The introduction of virtual reality devices like Oculus Riftand companies like Retale are making it possible for shoppers to stay on the couch and still shop the aisle.

Digital coupon service Retalehas launched a new VR app within its smartphone app that will allow Oculus Rift users to shop the actual store. “The advantage of the virtual experience is to encounter the products more deeply without ever leaving the comfort of your sofa,” said Pat Dermody, president ofRetale. “Being able to enter the environment and simulate the experience of seeing, touching and engaging with the product in 3D is an advantage over flat art or video.”

While not many shoppers have an Oculus Rift today, it will be interesting to see how the early adopters react to this new shopping functionality and how it can be adjusted and built on as the technology becomes more mainstream.

Photo Source: Retale