The Virtual Showroom – The New Normal of Customer Engagement

The virtual showroom – The new normal of customer engagement

20202020 Blogs, 2020 Ideal Spaces, Home Design & Remodeling

Virtual Showroom

The virtual showroom is more than ever a critical game-changer in the world of online customer engagement.

With the global events of the past months producing long-lasting effects upon the daily habits of consumers, online shopping and web traffic have surged as a result. While the millennial generation has always been comfortable with online research, shopping and purchasing, we are now seeing increased activity from older generations that have historically resisted the trend in comparison. The types and sizes of online purchases have expanded to include items that would normally have taken place in-store. Tech-savvy retail businesses are considered the most likely to come out of the current crisis thriving.

At 2020, we’ve noticed during these past weeks and months that many of our customers have reported a doubling—in some cases a tripling—of web traffic. The modern consumer population, many recently confined to their homes, are using this time to start or plan home improvement and renovation projects. This translates into current demand for DIY as well as more extensive renovations.

In this article, we’ll explore the current trends in online retail and provide a look into the future of consumer expectations. As always, the world moves forward and times change. We can’t keep up by standing still.

The rules of engagement

The rules of engagement
There’s a reason why lines are still forming in home improvement store parking lots when every item within the store and more is available online. People want to know what they are getting beyond the blandness of a screen full of thumbnails. This is the crucial factor missing from the majority of online purchasing platforms. There’s no showroom and there’s no human interaction. With a true virtual showroom experience available, consumers can easily navigate the online buying journey and remain confident and satisfied that their needs are met. People have always enjoyed the showroom because it lets them see the end result of their goal. For many, simply scrolling through products online will not satisfy the human need to see in context, to get a feel for how things fit together. With an interactive online platform to replace the in-store experience, the consumer will be allowed to find that fun and engaging atmosphere which so draws them to the showroom.

Staying mobile in a modern world

mobile shopping
Mobile shopping has been steadily increasing over the past decade and has seen a surge during the first part of this year as well. Statista predicts that 73% of online purchases will occur on a mobile device by the end of 2021. With a truly seamless omni-channel platform, retailers can vastly improve their mobile shopping platform to increase engagement and the likelihood of a final purchase. A virtual showroom made accessible on a mobile device—easily transferable to other platforms—will allow customers to remain connected anywhere they go.

Collaborating in a remote environment

collaborative process
A collaborative process in which a designer can access customer projects is crucial to the final result of a happy customer enjoying their newly renovated space. As with many businesses, the design world has gone remote. Virtual space planning solutions keep professional designers connected with consumers, and keep both parties connected to the retailers who supply them with the products that will bring those dreams to life. With technical design information added to an interactive catalog, homeowners and designers can work together with the retailer for a smooth and fluid process from inspiration to final purchase and installation.

A modern solution

2020 Ideal Spaces

This new surge in online shopping helps explain why some of our 2020 customers are weathering this storm a bit better than expected. By leveraging our 2020 retail solutions these clients can remain engaged with their customers while capturing current and pent-up demand. With access to a virtual showroom, customers are given the experience they are sorely missing in so many online shopping platforms.

“We are now more than ever focusing all our energy into developing our ONLINE business. 2020 Ideal Spaces is of course more than ever our best ally.”—Matthieu Nawrocki, Leroy Merlin Russia

2020 Ideal Spaces is a consumer-facing online design tool that drives traffic to your website and inspires prospects to begin a design project. 2020 Ideal Spaces can facilitate online purchases today, as well as capture leads to be nurtured in the future.

All the crucial steps in the buying journey—from inspiration to purchasing—can be found in 2020 Ideal Spaces. Customers can design their future spaces with cloud-based catalogs, combining the full online inventory and the physical showroom experience. Visitors to your website can actually see what their future purchases will look like in their homes. The seamless and adaptable connection between the customer and your staff will allow for engaging communication and the assistance a consumer would expect when visiting a brick and mortar showroom.

A new normal, a long time coming

new normal

Developing an online presence has already been an important aspect of any retail strategy for the past 20 years. The new generation of homeowners have always loved an interactive online experience. Older generations have recently increased their online purchasing. Even more importantly, future generations will expect a seamless omni-channel buying experience as a necessity. Now, to prepare for the “new normal” of retail, we recommend seeking ways to continuously improve upon the online customer experience through engagement and inspiration. The virtual showroom has always been the future of home retail and, as always, the future has arrived.

If you’re looking to move forward with online retail, 2020 can help.

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