In the digital age, can any business afford not to have a virtual presence? Someone somewhere is always looking for a product or service 24x7x365, and to cater to this new age customer is through a virtual showroom in digital space.
With easy and affordable internet services and proliferation of devices to access them, most notably the smartphone, a Virtual Showroom has become a necessity for any business. Information is key to decision making and what better way of spreading information than to make it available to anyone, anywhere and anytime? Creating a virtual showroom is easy and affordable. Digital technologies like 3D product animation and 360° virtual tours bring the showroom to life, the shelves full of products, each of which can be seen from all angles, and even in cross sections to check the internals. Not just showrooms for consumer products, but also industrial equipment, factories and process plants – any business can have a digital presence through virtual exhibitions and 3D product animation videos.
Why should a business have this digital presence? Well, the reasons are many, so let’s have a look at the more important ones.
Changing customer behavior is among the foremost. Armed with a smartphone, the net savvy citizen is actively looking for availability, bargains, choices and deals, the ABCD of online shopping. In such a scenario, businesses with a digital presence start with an advantage. What was a rising trend until recently, has suddenly grown multifold due to the Covid pandemic that has restricted movements and led to a ‘new normal’ during lockdown, driving more and more people online.
Global reach and interaction is another huge advantage of the virtual showroom. Sitting in the comforts of own home, a customer can visit the virtual showroom of a business located at any remote corner of the world, explore the options, seek clarifications, customize the product where feasible, and place the order, the item will be delivered with the excellent logistics chain in place that is today facilitating millions of deliveries globally on a daily basis.
Virtual showrooms are cost effective because today renting a physical space, especially in urban areas, is prohibitively expensive which ultimately results in the products becoming costly. The overheads, utilities, security and other incidental expenses add to that. The digital space does not come free, but the cost is just a fraction of the monthly rent of a physical store – a big plus. As a result, products bought in digital space generally come at a discounted price.
A virtual showroom offers businesses the opportunity to increase transparency and trust by providing the customers an environment to explore, seek information and ask questions before they make a decision. This shows the business or company in a positive light, the openness creating trust. When it comes to services like event venues or accommodation, the virtual tour is a great way to convey the look and feel of the place. Similarly, in case of industrial products and services, it shows all the infrastructure of the actual location with 3D product animations and extended reality.
The trust and transparency in turn help the customer make informed decisions ruling out any possibility of an impulsive purchase. Customers visiting a virtual showroom are doing so at their convenience and are not in a hurry. They are cautious to begin with and seek more information about what they are buying, resulting in more informed decisions. For industrial products and services, they can not only buy the product or component, but also get demonstration of how to follow the correct procedure of replacement, etc., with detailed instructions via 3D animation videos.
Perhaps the most significant benefit an entrepreneur can derive from a virtual showroom is the opportunity to make a realistic representation of the business. Through WebXR one can offer a virtual 360° tour of not only the showroom, but also the manufacturing facility, the testing processes and quality control measures, the handling and packing, etc. This is something not possible with a visit to a physical store of facility, and in turn gives customers a better picture.
A virtual showroom has no working hours – it is a 24/7 establishment that uses technology to sell your products/services at all hours of the day, because the ‘City does not sleep’, as an ad informed us long ago. Additional options like providing virtual tour of the facility or having a dedicated virtual experience center to ‘test’ the products or experience the look and feel through immersive experience can add further value.
Above all, a virtual showroom is an innovative, smart and unique marketing tool which can add a lot of brand value to any business. It is not just about attracting buyers, but also about establishing a strong brand presence, holding virtual exhibitions, creating a niche so that it helps in brand recall and positive perception in the collective public mind.
Finally, virtual showrooms help boost the revenue for businesses. Making money is the first objective of doing business and doing it right is the first step towards this objective. Today’s generation is a digital generation where the majority of the people are not only citizens, but also netizens. A digital presence thus is a must for every business as it is the most cost effective way of reaching the target audience. Revenue growth follows.
Of course, mere digital presence with a virtual store is not enough, so one needs professional expertise to spice up the scene with bells & whistles, as well as promoting the store with other digital promotions like promotional offers and schemes, video presentations at events and physical exhibitions through 3D product animations, celebration of special occasions, etc.
The virtual showroom technology is available at affordable cost to anyone, imagination being the only limit to its applications. It is just a matter of inclination to make it work for your business.