WE/AR Blog How Much Does it Cost to Open a VR Store? (And Why Do You Need it Anyway?)
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How Much Does it Cost to Open a VR Store? (And Why Do You Need it Anyway?)

By Veronika Petrenko
8 min read

Let’s admit it, we live in the age of consumerism. Subconsciously and consciously we read each other looking at the logos on clothes and gadgets. But one thing has changed: we are not WHAT we buy anymore, we are HOW we buy. Those who know how to buy the most exclusive stuff with the most comfort and even satisfaction are the winners.

That’s why virtual reality store for retail is gaining popularity. It has everything shoppers need.

Convenient, experiential, and positive shopping has become a top priority for modern buyers. You see, the shopping was evolving the fastest during the last several hundreds of years: it all started with bazaars, like the huge bazaar of Istanbul which could serve 250.000-400.00 visitors a day.

And how did the shopping evolution end?

Look around: it all ended with augmented reality apps for business. It also ended with virtual reality stores which sell realistic 3D models of goods. Why was this evolution inevitable? Because shopping is a big, even the biggest part of our life.

No, sometimes it can take 10 minutes to buy a new watch and  5 hours to buy a new car. But this time spent on shopping feels like catharsis after days or even years of work and saving.

Will Shopping Online Make Us Super-Lazy (No!)?

Companies that know that we want more comfort earn the most. But does it mean that we are getting lazier ( that’s one of the usual threats of the progress of the e-commerce)? They say that we don’t want to get out of cars sometimes that’s how McDonald’s earning billions selling through McDrive. That’s how Ikea hit the market creating the app that allows trying the furniture in your apartment (yes, without the need of walking to a shopping mall).

Are we getting super- lazy? Not necessarily, most likely we are getting busier and more overwhelmed with information. That is why we need the shopping that will relieve us from stress instead of creating a new purpose for a splitting headache.

Concept of virtual shoping.

Big Data age is very challenging: we face so much information that it’s getting really difficult to process it and make conclusions out of it.

We all have access to millions of goods today. We all can order hand-made silk blouse directly from Vietnam and drive the car assembled in Japan. Without the necessity of visiting those two countries. We all know that the best books are on Amazon, and the best-crafted goods are on Etsy. It’s default knowledge.

We recommend nice online shops to each other: “I’ve ordered a state of art furniture from this online shop and it was delivered so quickly!” And businesses are ready to go broke to provide clients with the most personalized, the most comfortable, and the most mind-shattering experience.  Virtual reality store is the ultimate solution for modern businesses. It’s the store where you need to be if you want the best shopping for today.

Why Don’t We Buy Using AR/VR So Much?

There are several reasons why shopping in VR/AR are not as popular today as they could be according to the Next Web.

First, as for VR, the headsets are actually not as affordable as they could be. They cost too much for common people like you and me. And in many cases, people don’t know a lot about their applications except for gaming (yet VR has incredibly useful applications in education, medicine, manufacture).

Second, the quality of graphics in VR shopping is often far from satisfactory. But even leaving aside poor graphics and high level of latency, virtual shopping lack one essential feature- empowering data for making final decisions. In most cases, it means the exclusion of irrelevant data and inclusion of accurate and 100% trustworthy information.

Do you grasp what I mean?

Take a look at Macy’s virtual store created for an Asian market. Shopping experience looks emotional, full of colors but yet it lacks some core features. It seems that the shopper is distracted all the time because UI/UX of the application is too puzzling.

Macy`s virtual store.

That is why creating a virtual reality store which is accessible from your smartphone is something that brings shopping to a new level: more emotional, more comfortable, and more accessible to customers.

That’s why we’ve decided to create a virtual reality store that could provide clients with really comfortable and effective level of shopping.  

The store that could be open 24 hours and that could provide potential clients with 100% reliable information about home appliances. More than that, it can be open anywhere.

We’ve discovered that this is the level of shopping clients need today.

Do I need to test it first?

Actually, we knew that this virtual reality store would work. Before investing all the time and efforts into a new AR app, we’ve decided to build a prototype so the company could test it  with real clients. It was crucial to understanding if buyers are ready to shop for home appliances online. It was vital to see their emotional reactions.

Creating a prototype for marketing research is an important strategic decision. In a prototype app, there were only 35 home appliances but that was enough. It was shown to common Allo customers and it turned out that people were excited and curious about it.

It produced a real WOW effect

Allo Virtual Store, made by WEAR Studio.

What do You Need to Open a Virtual Reality Store?

You need a skillful UI/UX designer, and experienced developer, and 3D modelers. The price of the application will depend on the number of hours they will need to spend.

UI/UX  designer creates the first concept of the whole application.

It’s the person who knows the answer to the question “How will this virtual reality store look like?

He creates the idea of the store that can be implemented into reality.

Later it’s the person who will make sure that the user will reach his/her goal in a virtual world full of goods and products.

Maps, plates, arrows, names, plates. All the visual information that assists a user during his/her buyer’s journey. Sometimes, a UI/UX can add textual information to alleviate buyer’s journey.

If you feel as natural in the virtual world as in real, if you can move through it intuitively and the only feeling you have is pleasant excitement- it means UI/UX worked well.

UI/UX designer time spent 10-100 hours depending on the complexity of the virtual reality store.

Human Hours of Unity Devs

That’s the key player in the work under the development of a virtual reality store. Unity developer assesses the mechanics, logic and the complexity of its implementation of the idea into reality. Extension of the app architecture is also assessed.  If the app doesn’t need plugins, additional servers, it can be created faster. Having analyzed all this information, a unity developer can understand the time he/she will spend building this AR app.

Do you need to support this app, extend it, if you need a  “box solution” – a ready-made kit? Then it will require additional hours, of course. In some cases, a Unity developer creates animation and audio for the application if it’s not

In other words, the number of hours will depend on the environment you want, the functionality you expect and the number of models for sure.

Unity Developer time spent 10-100 hours depending on the complexity of the virtual reality store.

Human Hours of 3D Modelers 

The price for the virtual store will largely depend on the number of goods you want to sell there. Each product regardless of its type (it can be a piece of home appliances, a piece of furniture or clothes) will require 3D modeling.

What is 3D Modeling? It is a creation of virtual models of physical objects so that the could be observed from different perspectives.

The more details and curves the object has, the more hours a 3D modeler will need to spend creating it from the scratch.  

We predict that 3D modeling will become very important for the future of commerce. Most probably all internet shops will have samples of the products painted in 3D.

Several weeks ago Facebook has announced that it will allow all 3D painters created 3D models and share them in news feed. For Facebook it’s a natural evolution of the communication: photos and videos will be substituted with 3D models integrated with VR/AR.

3d Modeling for AR/VR.


Some companies are offering their clients to create prospective 3D models that can be later transformed into shoes for example. So you still don’t have 3D models of your products that people can send to each other in a social network with 2 bln users? Well, you`re obviously lagging behind Amazon, Lego, and Allo.

And of course, the price will largely depend on the deadline you set for your virtual reality store.

Deadline is the key.

So you see, a virtual reality store application is quite easy to create if you know the exact recipe. Yet the effect of this store can be literally amazing: a door to a new dimension with a LIMITLESS number of goods that can be opened from any place of the world. Do you imagine that?