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January 22, 2024

| 5 mins read

What Exactly Is a Virtual Store and How Does It Operate

What Exactly Is a Virtual Store and How Does It Operate

According to PCMag, to have a virtual store is to have a retail presence on the internet. The virtual store is an online store that displays merchandise and an order form. You and I, we’ve been visiting virtual stores for a very long time now. Remember when you wanted to shop for clothes online? You visited a virtual store. Or when you wanted to buy electronics online? You visited a virtual store. Or even when you wanted to order late-night munchies, you visited a virtual store. 

E-commerce has blown up and has made its space within our phones and lives. The immersive experiences we used to have in stores have been replaced by virtual store experiences. These virtual stores use ar visualization, data visualization using augmented reality, and other things that improve and help give users the same immersive experience as a physical store. Think of a virtual store like your online shopping spree but with a cool twist—AR in-store magic! It's all about blurring the lines between digital and real-life shopping, making it feel like you're actually strolling through the aisles. Thanks to AR visualization tools, shoppers can check out products in 3D, interact with holographic displays, and even chat with sales reps in real time. It's like having the store right at your fingertips, making shopping way more immersive and exciting.

But, how do these Virtual Stores work?

Virtual shopping is like stepping into a tech wonderland, where cutting-edge tools team up to make your shopping journey as captivating as can be. Check out these must-haves:

Augmented Reality (AR):

It's like adding a digital sprinkle to your real-world surroundings, jazzing up your view with digital displays and info about products right on your device screen. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI):

Think of it as your shopping genie, analyzing your preferences to offer personalized product suggestions and guidance, just like an expert salesperson.

3D Modeling:

A part of augmented reality for product visualization, these picture-perfect product models give you the full scoop on what you're eyeing, letting you spin them around and zoom in for a closer look at every detail. 3D Modeling is crucial for creating an authentic virtual store. 

User Interface (UI) Design:

Easy-peasy navigation is key, making sure you can swipe, tap, and click your way through virtual aisles without a hitch. A good UI design also makes shopping fun. 

E-commerce Integration:

It's the cherry on top, letting you snag your favorites right from the virtual store, with real-time updates on inventory and prices to keep things running smoothly.

Okay. Got it. But how are brands using virtual stores? 

Various brands employ diverse strategies in creating virtual stores. Take IKEA, for instance, which offers the Place app enabling customers to virtually position furniture in their homes to preview before making a purchase. The Place app is a good example of how AR data visualization and AR visualization can creatively enhance how a brand showcases its virtual store to the public. 

Certain brands go the extra mile by crafting virtual reality encounters to offer customers a glimpse of their products. L’Oreal developed a virtual reality hair salon, allowing individuals to experiment with various hair colors and styles before making a decision.

Ralph Lauren spiced up online shopping by bringing their physical stores into the virtual realm. With their virtual stores, they cooked up a cool mix of in-person and online shopping vibes. Now, you can strut into the swanky world of Ralph Lauren's iconic stores worldwide, all from the comfort of your couch!

You can determine how you want the world to see your virtual store by understanding the different types of virtual stores. 

Yes, there are types of virtual stores.

Virtual stores aim to capture the feel of physical shopping while being totally virtual, giving you the best of both worlds. They're all about diving into a whole new shopping adventure without leaving your couch!

Here's the scoop on seven types of virtual stores:

Virtual Try-On:

Ever tried on stuff without actually touching it? That's what this is all about! Using AR or VR, you can see how clothes or glasses look on you before you buy. A good example of the same is Lenskart. They’ve got you covered with their AR try-on feature for glasses and that’s how Lenskart uses ar visualization

Virtual Try-Out:

It's like bringing the store to your living room! With virtual tryouts, you can plop virtual furniture into your space to see if it fits. For example, IKEA's Place app.

3D Webstores:

Say hello to online shopping, but make it 3D! These webstores bring products to life with 3D images and fancy visuals, making you feel like you're right there in the store. Zomato now uses 3D models of food items as ar data visualization to make daily food orders more interesting. 

Virtual Reality Store:

Buckle up for a wild ride in the virtual world! VR stores whisk you away to a whole new dimension where you can browse and buy without leaving home. 

Visual Search:

Say goodbye to typing in search terms! With visual search, you can hunt down products using images instead of words. Myntra features an image search where you can find that perfect outfit without knowing its name.

Video Interactions:

Need a little human touch in your online shopping journey? Video interactions let you chat with experts and get personalized advice just like you would in-store. Amazon stores with videos explaining their products and use are a way to use video interactions in your virtual store. 

360-degree Product View:

Get ready to spin and zoom like never before! With a 360-degree view, you can inspect products from every angle before hitting that buy button. Amazon's 360-degree view feature lets you get up close and personal with your potential purchase.With these virtual store experiences, shopping's never been more fun—or convenient!

As cutting-edge technologies swiftly infiltrate the retail landscape, virtual stores are surging in popularity. It's no surprise; the perks of VR online shopping are propelling it into mainstream brand strategies. Embracing innovative shopping avenues enhances brand visibility and garners customer loyalty. If you're keen on staying ahead of the curve and providing an immersive shopping journey, mirrAR has got your back. Let’s assemble a team of experts to kickstart the development of your AR/VR virtual store!

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