Retailer Adds Virtual Shopping Option

    November 28, 2007

Online shoppers looking for a new experience can now visit a virtual 3-dimensional store.

Retailer Brookstone has created a 3-dimensional store with features similar to Second Life along with items that users can purchase. "The 3-D brings that fun part of shopping back. When you go into a physical store, there is that sort of energy around ‘what am I going to find?’ and there’s always that discovery process," Greg Sweeney, a vice-president at Brookstone, said.

The 3-D store creates the look and feel of a real store. Users can go through the aisles and look at products with a mouse and keyboard. Product details can be found by stopping in front of an item. "We think it really appeals to a younger audience for us, a demographic probably 25-40 because of the almost gaming nature of it," Sweeney said.

Sweeney said that shoppers who are familiar with a virtual world will find the experience similar. For new users he said it will take some getting used to.

Brookstone will continue to offer its products in a traditional way, but the virtual store provides another option. "It really helps the evolution of the Internet shopping experience," Sweeney told Reuters.