Fred Segal has teamed up with Mastercard to introduce a virtual shopping experience that will launch exclusively from Refinery29’s 29Rooms concept in Los Angeles.
The initiative allows shoppers to explore the three-dimensional physical store as if they are there in person, through any online browser. This enables them to navigate the space as they would in real life, rather than by using search terms and category breakdowns to scroll through product pages, as well as interact with different brands and engage with digital content curated by the retailer.
“Fred Segal has always been at the forefront of experiential retail. From our inception, our curated offerings made the store a must-shop destination in Los Angeles,” said John Frierson, president of Fred Segal. “Having an online presence is of course an essential part of business, however at Fred Segal we rarely do things the traditional way. We’re thrilled to be the first major retailer to create a truly experiential online shopping destination.”
The experience is backed by Mastercard and Next Retail Concepts. It also allows frictionless, secure payments to occur through the same environment by integrating with the merchant’s existing e-commerce platform.
“At Mastercard, we’re using our products and services to create solutions for retailers that allow them to meet the ever-growing expectations for a frictionless, customized experience, across any channel or connected device,” said Sherri Haymond, executive vice president of digital partnerships at Mastercard.
The companies have curated an exclusive collection of holiday gifts shoppable only online. The experience at 29Rooms will otherwise come to life in Los Angeles from December 5-9.
Retailers have been exploring the use of 3D simulations for retail for some time. In 2015, Harvey Nichols in the UK created a virtual version of their new store, allowing anyone to take a tour of the space themselves at home. Others including Macy’s and Walmart have been experimenting with virtual reality for retail, trialling initiatives that allow for immersive experiences facilitated by VR headsets. A successful example of both experience and conversion rates remains to be seen.
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