These virtual stores make shopping fun again

Online experiences that evoke the serendipity of traditional retail —complete with aisles of shelves— make shopping fun again. The virtual store is back —and it’s the best retail experience we could have gotten during a COVID-19 lockdown. Rather than resembling a printed catalog transformed into online form, as most e-commerce sites do, virtual stores use either 3D renderings of an environment or Google Street-View-like sequences of stitched-together photographic images of a physical location. They replicate neighborhood shopping, letting you walk through aisles and peruse items on display. They safely scratch the itch to be in a local store. But you don’t have to wear a mask, rush in and out, or worry about others not wearing masks or standing too close. Read more…