Walmart is constantly coming up with new ways to compete with or beat Amazon on the next frontier, and the latest example are two patents.
The company is seriously considering a virtual shopping experience, according to two patents it has filed that detail an in-home VR showroom that you'd visit and shop from with VR headsets, Bloomberg reported. The hope is that people who prefer to ditch the traditional shopping experience at physical stores, and maybe prefer to shop online, will instead use VR to buy their items in the virtual world.
- Walmart's Jetblack shopping service launches
- Now Walmart is planning its own Amazon Go-like stores
- Walmart might launch Netflix-like service later this year
These items, of course, would be shipped to you in the physical world. Keep in mind Walmart recently bought VR startup Spatialand, and a couple months ago, it previewed a VR experience where shoppers could tour a virtual apartment, browse the dozens of items sold by Walmart, and access those items' product pages. Walmart has also steadily tested new ways of shopping, similar to Amazon.
Amazon, for instance, has pick-up lockers, and Walmart, too, has Pickup Towers, as well as automated kiosks and grocery delivery. It's clear that people are shopping in brick-and-mortar shops and less and less, and if Walmart wants to stay relevant in the 21st century, it needs to be innovative. Not only that, but if it wants to go toe-to-toe with Amazon, it can't just keep doing the same ole, same ole.
Unfortunately, these are just patents, so Walmart's vision may never come to fruition, but it's cool to see it think about the future at least.