Mastercard and Swarovski team up on new virtual-reality shopping app

The future is now. The latest in the succession of brands deploying advanced tech integration and elevated consumer experiences, Mastercard and Swarovski have announced their partnership for a virtual reality powered app.

The shopping app will invite consumers to peruse and purchase the Atelier Swarovski interior décor line that includes functional and crystal home accessories designed by leading architects and interior designers. The app aims to empower users to participate in fully immersive shopping experiences.

“As our e-commerce business continues to grow, this partnership allows consumers a fully immersive shopping opportunity to interact with the product and then purchase seamlessly within the experience,” said Nadja Swarovski, member of the executive board of Swarovski Crystal Business. “The cutting-edge VR technology allows consumers to fully realize scale and engage more deeply with design details before making a purchase – anywhere.”

Given the delicate and fragile nature of Swarovski pieces, unnecessary wear and tear is avoided by running the app — users are able to view the items without needing ship to alternative store locations. Purchases are frictionless, the app will provide checkouts via Masterpass, Mastercard’s digital payment service.

“At Mastercard, our goal is to provide consumers with the choice to shop when they want, how they want in a manner that is as seamless and secure as possible,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, executive vice president of merchants and acceptance at Mastercard. “This means that merchants need to be able to engage their customers across multiple, technology platforms – in-store, online, in-app and via virtual and augmented reality.”

VR stands to provide an additional platform for luxury brands to align with premium consumers, particularly Millennials. Pavers — Nielsen’s term for early adopters of the technology — tend to belong to the demographic. These shoppers propose large opportunities for brands to reach consumers who have been otherwise unattainable.

“Pavers are valuable to brands because they represent the triple ‘A:’ they adopt new products and services, advocate for brands they love, and appreciate premium quality and are willing to pay a premium price,” said a Nielsen report on early participants of the technology.

Swarovski isn’t the first brand to take a stab at a VR consumer experience. Back in 2015, Tommy Hilfiger invited…

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