As brands are seeking to engage customers in unique and experiential ways, online and offline shopping has become more integrated. Physical pop-up stores are becoming an alternative to long-terms leases, and Virtual Reality has emerged as a breakout channel to produce new, live experiences.
Now, for the first time, Virtual Reality is able to make online shopping more visual, immersive and experiential, and brands and retailers are starting to take note.
Expand Your Brand into Virtual Reality
“Storefront’s mission is to make retail accessible to anyone in the world, so we see this Virtual Reality pop-up store as a great solution for those who want to jump into the physical space but want to test out that offline immersive experience first. It’s a great in between,” states Storefront CCO, Joy Fan.
By booking a Virtual Reality pop-up store through Storefront, brands and retailers can now easily give customers a real, physical store feel that’s completely virtual and features entire collections, all made shoppable online. We’ve created stores in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, to reflect a “real world”, immersive setting as opposed to shopping a database. Plus, “the stores can be fully customized to match branding with any layout, décor, style and colors,” adds Obsess founder Neha Singh. The result? Higher customer engagement and sales.
“Our goal is to bring the visual merchandising and curation of retail stores into online shopping to make it a more guided and enjoyable experience,” Singh explains. As followers of Storefront know, pop-up shops are key to promoting brand loyalty, launching new products and testing new locations. And now with a virtual pop-up store, e-commerce brands can get a branded store environment without the need to invest in a physical space—just yet.
“It also drives the value for pop-up stores that want to last a bit longer so we can create a virtual tour and expand the exclusive elements of a pop up shop even longer,” says Fan.
Storefront’s recent collaboration with J.C Penney created a 360° virtual experience that allowed shoppers across the country to visit the Storefront-powered pop-up shop and purchase all the items in it online. This allowed the brand to make the concept even more fun and inspiring, with staying power.
Not only does it make it a more lively experience for consumers, but as Singh outlines below, it has the following 4 benefits to brands:
- Increased digital engagement. Brands will engage online shoppers with this experiential branded shopping environment in the form of a virtual pop-up store. Shoppers get a visual, immersive and highly interactive shopping experience, on mobile or desktop. In this differentiated online experience, a real digital manifestation of the brand and expression of its visual identity helps in increasing brand loyalty.
- Lower cost. The low monthly fee on our Storefront listings [link] is the all-inclusive cost of launching a virtual pop-up store. There are no additional production costs, fabrication costs and operational costs like with a physical pop-up.
- Increased reach. Virtual pop-up stores live on a brand’s website, so they can be visited by anyone around the world at any time. The store can be shared as just a web link, and the 360 media from the store can be embedded on social channels, all of which can drive new traffic to your website.
- New data. Brands that run a virtual pop-up with Obsess x Storefront receive detailed analytics about which parts of the virtual store were most visited, how much time people spent in each part and which products they looked at. This can help in merchandising planning and even store design planning for physical stores.
Thanks to this initiative, Storefront is opening virtual doors for every idea. Since our inception, the Storefront team has been working hard to democratize access to retail spaces across the globe, and by launching the first ever virtual reality pop-up store Storefront is enhancing the retail experience.
Ready to book your virtual pop up store experience? Let’s get started: