NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.--()--A cutting-edge virtual shopping experience unlike any other available in Arkansas is launching at North Little Rock’s McCain Mall, in time for the busy holiday shopping season.
“Virtual shopping is the next retail frontier, and CustomXM is excited to be at the beginning of this growing trend”
Called The Wall at McCain Mall, the virtual store concept presents a wall graphic with a distinct retail storefront appearance. Products, services and other offers are displayed as items on store shelves. Each product display has a QR code and price tag. When scanned, the user is taken to the online purchase point for that product. Payment is made with credit card or PayPal, and the product is delivered directly to the customer’s door (in most cases for free).
The Wall was created by CustomXM, a North Little Rock-based marketing and digital print provider specializing in targeted, direct marketing utilizing QR codes and other multi-channel technology.
“Virtual shopping is the next retail frontier, and CustomXM is excited to be at the beginning of this growing trend,” said Paul Strack, president of CustomXM. “With the extremely high adoption rate of smartphones among consumers of all ages, it only makes sense that retailers begin offering their products in this way. Virtual shopping with the use of your phone is simple and immediate. We anticipate The Wall’s advertisers will see immediate results, while consumers walk away with a fast and satisfactory shopping experience.”
The virtual shopping trend has proven very successful in other countries. The most noted example of a virtual store is grocery retailer Tesco, which set up in a Korean metro station. Tesco’s experiment was a tremendous success, increasing online sales by 130 percent. Just last week, Peapod, a web grocer based in the United States, launched the country’s first virtual supermarkets in top markets, including Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston and more.
The Wall at McCain Mall offers retailers, nonprofit organizations, agencies and other organizations the opportunity to maximize their brand exposure and reach more potential customers without increasing their brick and mortar presence. Approximately 8 million people visit McCain Mall each year.
“We’ve seen the success of e-commerce,” Strack said. “Virtual shopping is an extension of this, allowing brands to reach consumers without the added overhead and expense of a physical location. Particularly, with The Wall, brands that are not currently represented in one of Arkansas’ largest malls, can now have an ongoing presence.”
Recent statistics reveal that:
- 43% of smartphone owners used their device while in a store for shopping purposes.
- Mobile shopping sales reached $9 billion in 2011.
- 1 in 5 consumers scanned bar codes using smartphones during the last holiday season.
- 85% of merchants say mobile commerce is a focus in 2012.
Virtual retailers pay a one-time set-up fee for product graphics, then make a monthly investment, with a commitment of three or six months. This provides them with a QR code, mobile integration of all products and mobile website accessibility. Future features will include SMS text messaging for virtual store promotion and augmented reality concepts for additional interaction.