Mastercard, the payment network with 2.4 billion issued cards worldwide, paired with Swarovski to create a virtual reality (VR) shopping app for the Atelier Swarovski home décor line, a statement said. The app aims to immerse smartphone users in a decorated home where they can browse and purchase items with Masterpass, Mastercard’s digital payment service.
The shopping app highlights the value of the crystal pieces, the story behind their inspiration, the manufacturing process and the designers’ thoughts. Masterpass lets consumers check out in the app without having to add payment details.
Consumers can place their phone into a compatible VR headset to enter the experience, which lets them walk through the five areas of the virtual home to browse designs. The app will be available for download from the iTunes app and Google Play stores in October.
The Mastercard and Swarovski app is designed to provide one of the easiest and most accessible forms of VR: a 360-degree video that can be viewed on a smartphone in a low-cost headset like Google Cardboard. The app will ask viewers to log in and be authenticated with their Masterpass account information. After that, they can navigate through the virtual model home’s different rooms and look through the Swarovski items by moving their heads left to right or up and down.
Recent research suggests early VR adopters are eager to use the technology for shopping and by pairing the shopping experience with Masterpass, Mastercard hopes to bring another layer of ease to the experience. The app gives viewers the ability to select and purchase items by looking at a Masterpass button that appears at the bottom of the product description. Ideally, the transaction will be seamless and reduce the likelihood that viewers will abandon their shopping cart without making a purchase, which is often a challenge on moblie, where traffic is high but conversion rates lag other channels. The app protects against unintended purchases by automatically logging out of the consumer’s Masterpass account when the headset is removed.
Swarovski joins a growing group of home décor companies that are embracing VR or augmented reality (AR), the technology that overlays digital images onto the real world as seen through a smartphone camera. Home improvement chain Lowe’s plans to release a mobile app next month that lets consumers test out how furniture will look in a room before making a purchase. Ikea and Houzz also have AR-enabled apps that provide similar functionality to showcase their catalogs.