Virtual reality plays growing role in retail

Indianapolis Business Journal – Walmart is among the earliest retailers to embrace virtual reality on a large scale. It is in the process of deploying some 17,000 Oculus Go virtual-reality headsets to all of its 4,500 U.S. stores as a training tool for employees.

Other retailers in central Indiana, including the Macy’s at Castleton Square Mall and the Carmel-based franchise of California Closets, are using the technology to help customers visualize products and make purchasing decisions. For various reasons—including cost, cultural barriers and fear of the unknown—the technology is not yet in widespread retail use.

“The virtual reality experience has some barriers to it,” said Jeffrey Neville, a senior vice president and practice lead at Boston-based retail management consulting firm BRP, retail consulting firm. People might be self-conscious about wearing the goggles, and the immersive nature of the experience can cause motion sickness or dizziness. “It’s not quite a comfortable experience just yet,” Neville said.

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