Just Browsing: Memoirs of a Lazy Shopper
The professional world has begun to take on a new agenda in the realm of presenting their business. Because we live in a time where going outside for trivial reasons still feels somewhat unnecessary, businesses have to make their way into our minds for us to allow them space in our subconscious without having to physically be present. Service businesses like restaurants are redesigning their online model to allow people who enjoy their products to not have to sacrifice their cravings.
But what about businesses that thrive on curating an overall experience for their guests?
Introducing Beautyque, a health and wellness brand opened by founders Sylvie Giret and Sonia Khemiri. Their store is well organized and elegant, with beautiful statues and busts adorning the soft-pink walls. A grey-splotched white marble table lies in the middle, flowers emerging from the center. Products are lined along the shelves, spaced so that each one has its own center of attention. It feels like being at the bar of a Michelin-starred restaurant, like you’re just about to be taken on the course menu of a lifetime. But it’s a beauty store.
And I’ve never been inside.
Beautyque saw today’s circumstances and took full advantage, giving people the opportunity to shop within their website, but also to do the one guilty pleasure many shoppers like myself have: just browsing. According to an article on Forbes, Giret and Khemiri wanted to “push the technology and create the closest possible experience to a physical store, giving the consumer the sensations of being in a real store,” and it’s given the customer an actual space to visualize their products, without having to melt in these heat wave-driven times.
The online virtual store acts like if the Google Maps car drove inside the physical store and walked around, as you are allowed to make your way around the interior depending on where you click on the store layout. This is amazingly hard to miss on their website, as it is the first thing you’ll see as soon as you visit the page.
But what other purpose does this map serve? Feel out of place for deciding on their products? There are small buttons on the map interface that allow you to zoom in on specific product lines that Beautyque offers within the physical store, which you can then cross-reference with the items on their website.
Virtual reality makes browsing online a much more fulfilling experience, in my opinion. Most of the time, there is a stark difference in looking at products online than in person, as the attention span online can be shifted very easily. However, the 3D browsing feature on Beautyque allows for one-click forwarding to each product page corresponding with a product on the virtual shelf. People can now have their skincare and wear it too.
In this age, where the idea of going outdoors is still marred by great hesitation out of fear of the unknown, Beautyque gives customers the opportunity to get as close to their products that augmented reality will physically allow. So don’t be afraid to go to a store to browse, it might be closer to home than you think.