Saving the high street with Virtual reality

10th July 2018 | Published by Hollie Barrett

It is no secret that the news has been telling us over the last couple of years that the High street is on its knees, and they are right. The surge in online purchasing has risen significantly with the likes of Amazon and eBay making it so easy to buy what you need/want at literally any time of the day and usually at a better price point too. But there is one thing missing from this, you put a lot of trust in buying something from an image or two and some suspicious reviews.

Virtual shops! Wait, what? Yes, that's right you heard me.

Augmented & Virtual reality is paving the way for the shops to move from the high street to a virtual high street, giving the consumer that 90% experience of being able to see the product in action just like you would in the shops. The obvious drawback being you are still not able to touch, smell or feel the item (Yet!). Ultimately this would be the death of the high street but think about it, this could be the saving grace for many of the bigger retailers that are being forced off of the high streets. Removing all those pricey overheads of their unit prices and staff costs etc. Ok, so it isn't ideal for the most part. However, the rise of technology like Facebook Spaces could be that bridge between a dwindling market and turn it back into a thriving one.

Paving the way...

Facebook Spaces is a new technology that allows users to communicate with their friends in a totally new way. You can interact via your 3D avatar by chatting drawing, sharing memories and the list goes on. But take a moment to think about the possibilities for retailers to make use of this being able to showcase their goods in a VM world allowing users to try items on, see the product in a 3D environment before making that all-important decision or finally making their purchase. If retailers are forward thinking they would certainly capitalise on this opportunity.

There is hope

Ok, so before we get carried away there are some obvious drawbacks. Facebook Spaces is only available on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive currently but over time this will certainly be integrated into your smartphones for sure. This is all food for thought at this point and trying to give technology a good spin for once!