- Inabuggy started the food delivery service first virtual 3D shopping experience in Canada on Thursday so customers can “stroll” down the aisles of upscale food McEwan Fine Foods at Don Mills neighborhood from Toronto.
- Customers can access the 3D experience through the Inabuggy app or website, with each aisle having multiple shortcuts to find exact products from a list of available options. The 3D visualization includes an aerial view of the shop and a ruler function with which the viewer can measure individual objects.
- The 3D virtual rollout is happening as Ontario Provincial officials in Toronto consider another COVID-19 lockdown as new infections rise. reports the Canadian news agency CBC.
With fewer customers stepping into the actual aisles, grocers can use an online replica of the store to highlight new brands or products that may go unnoticed by shoppers using a website search feature. For shoppers who miss wandering the store for inspiration for their dinner Coronavirus “Cooking Fatigue” The 3D portal offers an even more intense e-grocery experience.
Customers may be drawn to the portal simply out of curiosity, but whether this is just a fleeting novelty depends on the ease of the 3D shopping experience compared to traditional online shopping. Some retailers have taken the immersive option a step further, and Walmart in particular has made huge investments in the space. In 2018, Walmart filed a patent to bring home shoppers equipped with a VR headset and sensory gloves to a virtual store. This was a foray into its online pickup and delivery services long before interest in e-grocery grew in 2020 and the big box chain also launched one 3D version of his business on its online shopping platform in 2018 – no VR equipment required.
Third-party virtual reality technology companies have capitalized on grocers’ renewed interest in reducing store traffic while keeping consumers alive during the pandemic. Such a company LifeStyles in 360, has teamed up with Whole Foods Market and individual pharmacies in Central Florida to virtually walk customers through stores with VR glasses. Stop & Shop has invested in San Francisco startup Robomart, Developer of an autonomous mini grocery store on wheels where consumers can call a robot like an Uber, get what they need, and then automatically check out using the robot’s computer vision technology.
These technologies also solve one of the potential problems with Walmart and McEwan Fine Foods’ augmented reality options, namely the lack of a visual representation of the actual products as well as the fresh meat and dairy products that customers put in their shopping carts.