MasterCard and Swarovski disclosed that two companies joined forces up to create a new virtual reality shopping app for browsing through a virtual home filled with crystal objects designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid, designer Tomás Alonso and many others. According to Cnet.com, the app could mean that VR and augmented-reality shopping will start to grow in the luxury markets. Because these crystal pieces are heavy, pricey and difficult to ship (fragile), VR shopping may be a useful step for potential buyers and help Swarovski achieve more sales.
In our earlier coverage, IKEA used features from Apple’s new iOS 11 to create an AR furniture shopping app.
The joint MasterCard-Swarovski app represents is developed for the Atelier Swarovski home décor line and it lets users who have a VR headset for their phone to walk through five areas of a virtual home, browsing items. The app highlights the cost of the pieces, as well as details about the manufacturing process and the “story behind the inspiration”.
When they launch the app, users are prompted to log in with their Masterpass account credentials, enabling them to checkout by focusing their gaze on the Masterpass button that appears at the bottom of the product description. Swarovski isn’t the first brand to take a stab at a VR consumer experience. Back in 2015, Tommy Hilfiger invited shoppers to virtually view its runway show. Rag & Bone also worked with Google for a six-minute VR documentary in 2016 and Coach deployed a holistic program including VR.
VR stands to provide an additional platform for luxury brands to align with premium consumers, particularly Millennials. “Pavers” seems to be a new term for early adopters of the technology and it tends to belong to the demographic. These shoppers propose large opportunities for brands to reach consumers who have been otherwise unattainable.