Monday, October 22, 2012

Eason’s Virtual Book Shop

This week sees one of Ireland's most recognised high street names take a bold new step in the world of retail. Eason, Ireland’s leading bookseller, who started its retail legacy with news stalls in train stations across Ireland in the late 1800s, is returning to its roots as it launches Ireland’s first ever Virtual Book Shop at Connolly Station in Dublin to allow commuters to buy bestselling books by simply scanning QR codes with their smartphones.

The Virtual Book Shop resembles the shelves you'd see in an Eason store, displaying images of book covers with corresponding QR codes. Once scanned they will bring users to an online mobile shop where they can purchase the book. Everything from bestselling Sport, Food and Drink, Kids and Fiction titles will be available to purchase at the Eason Virtual Book Shop including a pre-order option for what are expected to be some big hits for Christmas.

Speaking about the Virtual Book Shop, David Field, Group Head of Marketing and Retail Development, Eason said, “We’re delighted to be bringing the first ever Virtual Book Shop to Ireland. While the traditional physical store is still very much at the heart of Eason, we recognise the ever-growing need to further develop our online shopping experience and to create a concept that is not only innovative and a first to Irish market but that very much demonstrates that we are as contemporary multi-channel retailer. To bring the Virtual Book Shop concept to life we’ve put social at the heart of the solution by deeply integrating with Facebook.  Not only can people shop in a totally new way, they can share their experience via Facebook, make recommendations and see what titles their friends have bought which really brings that word-of-mouth marketing to social platforms.”

Also speaking at the launch of Eason’s Virtual Book Shop, leading Irish author, Cecelia Ahern said, “As an author there is no greater feeling than seeing your book on the shelves. But today seeing my new release One Hundred Names available in Ireland’s first ever Virtual Book Shop – it’s really exciting and I am delighted Eason has invited me to be part of this.”

Developed by VendorShop Social, the Eason’s Virtual Book Shop takes integration with Facebook a step further than most brands by using the Facebook Open Graph as a key part of the mobile store application. The result is a much more personalised experience for users and a more viral solution for Eason.

“We all know the power of word of mouth marketing and Facebook’s Open Graph functionality enables a business to embed word of mouth into their marketing and e-commerce activities. Open Graph is an extremely powerful tool to turn people’s interactions with your brand and products viral, but many businesses simply don’t realise what is possible”, said Chris Small CEO of VendorShop Social.

Ireland’s first ever Virtual Book Shop will be situated in Connolly Station from Monday 22nd October until Christmas with plans to bring the mobile shopping experience to other locations throughout the country.

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