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CNBC reports that Walmart is introducing “a 3D virtual shopping tour on its website that would help customers browse and choose items for their homes.”

When accessing the function, customers will be able to take a tour of a virtual apartment that will curate and showcase some 70 different brands and products that will be seen in context, as opposed to on some disembodied web page.

Fortune writes that the service “allows shoppers to move among rooms in an apartment, using 3D imagery and 360-degree views to create a more realistic idea of how items will look inside a room. To select items, shoppers will need only click on desired products on their screen as they navigate through the virtual rooms. Beginning next month, Walmart will also introduce a ‘buy the room’ option for shoppers who want to decorate an entire room at once … That feature is targeted in part to college students who need to set up an entire dorm room or apartment at the beginning of the school year. Walmart will offer five such room collections, each of which will feature up to 20 items that the company’s data has shown to be in high demand among college students.”

According to the story, “at a time when retailers are seeking technological advancements to enhance in-store and online customer experience,” Walmart is “pouring billions of dollars into beefing up its e-commerce business and recently announced partnerships with logistics companies to deliver groceries ordered online. Walmart's technology incubator, Store No 8, bought virtual reality startup Spatialand in February to build VR products for the retailer's stores and websites.”
KC's View:
I think it says something about where we are in terms of technology that this doesn’t even seem like that much of a stretch. It sounds cool, and I’d love to try it … but a huge leap? Not really. But still admirable and an indicator of where things are going online.