The world of online shopping is constantly evolving. Social media continues to be more and more incorporated into the process and the customer experience. You can, for instance, now shop various brands and complete a purchase, all without ever leaving Facebook, as you can see in the picture above. Many customers also use social networks to share their approval or their complaints with retailers and other service providers.
So what can we take from this? All of this interaction shows that customers are looking for and expecting a more interactive experience and are looking to connect with brands.
In light of products like Google Glass hitting the market and companies like Facebook acquiring Oculus VR, a virtual reality software company, it is clear that consumer demand for a more inclusive and connected shopping experience is being heard loud and clear and shaping the future of online shopping.
Many questioned why Facebook would acquire a virtual reality company Oculus VR. The virtual reality gaming company is seemingly unrelated to the social network. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, argued that it was actually completely in line with the goal of Facebook; connecting people. He also cited it as a way to look towards the future. “[…]We’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.”
The trend that seems to be emerging, one that consumers are demanding, is a thoroughly convenient experience without sacrificing the benefits of being present. In other words, consumers still want the experience of “being there” without actually being there.
At NBF.com, we are doing our part to offer our customers a better, more dynamic shopping experience with “Virtual Visit”. Virtual Visit is a new communication platform that is more inclusive and informative, one that gives consumers the benefit of seeing furniture products in action with the convenience of never having to leave the office. Shoppers who use Virtual Visit receive immediate and direct attention from our furniture consultants through a one-way, live video stream from our showroom (pictured below). They can ask questions, get answers and quickly find what furniture piece best suits their needs.
As technology continues to grow, the way we shop will continue to change rapidly. By bridging the gap between traditional online shopping and an in-person retail shopping trip, NBF is one of the few furniture retailers that offers a seamless, convenient and helpful virtual shopping experience.