Trying to avoid the people of Walmart? Is your car in the shop and you can’t get a ride to the world’s largest employer to do your shopping? Sick of meandering down the aisles of Walmart for a toothbrush? Or maybe you’re just lazy? Luckily for you, the world’s largest company by revenue recently filed two patents for a “virtual reality showroom” at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
One analyst said that “Walmart knows that its stores are too big and unwieldy for people.” With this in mind, the company decided to invest in some virtual reality technology, filing over a dozen virtual reality patents and purchasing a virtual reality firm earlier this year. Most of these patents are for virtual corporate conference calls and other internal applications, but these two patents are specifically geared outwardly toward their clientele.
So once the showroom is up, all you will need to do to avoid going all the way down to Walmart is buy a virtual reality headset and “sensor-packed gloves.” Once you get the equipment, you’ll be ready to dive straight into the simulated Walmart environment from the comfort of your own home – strolling around, picking up items just to feel them out.
Once you pick up the item to make your purchase, it will automatically be sent to you. Finally, someone found a way to cut out the retail stores and getting items shipped to you from the comfort of your own home!
But wait, I feel like this issue has already been solved…that’s right, Amazon solved the problem of having to physically go to stores years ago! It seems that Walmart is attempting to compete with Amazon in this corner of the retail market. Although it’s a decade late, better late than never.
Now let’s take a moment to consider Walmart’s strategy to take customers back from Amazon: to compete with the e-commerce giant, which offers convenient and efficient shopping from home at the click of a button, did Walmart really decide its best course of action is to offer the consumer overly expensive virtual reality equipment so he or she can experience “sensory feedback,” just to recreate a relatively inconvenient and frankly unpleasant shopping experience?
Maybe Walmart should just stick to what’s always worked for them: physical stores.