Hyundai adds virtual reality to online shop

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Hyundai adds virtual reality to online shop

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A screen capture of Thehyundai.com’s virtual reality store which gives a 360-degree, three-dimensional view online. [HYUNDAI DEPARTMENT STORE]

An online platform of Hyundai Department Store will implement virtual reality technology to give internet shoppers more information about the merchandise it sells.

Thehyundai.com, the online platform of Korea’s leading department store, said Thursday it will start a virtual reality service titled VR Store today on its website.

Until now, online shoppers had to rely solely on either a string of photos, written descriptions, and if lucky a short video clip about merchandise.

However, the new digital tool will allow customers to take an actual look around the shop, spot how the products are displayed and glimpse the newest items. The ambience of the shop will play a major role.

A spokesperson for Thehyundai.com said the VR shop will be updated once a month. Customers with VR tools can get a 360-degree scan of the store in three dimensions.

However, even without a VR tool, the new service will allow shoppers to get a 360-degree panoramic view of the shops. The online retailer said this service will be available by next year.

With the VR tool, arrows displayed in the virtual shops will help the users look around the area. And when gazing at the products, a short description of the item will pop up. The e-commerce site is planning an advanced version of the service in the latter half of the year where customers can place items that interest them in a shopping cart.

By 2018, the technology will be multifaceted, with a new function that will suggest items that would match well with products that customers have picked out. In 2019, the company plans to roll out a VR-version of the entire department store where shoppers could scan the entire store from a computer.

Hyundai is also considering alliances with luxury brands. An alliance could be handy for customers who feel uncomfortable browsing merchandise at fancy shops of high-end brands.

For now, the service will be limited to sportswear brands Nike and Adidas located in the Pangyo branch of Hyundai Department Store.

“This is a whole new attempt where we are trying to connect the offline with online services,” said the spokesperson for the online retailer.

“In order to deliver a more realistic virtual space, we are going to update the shop once a month,” it added.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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