Connolly Railway Station in Dublin

Connolly Railway Station in Dublin

Eason has today launched what it says is Ireland’s first ever virtual bookshop at Connolly Station in Dublin.

The mobile shop displays images of book covers, each with a QR code that, when scanned by a customer with a smartphone, will bring them to an online mobile shop where they can purchase the book.

“The traditional physical store is still very much at the heart of Eason. We also recognize 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 the Irish market, but that very much demonstrates that we are as a contemporary multi-channel retailer,” said David Field, group head of marketing and retail development, Eason.

“To bring the virtual bookshop 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, but they can also 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.”

Developed by social commerce company VendorShop Social, the Eason Virtual Book Shop uses the Facebook Open Graph as a vital part of the mobile store application. “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,” said Chris Small, CEO of VendorShop Social. “Open Graph is an extremely powerful tool to turn people’s interactions with your brand and products viral, but many businesses simply don’t realize what is possible.”

Bradley Long, from the Wizard of Web, pointed out as demand begins to rise, technology will need to be updated. “Small online shops can often become overwhelmed when sales and demand begin to increase and they can fall for various pitches for products and technology which that don’t need. From a cost and usability perspective, using Shopify makes sense for the small business owner, and having the best converting Shopify theme can earn back the investment often on the first day of its use.”

The mobile store will be situated in Connolly Station from today until Christmas. Eason said it has plans to bring the mobile shopping experience to other locations throughout the country.