Spirit of Arabia Demos 3D Virtual Store

Spirit of Arabia recently unveiled a demonstration of its 3D virtual fashion store. Customers can select an avatar, walk around the Spirit of Arabia store, view products, obtain product information, try on products in the changing room, add to their shopping carts and check-out as with traditional online shopping locations.

"As a creative brand we are always looking to provide customers with a memorable and fun shopping experience," said Arshed Mohammed, founder of Spirit of Arabia. "When we decided on an online store we looked at the conventional 2D online stores but realised that the next generation of stores will be 3D. We therefore decided to take the lead and be one of the few companies worldwide with a 3D virtual store."

Spirit of Arabia was chosen as one of only 10 finalists from across the Middle East to present its concept at the SME Congress in Abu Dhabi in December 2013.

The prototype makes use of high quality graphics, merging real-world photographs with 3D renderings to produce amazing lifelike images. Customers can browse inside of the store, interact with the sales assistant, obtain product information in pop-up windows, and proceed to the changing room to try on garments on their avatars.

It is also possible to walk around outside of the store and look into the windows. "In future we will expand the outside world to allow 'virtual tourists' to explore the landscape," said Arshed.

The Photo Op is another feature of the prototype; customers can take pictures of what they see at any time. They also have a ‘Selfie' option to take pictures of ‘themselves' (their avatars) in front of the store or in the changing room while trying on garments! These photos can then be uploaded immediately onto their social networks. This function will be enhanced soon to allow customers to put their own faces onto the avatars.

The 3D virtual store is one element of a new market that Spirit of Arabia aims to create: Dual World Tourism Shopping. "Our customers are tourists and we wish to reach them in either the real world or in the virtual world," Arshed explained. "The immediate aim now is to capture the attention of the public and investors with our 3D demo. Once we raise the funding we will open the 3D store for business and allow customers to purchase our products from anywhere in the world."
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