Bloomingdale’s in New York are treating its customers with a virtual window shopping experience. They have set up window displays where customers can try on sunglasses from where they stand on the pavement. The idea is great as it takes the idea of impulse purchases to the next level. In a busy city like New York, passersby would hardly be interested in walking into a store to make a purchase on a whim. They would only do so if they have something specific in mind. But a concept like this allows them to sample different designs without having to step inside a shop or being hassled by sales executives.

So how does the technology work? Customers have to align their eyes to the ovals that are displayed on the windows. The technology then projects designer shades around their eyes on the screens in front. They can also turn their heads to see what the arms of the glasses look like. Finally, with a simple tap on the icons on the window, they can virtually try on different designs. While Bloomingdale’s is only offering this facility till May 7, 2012, it still provides a very exciting peek into the future of window shopping.

Impulse purchases are something that every retailer dreams of. A virtual window shopping experience can be just the incentive to get people interested. This idea could also be extended to mobile devices where customers can sample new items virtually, pay for them and have them delivered. While the technology is ideal for apparel, it could have other applications as well. Although some may argue that this technology can never replace actual trials (and that may be true), the time factor is something that may incentivize a large number to go in for something like this. For awhile, the novelty factor would also definitely be a catalyst.

All in all, this technology can save a lot of time. If nothing else, it certainly adds an element of fun to the shopping experience.