Virtual stores: a relevant solution between physical and digital shopping
Dior Parfums, Clarins, Charlotte Tilbury… virtual cosmetics stores are flourishing on the web, reinventing the online experience. As shopping in physical stores is hindered by current regulations, brands respond with digital solutions to recreate proximity with customers.
A few days before the November lockdown in France, Clarins launched a first virtual store before spreading the concept across Asia and in Dubai. In just a few clicks, web users are immersed in the brand’s world, surfing as they wish, just like they would in a physical store.
“With virtual stores, it is possible to create experiences much more focused on strolling and discovery than standard e-shop product displays. Users rediscover the pleasure of walking around, and there is a form of sensoriality, with a notion of volumes, textures, and materials. In addition, you get to be more active and satisfy your curiosity as you discover the store’s different departments, just like in a shop,” says Laure Braive, an independent consultant specialized in customer experience and marketing content.
Just like with the brand’s new flagship store in Neuilly-sur-Seine, west of Paris, the objective is indeed to highlight proximity by creating tailor-made user-friendly spaces. Clarins learnt from the pop-up store in which they invited customers to share expectations for this future store and new merchandising. Deploying this new concept in the virtual store before physical stores is also an opportunity to test it.