8 Benefits of Virtual Showrooms and Why Furniture Companies Need One in 2022
Both the internet and the smartphone revolutionized almost every aspect of our lives, including the way business owners market and promote their ventures.
Thanks to the rise of digital marketing, entrepreneurs no longer depend on brick-and-mortar stores to connect with their customers. Social media, emails, blogs and websites all allow businesses to connect with their patrons no matter where they are.
However, any digital marketer worth their salt will tell you that social media, emails, and blogs have their limitations. Achieving success in a competitive marketplace and standing out is not easy.
That’s where VR showrooms come into play. They are the new frontier, delivering immersive consumer experiences that surpass static website images and even video content. Virtual reality is still in its early stages, and most brands haven’t yet capitalized on the value of expanding their virtual real estate through a virtual showroom.
In this article we’ll help you capitalize on this opportunity by explaining what is a virtual showroom, the benefits it can bring, and finally, how to create one for your own business.
What is a VR showroom?
A virtual showroom — sometimes referred to as a digital showroom— is an innovative true-to-life experience that offers manufacturer and retail brands an opportunity to engage customers and market products through an online immersive platform. It complements or may even replace physical showrooms and trade shows, mitigating the need for a physical location and physical samples to show new collections.
Unlike traditional website experiences and e-commerce stores, these showrooms provide an interactive virtual experience that affords the visitor the power to view products up close without leaving their office or home. And even sample options in real-time.
How Does a Virtual Showroom Work?
Unlike 2D images, which only provide a shallow representation of a product, a virtual showroom allows for full 360 examination of a product in its environment. This gives customers in-depth knowledge of how the product looks and feels, without relying on confusing product descriptions.
In addition, in a digital showroom, customers are also able to quickly swap between products to compare how they fit in certain environments and they are able to compare product variations, including color or size.
To put it simply, they give customers the experience of shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, without being limited by distance, inventory, or opening hours.
Why Are They Important?
It goes without saying that the last few years have had a transformative effect on our lives. Every day, more and more businesses embrace remote work practices, and more customers choose to do their research and even make purchase decisions online.
It’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve and be ready to meet new customer demands. If you want your business to stand out in an increasingly competitive market, you’ll have to do something different. Virtual showrooms can help your business proactively adapt to this digital revolution while increasing its online presence.
Your business’s collection/catalog will now be available to thousands of consumers. Virtual showrooms provide you the opportunity to customize your company’s products from color to size, with greater flexibility than in a physical showroom.
Can They Help B2B Brands?
If you’re an owner of a B2B brand, virtual showrooms can be a game changer for your business. Like in the consumer and retail space, businesses can showcase their products within a virtual environment. Not only do all the same benefits apply but having your own virtual showroom will position your company as innovative through your investment in cutting edge technology.
Virtual real estate is especially useful in b2b settings where purchasing decisions are made by more than one person. Unlike in-person visits, they allow multiple people to examine the product at their leisure, without the inconvenience and logistical challenges of coordinating meeting times or visits.
8 Virtual Showroom Benefits
By now, you should be ready to jump on the VR showroom bandwagon, so let’s explore the advantages they’ll bring when you finally get one:
#1 No Time Restrictions
Perhaps the most significant advantage to virtual showrooms is that they are not restricted by time. Customers today look for immediate results and services. No one wants to wait for opening hours to look at a product or make a purchase.
Unlike traditional showrooms that are constrained by set hours, consumers in virtual showrooms can pay a visit whenever and wherever they are.
#2 Product Visualization
Another benefit of VR is providing a flexible space to display products. Precise 3D models and real-life animations help showcase various product features in different versions and in different environments.
Users can explore these options and customize a product according to their preferences. As a result, customers can see exactly what they are purchasing, making them confident about their decision.
#3 No Distance Limitations
Distance is one of the major drawbacks of physical showrooms. It doesn’t matter if your product is one of a kind if customers must drive hours to get it. This limits your pool of potential customers to those in and around the area your facility is in.
Subsequently, one of the greatest advantages of a VR showroom is that it provides that same retail experience to audiences from around the world! Anyone with a smartphone, laptop, or tablet can remotely access the product, customize it, place an order and even get it delivered.
If you’re lucky enough to have your showroom achieve viral status, your business might end up expanding to areas or countries you’ve never dreamed of!
Displaying your products virtually is far more cost-effective and efficient than a physical one.
Simply calculate the price of renting a space, building the showroom, and factor in the charges of monthly utilities, security, accidents, etc. Not to mention the material cost of outfitting it with several variations of each product on your catalog. All in all, it takes a lot of effort and money to put together a successful showroom.
On the other hand, virtual showrooms are much more affordable. You won’t just save on rent, utilities, and staffing, but also on material costs! Why stock several of the same product in different colors when all it takes is a few clicks to change the color of a 3d rendering?
#5 Customer Support
Communication is the key to understanding your customers’ needs and enhancing their buying experience.
Attending to all users at a physical showroom can be challenging, but virtual showrooms can have 24/7 chat support, call and email options to assist customers instantly. Quick and useful responses also build trust and a positive reputation that can lead to an increase in sales.
Every business needs data to improve its marketing campaigns and goals. Virtual Showrooms can provide insightful analytics of users’ behaviour to better optimize your sales process. This can immensely help your team to create effective strategies to convert visitors to buyers.
You’ll get accurate information on how much time a user spends in your VR showroom or even in a particular space. This data intelligence can empower you to modify your approach in presenting user-centric products or designs in your showroom.
#7 Increases User Convenience
Over the past few years, we’ve endured lockdowns and had to manage remotely. This has given way to a new hybrid work ecosystem. While some compromises have been made and other supply issues persist, customers have seen some benefits with virtual work including faster, and more convenient interactions.
These online ‘meets’ take customer experience to the next level providing a greater range of choice with, users now able to communicate with businesses through their preferred channels.
From the consumer’s perspective, they can visit a virtual showroom in the comfort of their home, which not only reduces their cost, but also increases customer satisfaction in the form of personalization and improved service.
VR showrooms are the new wave of online consumer interaction. Those who ride the wave early stand to gain attention and prestige for being early adopters, while those who fail to adapt are liable to be left behind.
As consumer habits change, business demands a faster and more personalized experience online. A well built virtual showroom will help your business stay relevant and competitive for years to come.
Virtual Showroom Examples
Virtual showrooms have assisted multiple brands to change the way they make sales. Here are some examples of how leading organizations have employed them:
VERYX is a food manufacturing, and processing firm. VERYX has used a video VR showroom to describe how their factories manufacture food of the highest quality. Their detailed yet intriguing presentation helps the viewer understand how they process food from start to finish with details of the equipment used too!
Many of us have known Cisco for a good while. But did you know that they created a virtual trade show? This innovation allowed customers to look around and see their product offerings.
Swiftspace is a Canadian manufacturer of business office furniture which provides adaptability and flexibility to support worker productivity and comfort.
In an effort to expand their digital presence and make their products more accessible to online customers, Swiftspace reached out to Tektus to set up an interactive showroom experience. Explore Swiftspace’s showroom below, or check out other Tektus virtual showroom examples.
How Do I Create a Virtual Showroom?
Virtual showrooms have immense scope to build strong customer relationships and provide a better consumer experience. Taking part in the next digital revolution is easy if you find the right partner to build and manage your VR Showroom.
Book a virtual showroom tour with Tektus and learn how you can build an audience, generate more leads, and expand your business into the metaverse!