Walmart’s technology incubator, Store No. 8, has announced a competition seeking virtual reality (VR) solutions from developers across the US, PYMNTS reports. The competition is looking for “ideas that have the potential to change the way we shop and live,” and offers winners funding for their initiatives, as well as the chance to partner with Walmart or Jet.com.
The company is positioning itself to be at the forefront of VR shopping applications. Consumers are already interested in the technology’s retail potential, with many hoping to use VR to avoid store visits and alter the sales assistant experience. But of those in a group of 500 top North American retailers who use VR, none believe it is working well. Walmart is likely hoping to buck that trend, and it may be well positioned to do so — the retailer already uses VR for training purposes, and this competition could help it form partnerships to keep pace with new improvements in the space. This would allow it to reap the benefits of consumer interest in VR as the technology develops.
Investing in VR could help Walmart in its ongoing battle with Amazon. The company has invested in a bevy of e-commerce pureplays, improved machine learning, and launched Store No. 8 this past March. All of these moves are part of Walmart’s plan to boost its e-commerce and technological capabilities as it competes with Amazon across a number of markets and industries. High-quality VR could help Walmart better take on the e-commerce giant by providing it with a critical edge in a yet-to-be-mastered space among retailers, particularly if it can use the tech to revolutionize the shopping experience both online and in-store.
- * Identifies the major players in today's VR hardware and platform markets.
- * Estimates future growth of each of the major VR categories.
- * Explores barriers to mass market consumer adoption for each of the VR hardware categories.
- * Considers how developer sentiment is driving the growth of various platforms.
- * Assesses how the market will shake out over the next five years in terms of size and the success of various VR hardware categories.