Virtual Retail: Top Features and Benefits

Virtual merchandising room for shopping

Why stop at virtual events when there are a whole plethora of virtual experiences waiting for us to enjoy? Businesses especially are now realizing the potential of having a virtual department to complement their physical locations one of them being virtual retail. Virtual retail has started picking up its eCommerce game and giving users a shopping experience that includes more than just scrolling through a couple of pictures on a screen.

The future of shopping has already started to change. More individuals have also started to prefer shopping online and the convenience that comes with it. Additionally, the onset of the pandemic has made more people switch to buying products online than heading to a store. This means that it’s imperative now more than ever to proactively try and keep our customers with us and ensure they choose our website over our competitors.

What is Virtual Retail?

Virtual retail allows your customers to shop and purchase products through an online portal set up for your business. This could be through a website or an app with a secure payment processing feature. Many retail stores are now adding on websites for customers to shop their products online. Some stores even have exclusive deals and features that are only available online to entice customers to use their website when they shop.

Top Features of a Virtual Retail Store

Implementing a virtual retail store? Here are some of the top features you need to have in your design.

1. New design and interaction

Connect with new and loyal customers with your brand in a new and interactive way. You can go all out with your design and how you want to welcome customers to your online store. With bespoke designs from V-Unite and exciting corporate branding, you can create a feeling of awe in the customer journey as they navigate through your plush virtual store.

Technology has made is possible to truly create a new virtual retail experience. You can navigate and interact with products and feel like you are physically in the store with creative designs.

2. Allow customers to schedule and interact with personal shoppers

Create your own way of connecting and chatting with your customers to boost engagement. To give your customers a more exclusive feel, you can assign a personal shopper to each customer as they browse through the merchandise. The personal shopper will help them choose products and give them style tips as they pick out products. This is a great way to add personalization to your virtual store.

3. Private viewings

Design the retail experience with virtual rooms that showcase your products and merchandise that customers can interact with. They will have the opportunity to see how the products will look and maybe even enjoy a virtual try-on if the platform allows. You can also set up a live catwalk show and connect other interactive videos to keep your customer engaged.

4. 24/7 conversations 

Connect an interactive chatbot to answer customer enquiries in real time. Prepare any common questions and have a live chat feature in case of more complicated inquiries. Your customers will appreciate getting feedback as quickly as possible, which will make their experience with your virtual store better.

5. Share product information easily

Conduct regular Virtual Education workshops with pre-recorded or live presentations to drive revenue product sales. As your customer browses through your store, you will have the ability for them to learn more about products and updates.

6. Educate, engage and convert

Make a sale through your customers by including images, videos, surveys and polls. Your customers will love giving their feedback if they are able to access the surveys easily. If you have a loyalty program in place, this could also be a section for them to earn points through social media sharing or other games. With customers earning more points, they will want to spend their points and money on your products.

Top Benefits of a Virtual Retail Store

A virtual retail store comes with many advantages. Here's why you should design and implement a virtual store for your business.

1. Measure and track your customers

As with anything done online, it’s easy to track and measure impressions and conversion rates as your customers navigate through your virtual store. Additionally, you can see what your customer is browsing and make recommendations based on their interests and habits. With this ongoing consultation, your consumer will end up spending more time at the store which could convert to a sale.

2. Reduce overhead costs

By focusing on your online store, you will be able to save on costs such as rent and storage. You can then use these savings to give your eCommerce store a good virtual experience boost that will attract more of your target audience.

3. Keep consumers engaged

By providing personalized consultations with personal shoppers, you can keep your consumer immersed in the experience and make them want to check out every department and feature you have to offer. Additionally, when you give a consumer a bespoke and curated experience, you are really showing them that you know them and they will be able to shop items that are curated to their interest and style.

4. Expand your virtual retail market

A great aspect of a virtual store is that you can reach global markets if you choose to do so. The ability to market and reach a wider audience is a big advantage and one that will give you more customers provided you create exclusive shopping experiences for the global market as well.

5. Associates become brand ambassadors

As your associates sell your products online, they can also use their voices on social media and other online platforms to share product information and be the face of the brand. This is a great opportunity to tap into different markets and reach a wider audience through your brand ambassadors.

6. Create loyal customers

As your customers interact with your store, you can gather their information to send them targeted ads, messages and emails to keep their interest in your store. Simple notifications about favorite products back in stock can convert potential and current customers into loyal ones that will keep coming back for your items.

Virtual Retail is the Future

There are so many ways for businesses to be innovative and take advantage of virtual shopping. The retail industry has been one that has suffered the most during the pandemic and businesses are looking for new and profitable solutions to bring their customers back. With an interactive and exciting virtual event platform, they can do just that and much, much more.

Host ​high-quality virtual events, conferences or trade shows.

​No matter the size of business or the type of organisation, V-Unite provides a complete virtual interface for engagement and collaboration.

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