Virtual Showrooms: The Next Generation in Retail Customer Services
Table of contents
- 1. What Is a Virtual Showroom?
- 2. Main Features of a Virtual Showroom
- 3. Benefits of Virtual Showrooms for Omnichannel Retail
- 4. Impact of Virtual Showrooms on Retail Customer Services
- 5. What You Need to Implement Virtual Showrooms in Your Retail Business
- 6. How Can We Help Your Retail Business?
- 7. Final Thoughts
The retail industry has faced numerous challenges in recent years, with 2020 proving to be the most demanding yet. However, while there’s a distinct separation between brick-and-mortar stores and eCommerce-only businesses (think Primark vs ASOS), the pandemic has only accelerated the industry’s digital transformation. More companies start enjoying the benefits of online showrooms in retail, and this tendency will be even stronger.
Integrating the online buying experience with the physical one – with services such as Click & Collect and Scan & Go – retailers are now matching, if not improving, their in-store experience. In fact, the proportion spent online soared to the highest record of 30.7% in April this year, with omnichannel retail fast becoming the new normal.
Even pre-pandemic, the world was witnessing an increase in mobile shopping, with customers enjoying seamless shopping experiences via apps and mobile wallet solutions. And while the industry has faced widespread store closures, many retailers are redefining the role of their physical stores, by allowing customers to shop and interact with their favourite brands via a host of touchpoints – websites, apps, mobile devices, catalogues, and call centres, to name a few. Online showrooms in retail customer service will soon become the new norm. For this reason, it’s not surprising that so many businesses become interested in these digital services. Here you can take a closer look at their work and what benefits they offer.
What Is a Virtual Showroom?
Virtual showrooms in retail are still quite new, so a lot of people unfamiliar with this term may mistake them for video reviews and similar services. Virtual showrooms are a solution for brands that allows them to showcase and sell various products using an online platform.
The purpose of virtual showroom software is to replace offline stores and trade shows. Buyers can see new products in detail and purchase whatever they like right away.
Main Features of a Virtual Showroom
The main features of virtual showrooms include the following:
It is possible to organize interactions with sellers in showrooms to get more information about the products.
Thanks to this service, buyers can order your products whenever they have time, 24/7. With this feature, people can even buy items even at night if they wish.
Making orders in real-time
Digital showrooms offer a variety of payment methods and make it possible to close sales in real time. There is a high level of automation, which significantly reduces waiting.
In-depth descriptions and demos
Online showrooms in retail services allow retailers to show product demos, catalogues, and detailed descriptions to help buyers choose the right items.
Also, picture this. A customer wants to upgrade their car to the smallest detail, but they’re unable to visit the showroom or store. With the website only offering a list of technical specifications, measurements, features, it’s difficult for the customer to decide whether it’s the right option. Think how convenient it would be if a sales representative could give them a closer look at the car – its dashboard, glove box and engine.
With Richcall’s virtual showroom, your business can offer this service. Creating exciting experiences that allow you to connect with customers, engage new ones and retain those loyal to your brand. Just a 5% boost in customer retention equates to a 25%-95% boost in profit, so it’s never been more important.
Benefits of Virtual Showrooms for Omnichannel Retail
These days, consumers actively seek out an alternative to in-store shopping. That’s not to say the need for brick-and-mortar stores will become obsolete, as there are many advantages that can’t be replaced by eCommerce, such as trying on a coat. However, the convenience of online shopping is unlikely to be matched by the physical store experience. The main benefits of digital showrooms in retail include the following:
Enhancing the sustainability of stores
Compared to offline stores, the use of virtual showrooms is more environmentally-friendly and requires less resources.
Helping retailers save money
Maintaining a physical store is expensive, and the same goes for traveling to trade shows. Having a virtual showroom minimizes expenses without reducing the quality.
Entering the market faster
You don’t need to deal with delays in sample shipment, and you can give access to products much faster.
Reaching your global goals
With virtual showrooms, you can show your products, and people can buy them worldwide.
Impact of Virtual Showrooms on Retail Customer Services
In recent years, the impact of virtual showrooms in retail has significantly increased, especially due to the pandemic restrictions of 2020 and later. To continue adapting to the ever-changing habits of customers, retailers must offer a more hands-on and immersive experience. One that hinges on human interaction, while remaining purely ‘virtual’ in nature. And virtual showrooms can offer this alternative to in-store shopping, with customers now experiencing a more convenient and personalized shopping journey than ever before.
With the rise of online shopping, even stores that existed purely offline started selling products online. The percentage of people buying products online increases every year, so this is just the beginning. The demand for virtual showrooms is high, and we will definitely see them more often in the future.
What You Need to Implement Virtual Showrooms in Your Retail Business
The role of digital showrooms in retail is huge, and there are only a few things that you need to create them successfully:
There are plenty of sites and software options out there that allow you to create virtual showrooms. If you want to provide a 3D digital environment, you need powerful software.
Photo and video content
Your showroom cannot be complete without professional videos and photos displaying your products.
Strong Internet connection
Here at UCtel, we can ensure that you have a stable Internet connection regardless of your location. If you are uncertain about your Internet, you should use modern signal boosters that we can provide.
Having a service representative
Proven to keep customers on your website for five to 10 times longer, virtual showrooms are a game changer in customer engagement. In a recent survey, 68% of customers claimed that a service representative is key to a positive experience, alongside 67% who want more virtual options. Plus, with forward-thinking companies increasing employee engagement by 20% via CX initiatives, now is the time to empower your sales team and build stronger online customer relationships.
An online shopper makes a video call to your sales team from your website, where your sales representative can easily switch between cameras to show the product live. Using WebRTC and HD video to teleport your online shoppers to a physical store, you can equip your remote sales experts with a selection of HD video cameras, allowing you to showcase your products online via a live video with:
- A fixed HD camera connected to a PC, suitable for compact products such as electronics and jewellery
- A mobile phone camera. By switching the video call to their phone, a sales agent can provide a virtual tour of cars, furniture, kitchen worktops and other large products
Available for both cloud and on-premise deployments, RichCall offers live video support, click-to-call, co-browsing and video chat customer services and is the only live video support solution that can be seamlessly integrated with contact centre software: Cisco Unified Contact Center Express and Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise platforms. Alternatively, you can use RichCall in stand-alone mode with embedded PBX. Click here to find out more about the only live video-calling site that can integrate with Cisco UCM and UCCX/UCCE.
How Can We Help Your Retail Business?
In this digital age, having a stable and strong Internet connection is essential. The retail business is not an exception, and our team here at UCtel can always fix any connectivity problems for your company.
If you want the benefits of online stores and showrooms, you need to be confident in your Internet and mobile signal. Our specialists can choose the right Cel-Fi signal boosters for your space, so your customers can always reach you.
Our team has completed numerous projects, including installing solutions for an investment company that has more than 1,000 square metres of offices.
Virtual showrooms offer B2C and B2B solutions for retailers in different industries. They allow your brand to enter an online space, attract new customers, and grow it globally. If you want to have an online presence, you should make it easy for customers to reach you via mobile phones and online. At UCtel, our goal is to make this happen.
If you’d like to see a demo of how RichCall works and what it can do for your business, call UCtel at 0333 344 4417 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.