The Increasing Reality Of Virtual Shopping And The Benefits For Traditional Retailers And Everyday Customers

The pandemic has really impacted the business world in a significant manner. With drop in sales, both sellers & retailers are having a tough time as recovery time is seeming indefinite. However, there is a ray of hope – computer and digital technologies can create simulated and virtual environments and worlds, much to businesses’ benefit, including traditional retail stores. Shop owners can now ensure high virtual footfalls and retain and enhance their revenues by providing their customers the virtual shopping experiences. The virtual world is quite exciting and is an emerging trend for a user or customer as well. Leveraging its video call aspect, brands can continue interacting with their customers without having them to move out of their homes. 

The business implications of the new and linked technologies that facilitate virtual shopping and consumer engagement are now out in the open. Consumers are experiencing them in their everyday lives in the form of virtual retail, among other methods.

How Virtual Retail is increasingly becoming more ‘real’ than ‘virtual’ now?

There are new and immense opportunities associated with virtual shopping for retailers. Here is a quick walk-through of the virtual shopping concept, and the benefits are resilient to the effects of pandemics.

  1. The traditional retail set-up uses digital technologies to interest the consumer and video calling features to engage them once they are interested. All of this does not require a customer to visit the store.
  2. A whole new way of branding and marketing! Erstwhile in-store salespeople, who can now be the virtual-brand consultants, do the demo calls with consumers, and create demonstrations which the prospective buyers can experience with their families. Such kind of outreach can be done through any popular social media medium including WhatsApp etc. While the expenses are low, the revenues keep on piling.
  3. An adapt-and-evolve model ensures that improvements match the trends and customer aspirations.
  4. Contact-less shopping is especially useful during pandemic times and is highly safe. As the trend is here to stay, virtual shopping is the future for the majority of retail. 
  5. With such a trend sweeping the market, retailers need not necessarily have stores in all locations to be able to reach out to the audience there. Thus, saving a lot of infra and logistical costs.

A New Way to Experience E-Commerce For The Customer

Shopping has never been so convenient for the typical customer! They can now experience the products firsthand while maximizing their comfort and ease when they indulge in virtual shopping. There are no long queues and disturbances caused by the crowd’s hustle and bustle in the malls and shops. With time, the virtual shopping experience will be even closer to mimicking the real-life store shopping experience. A range of applications such as, including WhatsApp and other video calling applications, can be used for virtual shopping. The consultants can easily engage the customer groups while the virtual shopping avenues can also be shared. While most online shopping sites support bots etc. they lack the personal touch and give an isolated shopping experience to the customer. However, people want a personalized guidance and a non-isolated shopping experience. So, eCommerce platforms are also following the trend and leveraging this new demand by going beyond bots & providing a personalized experience. Virtual group tours of the online store. Group chats etc. are becoming popular amongst ecommerce players.

The traditional retailers can preserve their sales through video streaming and sharing the store’s outlays in real-time. Consumers can enjoy transparency and accountability and shop without visiting the retail and convenience stores in person.

Virtual Malls

The improvement in (& increased adoption of) digital technologies has resulted in establishing the virtual shopping malls. At the same time, the traditional retail stores have also enhanced their scope and customer bases. Retailers can now also associate and participate in these malls and reach out to a broad audience and customer base at least of costs. Customers only need to get to their smartphones for virtual shopping, and they can start shopping immediately.

Engagement of customers through virtual and digital technologies brings down the running costs substantially. Many overwhelming costs, such as marketing, advertising, and staffing, are significantly reduced. Other operational costs are also decreased substantially when a business pursues virtual shopping. The freeing up of resources helps firms offer the best products and benefits to their consumers while being profitable. Virtual shopping is getting increasingly real by the day. Its benefits ensure that multiple parties and interests are engaged continuously to improve the platforms and their scope even further.

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