To many scaling fashion brands, virtual clothing showrooms can feel either unfamiliar or entirely new. You might have legitimate questions about their effectiveness, their ease of use, or the return on investment they can deliver. But there’s a reason why so many established and impressive fashion brands are embracing them in their wholesale operations. So:
This article will show you why the best virtual clothing showrooms can be the perfect way to complement physical events like tradeshows, providing a hybrid or phygital approach that maximizes your wholesale opportunities through both online and offline networking and selling.
Let’s start at the beginning. Virtual showrooms are an increasingly popular tool of the industry’s biggest B2B fashion platforms. They are, in short, an online way to display fashion collections through a variety of media–including detailed imagery, dynamic video, interactive 3D images, audio, and traditional video.
High-resolution product visuals, interactive digital linesheets, and zoomable 360° imagery provide lifelike perspectives on quality and intricate details and are highly valued by retailers looking to find next season’s products.
The best virtual showroom examples offer a compelling way for a scaling fashion business to present their brand narrative. They also use cutting-edge video technology to replicate the essence of in-person appointments, with easy scheduling and commenting tools improving communication and enhancing the experience even further.
On the retailer side, personalisation is also possible via dynamic presentations, with buyers able to quickly curate assortments and make informed purchasing decisions.
As with any new technology, virtual showrooms have been the subject of some misunderstanding and fear. A few myths are already circulating around different areas of the fashion industry, including:
Virtual showrooms can actually complement and enhance an in-person experience when used in tandem. Brand representatives can use iPad apps in traditional sales appointments, harnessing interactive 3D displays to give buyers a closer, slower-paced and more detailed look at the products, compared to glancing at a passing-by model.
Orders can also be placed digitally either at the live event or at the buyer’s own convenience when they have returned home.
This is one of the easiest myths to dispel, because the best virtual clothing showrooms—like those provided by JOOR, for example—don’t need a developer or tech guru.
They’re as easy to build as a website developed on Wordpress, Wix, or any other modern content management system (CMS). Using adaptable drag-and-drop templates, you can build your virtual showroom in less than a day, and it’s probably much more affordable than you think.
Some people in the fashion industry are intent on sticking with traditional methods. They have worked in the past, so they will continue to work in the future: that’s their argument. But that logic misses huge opportunities.
For scaling brands, choosing to stick entirely with traditional in-person selling strategies is leaving money on the table in lost orders and costing you money in terms of expensive travel and marketing budgets.
Used correctly, a virtual showroom is a great way to amplify your brand’s exposure and meet buyers you can’t meet in person. In an instant, your products are offered to retailers and buyers in previously untapped markets. The opportunities for growth are simply unrivaled.
Embedding virtual showrooms into your standard sales operations is a great way to help develop your wholesale presence across the fashion industry. Adopting this new technology and leveraging it to your advantage offers three key benefits:
If you don’t have the budget or the time to travel to every event (and very few scaling brands do), investing in a virtual showroom can help you in several different ways.
Instantly, you’re freed from the obligation to attend every event in a bid to win business and grow your brand. Instead, you can attend fewer shows in person, maintain fewer physical showrooms, and increase your sustainability by reducing both your real-world travel and the number of physical samples you distribute. All these changes can have significant positive impacts on your carbon footprint.
Virtual showrooms also allow you to extend the longevity of your collections. Instead of being limited to just one collection in a physical showroom, your buyers can now see your entire catalog of previous collections as well as your most recent products.
Buyers and retailers can view and purchase these products anytime, anywhere—which is particularly great for brands with evergreen collections that appeal all year round.
Virtual showrooms shouldn’t be seen as a way to minimize your contact with potential buyers. Instead, they’re a tool to facilitate even greater communication and collaboration.
First, they’re an ideal complement to a traditional trade show. Collections can be organized with product details, pricing, delivery information, product photos and even 3D virtual sampling all included.
Buyers can then remotely revisit collections at their convenience and order whenever they’re ready (without the need for a sales rep present).
Lana Rush, Head of Marketing and Communications at UK brand Brodie Cashmere, says: “With JOOR’s iPad app, we can effortlessly create a complete customer profile right on the showroom floor in a matter of minutes.”
The professional product presentation offered by a B2B fashion platform like JOOR also increases client attraction and retention.
Brands actively using JOOR are on average predicting a 27% growth in their wholesale businesses in 2023 and 84% say JOOR provides a better experience for their buyers.
Brodie Cashmere says its decision to embrace virtual showrooms has led to an enhanced buyer experience, streamlined operations, and noticeable sales growth.
As with anything digital, launching a virtual showroom quickly makes physical limitations a thing of the past. You no longer have to worry about not being where your client is: if they’re online, they can see and buy your collections from anywhere in the world. This opens the door to wholesale buying and selling on a global scale.
Remote/online ordering facilities accelerate your sales opportunities even further, especially with virtual showrooms being open 24/7 and not needing your staff to be available.
In the US alone, wholesale fashion is expected to reach $1.8 trillion in value in 2023. For scaling fashion brands, the sheer volume of trade can feel daunting.
How can you reach your ideal wholesale buyers? How can you create the best possible first impression? And how can you enhance your offline offering with an online tool that drives ROI, streamlines your operations, and delivers a first-class customer experience?
Physical events are still important in fashion and nobody is doubting that. But there is a new way to complement those tradeshows by merging the physical and the digital into a single ‘phygital’ experience.
Doing so with intelligence, foresight, and the very best virtual showroom tools creates a seamless selling experience that few can rival.