The Future of Virtual Shopping and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)
With online shopping becoming a fully-integrated and preferred consumer experience, the need for businesses to adopt innovative digital marketing strategies is paramount. The competition is rife, and developing new solutions to solve online shopping problems will help eCommerce stores stand out in the coming years. One particularly powerful new-wave technology is virtual shopping, a process whereby consumers can connect more deeply with their favorite brands. In this article, we explore the future of virtual shopping and how BNPL platforms make modern shopping experiences more powerful than ever.
How Does Virtual Shopping Work?
The term virtual shopping may conjure images of consumers wearing headsets and interacting with products, which is possible in some cases, but this is not the only method of virtual shopping accessible to eCommerce platforms. As a vast majority of online businesses do not have the budget to integrate virtual reality (VR) experiences into their digital marketing strategies, several tools and platforms enable more easy-to-use virtual shopping functionalities that we discuss below.
Virtual shopping can include all sorts of innovative, immersive, and personalized experiences that invite shoppers to connect with eCommerce companies in new ways. Virtual shopping can involve live chat features through platforms like Zoom or Google Meet, specifically around products or services that consumers may need support with setup or installation. It can also involve unique showrooms where consumers can browse products in a way that is more intuitive than traditional product catalogs. Some companies utilize live social media feeds to Twitch as an avenue to connect with their consumers. These are a few examples of ways that you can introduce virtual shopping into your eCommerce experience.
In a nutshell, virtual shopping revolves around bringing consumers closer to brands in a way that integrates modern marketing platforms. The above strategies represent a few of the most common ways that eCommerce platforms are taking advantage of virtual shopping.
Virtual Shopping by the Numbers
One needs to look no further than the latest statistics to recognize that virtual shopping is one of the most powerful online strategies for eCommerce. According to sources, “About a quarter of consumers have shopped online in a 3D virtual store” with a vast majority of those shoppers falling within the Millenial and Gen Z consumer segments. The source goes on to suggest that over 50% of these shoppers would be willing to spend more for products sold via modern virtual shopping strategies. These numbers indicate the need to introduce virtual shopping into one’s digital marketing strategy, but how can you ensure you land sales after doing so?
How BNPL Supports Virtual Shopping
The integration of BNPL services can greatly improve your chances of securing sales through virtual shopping experiences. Leading BNPL partners offer comprehensive checkout integrations that provide consumers with the easiest way to receive online financing, a process that does not require them to undergo credit checks, and offer repayment plans with zero interest. These are a few of the consumer-facing benefits of BNPL platforms. The virtual shopping experience becomes more powerful when there is tangible value to the shopping experience beyond the opportunity to connect with brands. This is because the modern shopper is looking for exceptional deals as much as they are searching for better brands to shop with. The combination of these two features can yield great results for the modern eCommerce business.
The future of eCommerce is virtual, with virtual shopping becoming a must for the modern online platform. Brands can attract younger audiences and leverage sales through the introduction of these experiences in their sales funnels combined with the integration of consumer financing via BNPL services. This can help eCommerce businesses remain competitive in the evolving modern marketplace.
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