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Brief Published: 10 Sep 2015

The Line: Shoppable Virtual Reality

'The Apartment' by Sapient Nitro for The Line

A new project for New York-based lifestyle retailer The Line is taking virtual reality (VR) from the realm of immersive marketing into engagement with the potential for direct monetisation. 

Displayed via a pop-up at advertising festival Cannes Lions in June (see our full coverage here), the concept, devised by multinational brand experience agency Sapient Nitro, allowed attendees to virtually tour and shop ‘The Apartment’ – a residential-style furniture store.

Visitors were able to explore the store remotely which, according to the brand, was designed to combine the ease of e-commerce with the thrill of real-life shopping. Using Samsung Gear headsets, 360-degree motion-tracking video technology allowed users to virtually roam the apartment. They could access information about each product simply by focusing their vision on diamond shapes overlaid above them – placing items into a virtual shopping basket with a tap on the side of their headset. Once they finished exploring, all of their choices appeared in a basket, taking them through to the checkout.

Such immersive contextual shopping experiences will continue to boom in value. According to Digi Capital, an US augmented and virtual reality advisor, VR is predicted to grow to a market value of $30bn by 2020. For more on retail-focused VR, see Virtual Immersive Commerce, Virtual Added Value and Immersive Brand Spaces.

For more on VR’s role in creating dynamic, non-linear retail experiences that boost consumer engagement, see Retail Beyond the Algorithm: Serendipity & Exploration in our Get Real Macro Trend.