The term virtual shopping refers to an eCommerce service that allows customers to browse and purchase items online in an interactive environment similar to how they usually do in stores. It is all about using technology to bring the human element to e-commerce and online shopping. This can empower retailers to offer a seamless experience and bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds.
Customers can browse around a store, enjoy seamless product displays, and complete purchases the way they normally would in a physical store while enjoying the comfort of their homes. It is a unique fusion between physical retail and the ease of shopping online, successfully creating what we refer to as a phygital shopping experience.
During and beyond the pandemic, many retailers offer virtual and phygital customer experiences to eliminate the gap between online and physical stores. As a result, consumers get to enjoy the look and feel of physical shopping while seamlessly facilitating virtual shopping with the click of their fingers.
Virtual Shopping: A Rising Trend
Virtual shopping has been on the rise for many years, but the COVID 19 pandemic was a key factor in bringing the virtual shopping experience to the mainstream. As a result, customers are now actively seeking digital platforms that bring a seamless and hygienic shopping experience.
With the impact of lockdowns, coupled with the rising acceptance of technology in the past few years, there has been a significant surge in the online shopping levels. Today, customers worldwide are more likely to prefer online shopping and avoid going to crowded places wherever possible.
During the beginning of the pandemic, more and more shoppers were taking to mobile devices rather than visiting their local physical stores to fulfilling their needs. This year, e-commerce websites can now instantly connect with their online customers using a range of digital transformations. This digital push had been making undercurrents for a while, and the pandemic has propelled into the forefront almost immediately.
Now that there is a paradigm shift in how both retailers and consumers operate, there is no doubt that virtual shopping technology is driving the e-commerce of the future.
Benefits of Virtual Shopping
The internet is dictating the way we shop. People nowadays prefer buying things online over the conventional method of going into stores because of the convenience and benefits it stands to offer. And, whatever the gaps in this medium, virtual shopping is successfully fulfilling it through the power of digital.
1. Increased Convenience
Virtual shopping makes it easy for everyone to shop from anywhere without restrictions. There is no need to go out or waste time in traffic. Virtual shopping provides the experience where you can use your digital devices to browse products and complete the purchase while on the go. The devices can include:
- And more
While online shopping offers convenience and accessibility, the physical store has been maintaining a firm hold on consumers in the past. People like going to the store because of more efficient retail experiences and to satiate the need for human interaction.
Virtual shopping bridges this gap. With this kind of service, you can shop from anywhere without compromising on the human touch of in-person shopping. Moreover, you do not need to wait for the offers or next sale since virtual shopping provides direct access to product updates, special offers, etc.
This is how virtual shopping offers shoppers a much better overall retail experience. And it works since online shoppers are more likely to purchase after interacting with an expert in real-time through virtual shopping.
2. Possibility to Explore New Products
Virtual shopping makes it simpler for people to explore new products and services. You can also investigate a first-hand view of how you can use the product, its benefits, and other additional details before making the final purchase. As a result, consumers would get a far more delightful shopping experience and feel engaged in real-time. Here, they are free to browse the virtual products, almost similar to how they would if they were in a physical store.
Virtual shopping transforms offline and online by addressing their pain points and enhancing their processes. Virtual shopping has also helped retailers deliver seamless shopping experiences to their customers, improving sales and brand loyalty and experience. Identify where fascinating technologies fit your objectives and offerings and create experiences and services that bring better results.
3. Improved Shopping Experience
Virtual shopping platforms allow brands to deliver new value-added services to improve the shopping experience. Offerings such as live chats, virtual tours, interactive quizzes and games, and social shopping with friends are designed to make the experience of shopping online as engaging as possible.
Shoppers can visualize the products in 3D, gain a 360-degree product view, zoom in and out from different angles to evaluate product quality and suitability, and make purchases in real-time. To add a new level of interactive engagement to the online shopping experience, retailers can look to build immersive virtual showrooms or virtual stores. These platforms offer customers a virtual experience that is just about as close to heading out to a physical store as you can get.
4. Adding a Human Touch to Boost Sales
Brands tapping into the power of virtual shopping are seeing remarkable results. Additionally, you can keep an eye on what shoppers are browsing in real-time as they move around the website, providing a perfect opportunity to share recommendations that can be added to their cart. Through this type of personalized virtual consultation, you can upsell and cross-sell in an even better way than you would be able to do in an in-store setup.
5. Omnichannel Shopping Experience
Virtual shopping allows you to own the commerce experience end to end. You can create a seamless journey from your online store to your physical retail location. And adding virtual shopping to your omnichannel retail strategy brings more product discovery to e-commerce.
This approach lets you meet customers where they are and provides multiple options to seamlessly interact with your brand to get their queries resolved, complete their purchases, and receive post-sales support.
Creating a Virtual Shopping Experience with Phygital
Virtual commerce is here to stay. While the way brands deliver customer experience might have changed, an engaging and interactive experience is still a key success factor for retailers.
Take Maxicus Phygital, for example. It can help your products and services reach a wider audience, design a seamless customer journey, and deliver an excellent phygital customer experience.
Step into the world of phygital commerce and notice the significant difference it can make to boost the online virtual shopping experience.