The fast pace of the online world means that as businesses we must continue to find new ways of promoting ourselves. The online space gives us multiple opportunities to increase our presence in front of our customers. But one of the hurdles when marketing an independent business is turning a customer’s interest into a sale. This makes it more important than ever to invest in new ways of getting in front of your customers.
With this in mind, there is a selection of marketing tools that you can use to focus on your business’s conversion rate. The focus of this blog is how to utilise a virtual showroom. Scene3D worked with Company of Master Jewellers retailer Case & Case Jewellers to demonstrate just how these virtual showrooms work.
Having a virtual showroom brings your products to life within the online world. Your customers can navigate the online parallel of your store, look through your products, learn about them and buy them. There are many functions available when setting up your online showroom that helps to bring your products to life. You have the opportunity to provide all of the information about the product that would be shared in person and online when your customers click on the product. Not only does this provide the opportunity to add in the personal touches of your experience and expertise, but bridges the gap between the real and virtual world (more of this is explored below). These functions help customers get a better sense of the quality and craftsmanship of your jewellery, and data shows that this ultimately leads to more sales. There are several factors that can be utilised within your virtual showroom to ensure that your potential customers become paying customers.
‘’Some jewellery stores take full advantage of virtual showrooms by implementing every product they offer into it, with links to buy the product easily. But not only that – some also allow customers to try on pieces of jewellery and experience the full power of virtual reality. While this is not a standard yet, it’s certainly a near future.’’ [Scene3D shares in its Virtual Showrooms: A Simple (But Complete) Guide]
In addition to showcasing your products, a tour of your virtual showroom can also provide a memorable customer experience. By allowing customers to explore your products and experience a virtual try-on, you’re offering them a unique and engaging experience. As we discussed in our virtual try-on blog, a virtual try-on helps your customers to see how the piece of jewellery would fit into their life or with an outfit. Utilising a virtual showroom to show all your jewellery dramatically changes your customer’s experience compared to just flicking through pictures of your products on your website. The way your customers can immersive themselves into your virtual showroom and easily buy your products, can help build brand loyalty and increase the likelihood of repeat business.
A 2015 report by Google shared that 67% of users want to see virtual tours on company websites. This tells us that customers want as much information and interaction with products as the online world will allow. A virtual showroom allows us to meet customer demand whilst also setting out business apart from the competition.
As we learn more about different learning styles, we can use virtual showrooms to help us share information about our products in more creative and connective ways. For example, how people use websites has changed dramatically – do you have time to read through an entire website? Or do you simply find the website page and paragraph that is important to what you’re looking for? How often do you go to websites? Or do you search on social media? In a world where some people prefer to read bullet points, long blogs or listen to videos, we have to step up in the way we allow our customers to connect with us, a virtual showroom allows you to connect with different audiences.
Increase Your Online Presence
A virtual showroom can also help increase your online presence by improving your website’s search engine rankings. By adding a virtual tour to your website, you’re providing fresh, high-quality content that search engines love. This can help improve your website’s visibility in search results, making it easier for customers to find you online.
When your customers use your virtual showroom, they will be spending more time on your website than if you just had images for them to look through because more content is shared. In fact, having a virtual tour can help customers stay on your website 5 – 10 times longer than if you didn’t have a virtual tour. This dramatic increase in time on your website will make a huge difference to your bounce and conversion rates.
Furthermore in a comparison between websites that have virtual tours compared to those that only use images, both LCP360 and Pinnacle shared that the websites with virtual tours ranked higher on Google. We also see that a 2015 study by Google found that websites that had both photos and a virtual tour were twice as likely to generate interest online leading to a 41% increase in booked reservations. Whilst this data is from 2015 and is for a different industry, it still shows the positive trend and impact that virtual showrooms are having on businesses. This is further reinforced by the fact that, according to Smart View Media: “Google favours 360-degree scenes over still photography, with a 2:1 preference for thumbnail display on Google Map listings. In addition, virtual tours influence a 16% growth in organic search and a 12% increase in engagement in Google Map listing.”
Reaching a new audience
A virtual showroom can help your business connect with new customers. If your store doesn’t have disability access, a virtual showroom allows those who can’t access your store to still interact and buy from your business. Hospitals and events venues are offering virtual tours to reassure patients with autism about their environment and help them plan their visit.
A virtual showroom also allows you to grow your business that is not limited by your physical store. Within your store, you have to be extremely mindful of the layout of the pieces of jewellery that you have whereas a virtual tour allows you to show all the products that you have, whilst still having them presented in a way that suits your brand. Furthermore, customers still have access to your products when your store is closed, meaning you aren’t limited by bank holidays, opening hours, days off or staff being busy.
Another main highlight of a virtual showroom is the product tags that your customers can use to find out more information about your products. Product tags allow you to share a range of information, from a description and details about your jewellery to the price and your opinion reflecting what you may share about the product if the customer was in the store. Product tags can also include photos and videos of the product, adding any extra information that you may want to share.
Virtual tours can be a powerful marketing tool for jewellery stores looking to see more jewellery and increase their online presence. By showcasing your products in a dynamic and interactive way, providing a memorable customer experience, and increasing your online visibility, a virtual tour can help take your jewellery store to the next level.