World’s First Virtual Reality Store

The Challenge

eBay has long had to fight a perception that it is the foe of high street retailers. Quite the contrary: eBay is the friend of retailers across the world by providing a low cost easy access retail platform that is visited by 8 million Australian consumers every month. Pulse’s long-term objectives for eBay are to position the site as a destination for brand new fixed price items, from multiple retailers. We do this by through ongoing retail thought leadership  and bringing new retail innovations to the Australian consumer.

The Insight

While Virtual Reality has been on the tech agenda for a few years now, 2016 has been widely regarded as the year it reaches a tipping point, beginning to filter down to consumers as new technologies and platforms make it more widely accessible. Telsyte reports that 1 in 5 Australians are now interested in buying into Virtual Reality. In addition, mobile still dominates our share of screen time.

The Strategy

Leveraging the insight that 2016 would be the year for Virtual Reality to explode and start to gain popularity with consumers in the mainstream, eBay  partnered with one of Australia’s largest retailers, Myer, and developed the Virtual Reality platform to marry its technology with Myer’s product range. Available as a downloadable app via iOS or Android, the world’s first VR department store was launched in Sydney to media and consumers via a three day media briefing, launch event and consumer activation program. To bring the technology to the nation, from the day of launch we distributed 20,000 cardboard VR viewers (or ‘Shopticals’, as we called them) for 15 days free of charge through the website. In addition, we outreached to real eBay shoppers across Australia to get their first thoughts on the new technology.

The Result

Cement and maintain eBay’s position as a thought leader and innovator in retail

  • Post launch, high profile brands such as Microsoft, Macy’s and Media Saturn (Germany) have all contact eBay to learn about its innovation, explore partnerships and launch their own VR stores
  • Pulse secured more 700 pieces of coverage, including 250 pieces of broadcast, for a combined reach of almost 800 million impressions across the globe

Drive new traffic and engagement with the eBay brand

  • The eBay Shopticals continue to sell out within 2 minutes every day they are released, resulting in more than 8000 unique visits to the microsite by 7am on the day of launch. We also had 4,000 app downloads on day of launch alone. Since launch, the app has had 117,777 unique users to date.