Building Relationships with Showroom Technology
As technology takes center stage in the showroom, many businesses are changing their model. This means significant strides towards a reduced inventory, and, in Target's case, a smaller footprint. So, what does this showroom of the future look like? That's up to individual retailers, but there is an undeniable shift towards creating a more personalized shopping experience by introducing more interactive displays.
In the automotive industry, iPads are present on the showroom floor. As the new face of the dealership, the iPad walks customers through everything from vehicle specs to options menus. This shift makes customers feel more in control of their experience. They get to choose their options- paint treatments, trim level and so on - with a sales person present to assist and answer questions. The result? Customers drive away reporting a more positive experience, feeling that they weren't "sold."
By and large, this speaks to a larger trend in retail. Customers don't want a "pitch." And technology in the showroom provides an ideal intermediary. Using the right software or augmented reality, a conversation between retailer and customer becomes possible. This provides an opportunity for the types of questions that reveal a customer's true needs. And when you're solving for a need, you're no longer selling - you're providing solutions.
One of the ways Lowe's Home Improvement provides solutions is to help customers literally "see" a big renovation project before demo even begins. Using augmented reality from Marxent, Lowe's is able to design a kitchen and upload the experience to a pair of goggles. When worn, customers see their own kitchen, to scale, as if the new cabinets, counters and appliances were in place. It's a game changer.
In the home decor industry, similar applications could be used to create a virtual living space for clients to enjoy and explore.
Of the opportunity, Beck Besecker, CEO and co-founder of Marxent said, "It's one thing to shop for a sofa in a giant showroom of sofas, it's another thing entirely to see a space that matches the exact dimensions of your living room with relaxation or conversation groups arranged to suit, and colors and textures tailored to reflect the personal taste of the shopper. Using augmented reality or virtual reality visualization for products and spaces allows buyers to configure entire looks with multiple products into a scene. The ability of the customer to see themselves and their ideas in a scene that reflects their tastes and to know that it will all actually work in their space - that's what gets them excited about the purchase and builds confidence in the sale."
Additionally, when you combine this type of technology with a solution like Amber Engine, to keep detailed, accurate product data up-to-date, you're able to create a better experience for your customers to increase sales and loyalty.
And isn't that what we all want? New showroom technology allows today's retailers to provide best-in-class service for lasting customer relationships. We call that a win/win situation.
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