In the past year alone, we’ve witnessed an incredible shift in how individuals shop. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, people have become more hesitant to shop in-store, causing retailers to scramble to find new ways to reach their consumers. Enter digital showrooms. digital showrooms became popularized in the automotive industry and provided an immersive, experiential environment for shoppers to explore products from the comfort of their own homes.
But digital showrooms aren’t just for the automotive industry anymore. Large retail and luxury brands are beginning to adopt this tool to enhance the customer experience and drive more sales. In this article, we’ll explore what digital showrooms are, their benefits, and how to pick a video commerce platform that will help construct a digital showroom that delights customers and drives sales.
What are Digital Showrooms?
A digital showroom is a video platform that allows shoppers to explore products as if they were physically present in-store. By leveraging 3D, 360-degree, or augmented reality technology, digital showrooms enable retailers to showcase their products like never before. Think of it as a combination of a physical store, where customers can touch and see products up close, and an online store, where shoppers can easily browse products.
A digital showroom is a virtual representation of a physical showroom or store floor via a video platform, with additional benefits of interactivity and personalization. Brands get the ability to turn their website into an always-on global storefront for online shoppers. With Firework, brands can pre-record showrooms or host in real-time, interact with customers through a host tablet, scan products directly into the showroom, create VIP experiences with invite-only showrooms, and even collaborate with other stores in a multi-host mode.
Digital showrooms weren’t meant to replace physical stores entirely but complement them by providing an additional channel for customers to engage with your brand. By integrating digital showrooms with your physical store, you leverage the strengths of both platforms, ultimately leading to a more prosperous and customer-centric retail experience.
The digital showrooms can take many forms. Some may resemble a physical retail store, where the shopper navigates through different sections and products. Others may be more experiential, where the shopper can interact with the products uniquely. In all cases, the goal of a digital showroom is to provide a rich, immersive customer experience that engages the shopper and encourages them to make a purchase.
Why Create a Digital Showroom?
Enhance the Customer Experience
One of the primary benefits of digital showrooms is their ability to provide an enhanced customer experience. By providing an immersive, interactive environment, shoppers can explore products in ways they never could with traditional e-commerce. They can zoom in on products, view them from multiple angles, and even interact with them using augmented reality.
digital showrooms can also help to increase sales. By providing a more engaging and immersive shopping experience, shoppers are more likely to purchase. Firework’s video commerce platform can increase product click rate by 19% and session time by 5X. Additionally, digital showrooms can help to reduce returns by providing more accurate depictions of the product.
Increased Foot Traffic
Digital showrooms are a powerful marketing tool to drive more customers to your physical store. By showcasing your products online and creating an engaging digital experience, you can generate buzz and attract new customers. Many shoppers use digital showrooms to research and browse products before visiting in-store, increasing foot traffic and potentially leading to additional sales.
Customers from all over the world can access a digital showroom, opening up new markets and opportunities for sales. Additionally, they reach customers unable to visit a physical store, whether due to geographic location or physical limitations.
Interactive Product Discovery
Digital showrooms can serve as an excellent tool for customers to explore your product offerings before coming to your physical store. Customers can interact with products in detailed 3D or augmented reality environments, gaining a better understanding of features, materials, and sizes. This interaction encourages customers to visit your store to experience the product in person, leading to higher chances of conversion and potentially upselling or cross-selling related items.
How to Get Started Creating a Digital Showroom
Identify your goals: Determine what you hope to achieve with digital showrooms. Are you looking to increase sales, reach a wider audience, or provide a unique customer experience? Clearly defining your goals will help steer your implementation strategy.
Choose the right technology: Research different video commerce platforms that offer digital showroom capabilities. Look for user-friendly interfaces, robust features, integration options, and reliable customer support. It’s also essential to consider your budget and select a solution that aligns with your financial resources.
Plan your showroom layout: Once you’ve chosen a platform, start designing your digital showroom. Consider categories, product placements, and any interactive elements you want to incorporate. Aim for a layout that is intuitive, easy to navigate, and visually appealing.
Prepare your content: Gather high-quality product images, videos, and descriptions. Ensure you have accurate and detailed information for each item in your digital showroom. This content will help customers make informed purchasing decisions.
Take CX to the next level: Firework allows brands to go live with multiple hosts worldwide, poll the audience to understand which products customers like best, and highlight limited-time coupons, exclusive deals, new product drops, and additional product information.
Launch and promote your digital showroom: Once you’re ready, launch your digital showroom. Use your website, social media channels, and email marketing. Highlight the unique features and benefits of the digital shopping experience to entice customers to explore.
How to Pick a Video Commerce Platform for Digital Showrooms
Now that we’ve explored the benefits of digital showrooms, let’s talk about how to pick a video commerce platform to help construct one.
Determine Your Needs
The first step in picking a video commerce platform is determining your needs. What kind of digital showroom do you want to create? What features do you need to support that showroom? What is your budget? By answering these questions, you can narrow your options to platforms that meet your requirements.
Look for a User-Friendly Interface
Another important consideration is the platform’s user-friendliness. The last thing you want is for your customers to need help navigating your digital showroom. Look for a platform with a clean, intuitive interface that is easy to use.
Consider the Features
Digital showrooms can take many different forms, with a range of features to match. Consider the most important features of your digital showroom, such as 3D modeling, one-on-one video chat, augmented reality, or interactive elements. Look for a platform that supports those features.
Check for Integration
If you already have an e-commerce platform or a customer relationship management system, it’s essential to check whether the video commerce platform can integrate with those systems. Integration can streamline processes and provide a more cohesive experience for customers.
Evaluate Customer Support
If something goes wrong with your digital showroom, you want to be able to get in touch with someone who can help. Look for a venue with responsive customer support that is available when you need it.
What are Examples of Digital Showrooms?
IKEA: The Swedish furniture giant launched its digital showroom called “IKEA Place” in 2017. Using augmented reality, customers can visualize how IKEA furniture and home decor items would look and fit in their homes. The app allows users to browse, select, and digitally place 3D models of IKEA products in real-time, giving them a realistic sense of how the items would appear in their space. IKEA Place has been praised for its accuracy and convenience, providing customers with a unique and immersive shopping experience.
Carvana: The online platform for buying and selling used cars takes digital showrooms to the automotive industry. Their digital showroom allows customers to explore and shop for cars entirely online. High-resolution 360-degree images, detailed vehicle descriptions, and interactive tools provide customers with a comprehensive and engaging experience. Carvana’s digital showroom also includes a unique feature called “Carvana Curbside,” where customers can pick up their purchased car from a vending machine-like structure. Carvana has revolutionized the car buying experience by providing a digital showroom with convenient delivery options.
Nike: Nike has embraced digital showrooms through its Nike App and Nike Training Club app. These apps allow users to digitally try on shoes, test training gear, and browse through different collections. Users can explore the products in immersive detail, view them from various angles, and even see how they perform through interactive features. By integrating digital showrooms into their apps, Nike offers customers a personalized and engaging experience, showcasing their products innovatively and excitingly.
Let Firework Help Create Your Digital Showroom
Digital showrooms provide a powerful tool for retail and luxury brands looking to enhance the customer experience and drive more sales. Shoppers can explore products in ways they never could before by providing an immersive, interactive environment. With Firework, retailers can create digital showrooms that engage customers and provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional physical stores. So why not consider investing in a digital gallery for your brand today? Book a demo with a Firework expert today!