Close
 

Virtual reality: coming to a store near you?

  • News
  • January 18, 2016
  • Elly Strang
Virtual reality: coming to a store near you?

Virtual reality (VR) – as the name suggests – is a product which merges a real life experience with that of a virtual world.

Though the technology has been discussed for years, the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas this month showed that VR is going to be very much a reality for shoppers this year (excuse the pun).

Well-known headsets such as the Oculus Rift, Sony Playstation VR and HTC Vive were all on display at the show in the build up to their retail release date.



The Oculus Rift headset

Oculus Rift will retail for US$599, while the prices of the other two have not been announced – although it’s expected the Playstation VR will be on the lower end of the price spectrum, while HTC Vive has been described as a premium product.

New Zealand consumers had their first taster of the virtual reality market last year in May when the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition was released.

The Gear VR uses Oculus software, but at a fraction of the price because it's used in combination with Samsung phone.

Noel Leeming was the first to begin stocking the product, and was then joined by other tech retailers like Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi.

At the time, Noel Leeming general manager of merchandise Jason Bell said virtual reality products were still in the early adopter stage.

“This is the first real consumer product we’ve seen in New Zealand come through,” Bell says.

“But if you look globally, the forecast is quite staggering in terms of how big the market is going to get.”

He said today that Noel Leeming is very pleased with how selling the Gear VR has gone.

"VR is still a relatively new small market but sales so far have exceeded demand, we ran out of stock over Christmas but had more arrive early January."

As for whether Noel Leeming will stock the new virtual reality headsets arriving on the market this year, he says they're still assessing the opportunities, but the company's goal is to bring new technology to its customers first. 

The market is expected to escalate quite radically. Deloitte Global has predicted that virtual reality products will have their first billion-dollar sales year in 2016.

This will be comprised of US$700 million in hardware sales of the technology and the rest from content, with sales of about 2.5 million VR headsets and 10 million game copies.

So, how will the New Zealand market react to this technology hitting the shelves?

New Zealand Deloitte partner Paul Brabin says New Zealanders tend to warm to new technology pretty quickly, so virtual reality should be no different.

“We’re early adopters of technology and have a really strong technology innovation sector in New Zealand. It’s a good market too because we’ve got a cross section of people who use technology, so most of the global consumer brands see us as a good place to test retail and brand launches.”

He says with the number of competitors in the tech retail market in New Zealand, virtual reality products could be a unique way to draw customers in.

“Retailers are constantly challenged around how they differentiate against competitors and create something unique for the in-store experience, especially with online retailing versus the retail store experience. Virtual reality is one of these products that truly does tap into the excitement factor around technology,” Brabin says.

“From a customer experience point-of-view, it’s fantastic, right?”

Though some may balk at the steep price point of VR headsets, Brabin says they are placed within the aggressive price range of most other tech products people spend money on.

“The price of tech has come down quite rapidly in the past five years,” he says.

“If you look at some of the discussion that comes out of those innovating in the tech space, virtual reality is in that price range of $500 to $800, relative to what other people might spend on other tech items like mobile devices.”

However, in Deloitte’s aforementioned 2016 predictions for VR, the company warned there is “considerable hype” surrounding it.

It used the example of Google’s Google Glass, which was considered by many to be a failure as the search engine giant halted the glasses' sales in January last year.  

“Recent breakthrough technologies that required consumers to wear something on their face have not proven to be mass market successes. While VR headsets may sell better than smart glasses or 3D TV glasses, also consider that using the technology may require a set of behavioural changes that the majority of people do not want to make,” the prediction said.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

InStyle names All Is For All’s Grace Stratton a ‘Badass Woman’

  • News
  • July 18, 2019
  • The Register team
InStyle names All Is For All’s Grace Stratton a ‘Badass Woman’

Grace Stratton, the 20-year-old founder of specialty ecommerce site All Is For All, has been named one of 50 global Badass Women by US glossy magazine InStyle. The list includes international celebrities like Mindy Kaling and businesspeople like Stitch Fix chief executive Katrina Lake.

Read more
 
 

Wellbeing in the workplace: Here's how its affecting your staff, and your bottom line

  • Opinion
  • July 18, 2019
  • Elly Strang
Wellbeing in the workplace: Here's how its affecting your staff, and your bottom line

Idealog editor Elly Strang recently spoke at the Magazine Publishers Association conference about the importance of wellbeing in the workplace, and the key takeaways from Wellness Month. She shares why it shouldn't be thought of as a luxury nice-to-have, like yoga classes, as research is showing it impacts on your bottom line, as well as some tips on how to create change in the workplace.

Read more
 
 

How HomeAR is incorporating AR into architecture design

  • technology
  • July 18, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
How HomeAR is incorporating AR into architecture design

Many people struggle to envision plans from simple 2D renders and floor plans, as without a designer's eye, filling in blanks from imagination isn’t the most reliable method when it comes to something as important as building a brand-new home or store. Reactar has launched an augmented reality-based platform, HomeAR, to counteract this, which allows users to see and engage with homes in a virtual way, making the very personal process more reliable.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Simon West is the new chief executive of Torpedo7

  • Who's Where
  • July 18, 2019
Simon West is the new chief executive of Torpedo7

Simon West, who has 20 years' experience leading companies like Ezibuy, has been appointed the chief executive of The Warehouse Group's outdoor retailer Torpedo7.

Read more
 
 

Bay of Plenty D2C Saltysea opens its first store

  • Design
  • July 17, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Bay of Plenty D2C Saltysea opens its first store

Stephanie Saxton has been selling cheeky swimsuits and ethical activewear online out of Bay of Plenty's Athenree since 2018. She's now opened Saltysea's first bricks and mortar store, the Salty Collective.

Read more
 

What the investment community thinks Kiwi businesses lead on the world stage with

  • News
  • July 16, 2019
  • Idealog
What the investment community thinks Kiwi businesses lead on the world stage with

Every business goes through a life cycle: start-up, growth, maturity and renewal, rebirth or decline. Once you’ve made it past the juicy, creative ideation stage and into the growth and maturity stage, the time for many comes to seek investment. But what do investors look for beyond a commercial return? And what do investors think New Zealand companies excel at when compared to our neighbouring countries around the world? Executive director of the Angel Association of New Zealand Suse Reynolds shares her top tips for those who are looking for investment.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}