Future Shop bows online social community » Media in Canada

Future Shop bows online social community

In a first for a Canadian technology retailer, the consumer electronics purveyor has launched the Community Forum, complete with English and French avatars.

Futureshop.ca aims to be Canada’s largest social networking site for technology. The Burnaby, BC-HQ’d company is already the country’s largest consumer electronics retailer, with 123 stores and major web sales. This week, it launched the Community Forum to help customers connect with the store and each other.

With assistance from avatar hosts – Aaron for English speakers and Alex for francophones – the forum will provide interactive product expertise and assist with buying decisions. The site is also meant to be a 24/7 place to share information, knowledge and passion about technology, and to engage in conversations around technology and consumer electronics with other customers, product experts, vendors and buyers.

The Community Forum offers 12 boards for customers to access and share information and tips, including: Home Theatre, Home Office, Photo, Communications, iPod & MP3, Car Audio & GPS, Gaming, Movies, Music, Tech Services, Appliances and Off Topic, for all other discussions of interest.

‘Our Forum takes the consumer’s experience beyond a purchase,’ explains Rick Lotman, SVP customer experience. ‘Now a customer will be empowered to go into the Forum, ask questions and read what others have to say about a product or service.’

Future Shop was recognized in June by the Retail Council of Canada with the Excellence in Retailing Award for Multi-Channel Retailing, and continues to be Canada’s most visited retail website, with over 3 million unique visits each month.