Jul 11, 2023
The metaverse, or the 3D internet, allows consumers to explore and discover products in an immersive environment. Showrooms allow potential buyers to thoroughly examine product features and test different models, bridging the gap between physical and virtual shopping experiences. Currently, brands and retailers are in the experimental phase, utilizing the early metaverse to foster awareness, engagement, loyalty, and product knowledge. As technologies evolve, the metaverse has the potential to revolutionize online shopping by making it more engaging and practical. In this article, we explore what virtual showrooms are, their benefits, and whether they are effective. We’ll also look closely at some metaverse car showrooms, including Acura, Tesla and Fiat, leading their category and IKEA’s presence in the space.
What is a virtual showroom?
Virtual or digital showrooms offer a creative way for brands to interact with retail buyers and market products using an online platform. They are an alternative to traditional physical showrooms and trade shows, obviating the necessity for physical space and samples to showcase new collections. These virtual spaces give brands a digital environment to organize their product lines and share information like product photos or 3D renderings, prices, and other specifications that assist buyers in making an informed purchase decision.
According to Analytics Insight, as of 2021, approximately 21% of the retail market utilized the metaverse, generating an annual revenue of around US $9.807 billion. Luxury brands such as Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes, and Gucci have embraced the metaverse and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) to generate product interest and drive brand engagement.
What are the features of a virtual showroom?
Immersive and interactive: Products are showcased in a virtual environment, resembling a physical showroom using virtual shelves, racks, or displays where users can browse and select items of interest to view them in detail through 3D product images or videos.
Product demos: Virtual showrooms provide detailed product information, such as item descriptions, dimensions, pricing, and availability. This information is typically accessible through interactive elements or pop-up windows.
Customization options: Some virtual showrooms allow users to customize products according to their preferences, including changing product colors, materials, or configurations to get a personalized view of the item.
Analytics and insights: Virtual showrooms offer valuable data and insights on visitor behavior, like attention focus and visit duration. This information empowers exhibitors and retailers to make informed strategic decisions to improve profitability and bottom line.
Affordability: Virtual showrooms are cost-effective compared to renting physical spaces, which could be prohibitively expensive. These digital showrooms also eliminate the need for physical samples slashing costs.
What are the benefits of virtual showrooms?
Global reach and interaction: Customers can visit virtual showrooms from any location globally, explore options, seek clarifications, customize products, and place orders. With efficient logistics networks, retailers can deliver orders placed worldwide. JOOR, a virtual wholesale platform that offers digital showrooming services, achieves global reach by connecting brands and retailers in beauty, fashion, and home goods across 144 countries.
Three-dimensional and 360-degree experiences: Virtual showrooms allow retailers and brands to create immersive, dynamic, and engaging spaces to showcase their products. 3D renderings, videos, and animations can make the experience highly realistic and memorable. For instance, Matterport technology can allow retailers to create CAD, Revit, or SketchUp models for highly engaging virtual spaces for stores and digital showrooms.
Options for virtual try-ons: Some digital showrooms offer virtual try-ons to enhance the shopping experience by boosting buyer confidence and reducing returns. Hugo Boss implemented a virtual fitting room on their website in collaboration with Reactive Reality so customers can create avatars based on measurements to try on garments before purchasing.
Innovative and unique marketing tool: Virtual showrooms attract buyers, establish a strong brand presence, and contribute to brand recall and positive perception in the consumer’s mind. Nike's virtual store on Roblox showcases its commitment to developing innovative and unique marketing through an immersive brand experience that goes beyond traditional retail by offering users the opportunity to browse products and engage in interactive games and digital sports competitions like dodgeball and basketball. The store attracted approximately 21 million people as of 2022, as reported by The Drum.
Boost revenue: A virtual showroom can boost revenue by allowing customers to explore products or services using interactive features, leading to increased engagement and higher sales potential. Virtual showrooms also expand global market reach, reduce operational costs, and drive business profitability. Ray-Ban revolutionized online eyewear shopping with its virtual try-on tool that utilizes face-mapping technology to allow customers to try different eyeglasses quickly, receive personalized style advice, and make confident purchase decisions. This innovation has boosted sales, reduced returns, and increased popularity for various eyewear models, including Ray-Ban’s iconic Aviator and blue light glasses.
Are virtual showrooms effective?
Virtual showrooms have proven highly effective in driving customer engagement and conversion rates. According to a Shopify survey, brands using augmented reality (AR) in their advertising achieved a conversion rate as high as 94%. Additionally, many customers now expect brands to offer virtual customer experiences. Businesses with a digital presence through virtual showrooms have a significant advantage, especially with the rise in online shopping following the Covid-19 pandemic and changing consumer habits. For example, 43% of smartphone shoppers in the US expect beauty brands to utilize AR, while 47% expect the same from automotive brands, as reported by Think with Google.
Virtual showrooms offer the advantage of being accessible online indefinitely, without capacity restrictions. Businesses can upload unlimited virtual products, reaching customers regardless of location, as long as they have an internet connection. Personalized and memorable customer experiences that virtual showrooms provide enable companies to build brand awareness, generate interest, and gain a competitive edge in the retail and e-commerce industry.
Metaverse car showrooms
Car showrooms in the 3D internet offer an exciting and futuristic way for automotive brands to showcase their vehicles. These virtual spaces provide customers an immersive and interactive environment to explore car models from any location. With advanced technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), customers can visualize different models, customize features, and even take virtual test drives. For instance, Jaguar Land Rover enabled virtual test drives of its Velar model through a 360-degree interior simulation whereby users experienced sitting in the car and could explore features through interactive buttons. As the 3D internet continues to evolve, car showrooms and dealerships in this digital realm will play an increasingly significant role in shaping the future of automotive retail.
Acura metaverse showroom
Acura is among the first few automakers to launch a digital showroom in the metaverse called ‘Acura of Decentraland’ in conjunction with the debut of the 2023 Integra. Visitors can tour the showroom, discover key vehicle features, browse the Integra wearable collection, and even engage in the Acura exclusive racing game, "Beat That," among other interactive rooms and activities. This move comes as the company strategizes to target a younger audience through tech-focused initiatives. The automaker also premiered an anime series, developed an augmented reality game, and utilized platforms like Facebook Instant Games to help youngsters take a test drive of their vehicles. Alongside this activation, the company also announced the release of its first NFT collection, exclusively designed by 3D artist Andreas Wannerstedt. The first 500 customers to reserve the 2023 Acura Integra could claim these limited-edition NFTs, driving buzz and engagement around their new automobile model.
FIAT metaverse showroom
FIAT introduced the FIAT Metaverse Store, an immersive and interactive digital showroom to transform the brand's customer experience for the launch of its FIAT 500 electric vehicles. Developed in collaboration with Touchcast and Microsoft, the Metaverse store does not require expensive hardware or virtual reality headsets. Customers can discover, configure, and complete their purchase journey from home. Through this activation, FIAT aimed to achieve a sustainable, cost-effective, convenient solution to automobile discovery and sales.
The auto manufacturer seamlessly integrated online shopping with personalized assistance through a live concierge in their metaverse retail experience. The virtual showroom allows customers to customize their desired model in real-time with various body, color, and interior options. Potential buyers can also explore the car’s features, infotainment system, and EV charging modes and experience a virtual driving simulation.
Tesla virtual showroom
Tesla's virtual showroom allows customers to view and interact with their cars more immersively without needing a physical visit. Potential buyers can view the vehicles from different angles, zoom in on specific features, and even take them for a virtual test drive. The interactive nature of the showroom can help customers better understand the features and capabilities of Tesla's cars, potentially leading to increased customer engagement and satisfaction.
Additionally, the virtual showroom can help the company save costs on physical showroom expenses, such as rent and staffing. Notably, the virtual showroom can be accessed from anywhere in the world at any time, making it more convenient and accessible to a broader audience.
IKEA virtual showroom
IKEA has taken its commitment to ‘democratic design’ to a new level with its virtual showroom. Developed by Demodern, IKEA’s ‘Virtual Home Experience’ in Berlin allows customers to visualize different combinations of furniture and decor in real time, empowering them to personalize their space and find their unique style. The immersive in-store VR application allows visitors to explore and configure items, change fabrics, wall colors, and adjust the lighting to see how different combinations look in a room. With high-definition 3D visuals and binaural sound, the experience brings the room to life, providing an emotional and engaging product experience.
The leading furniture brand designed the virtual activation to ensure a pleasant user experience, combining recognizable IKEA visual elements with touchless interactions. Installed as a prototype, the Virtual Home Experience by IKEA continues to gather learnings and feedback to enhance applications further.
In conclusion, showrooms in the metaverse offer a new and innovative way for brands to engage with customers. These virtual spaces provide immersive and interactive experiences beyond traditional brick-and-mortar showrooms. By leveraging virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), brands can create personalized and customizable experiences, allowing customers to explore, configure, and interact with products in a virtual environment to build awareness and drive sales.
Are you looking to build your eCommerce or retail business in the metaverse? We can help you build immersive storefronts and showrooms to reach new audiences and drive sales. Get in touch with us!
Jul 11, 2023
LandVault is the largest metaverse builder with over 100 million square feet of virtual real estate, more than 120 full-time creators, and nearly 300 completed projects. We’ve been helping brands build and grow in gaming environments since 2017 and the metaverse since 2021.
LandVault’s platform-agnostic proprietary technology and creative powerhouse builds and delivers tailored, data-driven, and optimized business solutions and insights. We help clients launch, optimize, and monetize metaverse experiences.
LandVault’s mission is to accelerate the metaverse economy through technology with a vision of a fairer wealth distribution across the web.