dot.LA Summit: The Shopping Revolution Is Coming to Virtual Reality

Ilana Gordon
Ilana Gordon is an entertainment, culture, and tech writer originally from Connecticut. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
dot.LA Summit: The Shopping Revolution Is Coming to Virtual Reality
Photo by David Ruano

Ecommerce trends were top of mind during Friday’s “Revolutionizing Online Marketplaces” panel. Moderated by Grace Kangdani from Bank of America and sponsored by Zoolatech, the freewheeling discussion bounced from live streaming and social selling to data privacy, to determining the tipping point where market research crosses the line from constructive into “creepy.”

Featured panelists included Roman Kaplun (co-founder and CEO of Zoolatech), Dan Dan Li (founder and CEO of Popshop Live), and Montre Moore (co-founder and CEO of AMP Beauty LA). Talk centered around how far the industry has come in the last few years, and where it might be headed next.


“I see a lot of talk of virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D, trying on clothing on your mobile phones before going into a store,” said Kaplun. “A lot of omnichannel types of shopping.”

Moore — whose company sells clean and inclusive beauty products for all shades and textures — agreed that VR technology offers huge potential to create change, pointing to virtual makeup try-ons as helping to eliminate samples, thereby increasing sustainability.

But to compete in the beauty space in the future, Moore believes brands will have to lean into on-demand services and be able to gamify shopping.

“We all want to feel rewarded,” she said. “How can we actually build a more layered and dynamic experience for our customers?”

Comparing the relationship between her company and its customers to that of a group chat, she added, “We’re going to have candid conversations about how to improve the space.”

Conversation is also important to Li, whose company showcases designers and brands using both in-person and virtual pop ups. Their focus is not on followers, but on creating community and providing opportunities for consumers to engage in peer-to-peer ways. Live streaming tech, Li said, provides brands with new ways to tell their stories, showcase their products, and allow consumers to interact with each other.

A further evolution of how people communicate, Li compared live streaming to going to church on Sunday. “We’re all going to the same place for the same purpose,” she said.

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