Why Office Furniture Companies Are Making Virtual Showrooms a Reality

Sometimes we can think of how we want things to look. Many of us know what we like when we see it but cannot conceive it within a space, while others can conceptualize and even apply it using design best practices and that sense of knowing how things fit together to deliver aesthetic impact.

In the office furnishings world, especially on the commercial side, companies have traditionally relied on foot traffic – folks entering their commercial property to view their products and services. This is akin to retail environments. Depending on the complexity of the product and what they need, consumers have an ability to touch, feel and test products to determine whether they fit.

Examine that chair, remark on its chrome base, spin it around and have a whirl to assess comfort and adjustability. When you’re laying out $500 and up on a single chair and purchasing large quantities for your staff, you’re going to do due diligence in making your decision.  Now add desks, acoustical dividers, and ceiling baffles. What about free-standing pods, workstations, and private enclaves not to mention lounge seating and tables for those collaborative meetings. Can you see it all come together? Most of us cannot visualize nor apply design principles to an office space. Companies looking to refresh or redesign their space typically hire a designer and leave the details to them with checkpoints on the project progress and the ensuing costs.

As a supplier of furnishings, you’re going to have to rely on designers and architects to advocate your products to their customers so they can become your clients too. Having a designer and the client in your showroom will be key. Sometimes, your client may have their own facility resources on hand and take the initiative themselves. Or you may be bidding on a project and part of the process could be a site visit or mock-up space for the client. That’s why an office furniture company will want to provide an immersive experience to position their products above the competition.

So, you’re going to have to create the best showroom possible and provide a curated experience for prospective clients. Furniture manufacturers and their dealers have found it more challenging to bring people into their showroom with safety protocols creating apprehension. This has led to a reduction in real estate as digital communications have become increasingly important.  It has also spawned a virtual expansion of real estate as companies use technology to extend their experiences beyond physical walls.

The New Real Estate Frontier is Virtual

Virtual showrooms are the new real estate frontier. Almost every industry has gained efficiencies and enticed more customers by casting a wider net through technology enablement. The furniture industry, steeped in tradition, is now catching up. With 3D renderings that mimic real life, companies like Tektus, are generating experiences that rival in-person showroom visits. Sure, the touch and feel part of it can never be replicated (at least not yet). However, a virtual showroom can help furniture companies get in front of their customers and design partners by offering easy access to their products. Catalogues and on-line shopping engines may partially satisfy the consumer retail industry, but office furnishings need to provide context and it needs to be interactive.

Customers need to navigate different settings to see what looks good, to see applicable products in their ‘natural’ design environment, and to imagine what it might look like in their own space. Visualizing is a core component of the showroom experience. With virtual showrooms, furniture companies can engage clients outside of business hours to support work anywhere and anytime. Customers can engage at their own convenience and if they like what they see and want to move to the touchy-feely part, they are already on their way. Virtual showrooms are not a replacement for the physical, but they can serve as an extension of the customer experience. Many furniture companies feel confident that once they get a customer into their showroom, their chances of closing an opportunity increase significantly. Imagine exporting part of that experience on-line. Not only does it expand your universe, but it also primes customer interest in seeing the real deal.

Furniture manufacturers and dealers can now see how easy and cost effective it is to create a virtual showroom and reap the benefits of delivering high impact virtual experiences. For more information, contact the experts at Tektus today.

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