LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Tobin Brogunier is the founder and CEO of Virtual Storefronts, which he says is the future of retail.

“If you’re a chain or a franchise that has more than 14 locations you can’t have one. In fact, we had to turn down a regional franchise that had less than 100 businesses because they were simply too big,” said Brogunier.

The online service offers a unique shopping experience that combines the convenience of online shopping with the personal touch of traditional brick-and-mortar retail.

“So there’s no work involved. It’s very low cost. It’s $18 a month or $199 per year, but it solves all the problems of a website without actually being a website and having all the management hassle that you have with a website,” Brogunier said.

Virtual storefronts offer a more engaging and enjoyable shopping experience, Brogunier said.

It also offers people the ability to explore product offerings in a three-dimensional space, and to interact with sales associates in real-time.

For retailers, virtual storefronts offer a number of advantages as well.

“We have about 100 businesses from our pilot there and each business has a unique set of keywords and these keywords teach Google what is available locally because Google doesn’t have very much information about that. Google is essentially the Yellow Pages.”

By eliminating the need for physical storefronts, retailers can significantly reduce their overhead costs, while still offering customers a high-quality shopping experience.

“If we can get everyone here onboard, spreading across the country is definitely within scope. We can get people in Lansing to use it as well I would think,” said Brogunier.

In addition, virtual storefronts offer a range of data collection and analytics tools that can help retailers better understand their customers and tailor their offerings to meet their needs.