Mastercard and Next Retail Concepts have partnered to create a new online shopping experience that allows shoppers to virtually navigate a 3D simulation of a physical store, rather than scrolling through product pages using traditional category tabs and filters, according to a Mastercard press release.
Fred Segal is the first seller to use the new platform, which is premiering at Refinery29’s 29Rooms experiential event this week in Los Angeles. Mastercard is the official payments and technology partner of 29Rooms.
Purchases are completed within the same simulated environment, which is intended to integrate seamlessly with a brand’s existing e-commerce platform. For this week’s event, the partners have worked with Refinery29 to create a curated collection of items available online. Shoppers paying with a Mastercard will earn a one-time loyalty reward to receive a $30 statement credit when they spend $200 or more on the collection.
For the most part, retailers and brands have stopped short of creating fuller and shopping experiences that would transcend its use as a marketing device. Anything approaching this level of immersiveness has been viewed more as a novelty than an extreme makeover of the current online shopping model, though some retailers have made efforts to create virtual stores in the past.