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John Lewis eyeing Oculus Rift opportunities to unite VR and in-store experiences

John Lewis has started looking at what virtual reality (VR) technologies such as Oculus Rift could bring to the in-store experience.

John Lewis

Speaking at IAB Engage 2014 event in London today the retailer’s head of online marketing, Lloyd Page, revealed that it has started investigating the area predicting that“the VR and the in-store experience will collide”.

He said that it could be used in a situation where an in-store customer shopping within the furniture department can use the headset in order to visualise how it might look in their living room.

Page also discussed some initial ideas to have come out of the new partnership with iBeacon start-up Localz, which recently won £100,000 investment through the JLab scheme.

“[Localz] might be used in a case where a customer comes into one of our shops and it alerts the partner to get a click and collect parcel ready to save time. Or perhaps we’ll send [the customer] shop navigation to the products in [their] wish list,” he said, adding discussions were still in the early stages.

Finally Page said the retailer will ramp up its efforts on the My John Lewis loyalty scheme, which recently restricted the free tea and cake perk for members in the run up to Christmas.

Nonetheless, he said at the moment a third of sales go through the channel and the data collected is allowing John Lewis to increasingly personalise the experience and “deepen the bond” consumers have with the brand.

In the latest issue of The Drum magazine industry insiders debated the commercial opportunies for brands on virtual reality platfroms, revealing new advertising products they could potentially pitch to clients.