Using A Hybrid Sales Approach: Virtual Showrooms for Fashion Brands

Dive into the ways fashion brands are using Virtual Showrooms to create a hybrid sales approach in this blog post with NuORDER.

After COVID-19 hit, it was no surprise that so many fashion brands had to go virtual. Runway events, showrooms, and retail stores instantly needed a new way to interact and do business. 

The answer? Virtual Showrooms.

But even as the fashion world moves slowly back to normal, we expect a hybrid approach of physical and digital in the future. Now, fashion sales reps don’t have to keep every sample available when they’re with them. They can supplement their representation of a brand by directing retailers and customers to your virtual showroom.

At NuORDER, a virtual showroom is more than just a way to make your wholesale homepage more interactive and shoppable. It’s also a way to tell your story. Every fashion brand has a story to tell: it just needs a medium. And with all the features enabled through our virtual showrooms, you can cull together different tools to tell that story—while leaving a distinct impression on your audience. 

But beyond storytelling, fashion is inherently an in-person, tactile experience. You can touch it, you can feel it. How do you translate a “showroom” feeling into the virtual world? 

If you're looking for Virtual Showrooms for Outdoor Brands, check out this blog post.

How NuORDER Virtual Showrooms Work for Fashion Brands

It all starts with the NuORDER page editor. There, you can shape your page to match how your customers already shop. By uploading products and images, you can easily let customers shop on their terms: by look, by category, and by price point.

But it also goes beyond that. If you want to group products into smaller capsule collections because that’s how customers best navigate, you can incorporate that into your showroom. Think of a virtual showroom as a sales representative guiding a customer through your shop—or in this case, the website.

It’s easy to build small capsule collections to get started with your first virtual showroom. You only need your existing visual assets: pictures, video, 360-degree viewable images. From there, you can use simple drag-and-drop to assemble a virtual showroom in almost no time. Although professional photography always helps, the process is easy enough to handle with your smartphone.

How Brands Are Using It

One of our partners, Oscar De La Renta, put up a virtual showroom on NuORDER right as COVID hit. It wasn’t overly complicated: just photos of some of their gowns on rails, as they might appear in a physical retail space. But by making these images shoppable, it brought more of a “showroom” feel to their homepage.

Consider another example: Jonathan Simkhai, a luxury womenswear brand. They’re calculated in how they make their images shoppable by always placing the interactive buttons in the same spot. They film their videos with simple backdrops to make it easy to add shoppable hotspots that stand out. 

The result? When customers are ready to buy, they know exactly where to click. It sounds like a small touch, but it helps replicate the showroom experience because it minimizes the friction between browsing and buying. See how it can look below:

Want more examples of Virtual Showrooms at work? Visit our Virtual Showroom Inspo Guide Vol. 1 to get a sense of what fashion brands are doing in the virtual world these days.

Best Practices for Building Virtual Showrooms

Want more creative ways to engage retail with a Virtual Showroom? Consider the following:

  • Use your Virtual Showroom to create resources such as lookbooks. With these resources, strive to answer the questions your customers and retailers are already asking. Do they want a size and fit guide? Sales and support documentation? With NuORDER, you can make all of these available so retailers can access the answers without having to get in touch with you.
  • Make every image shoppable. This is how you bring a B2C experience to a B2B platform. A Virtual Showroom isn’t just a catalog. It’s interactive. With shoppable images, shoppers can select something they like from your Virtual Showroom and add it directly to their cart. 
  • Employ a “shoppable video.” A website can use NuORDER to create a shoppable runway video. But you don’t have to be a runway brand to employ this feature. Outdoor apparel brands can show images of people hiking with specific apparel. Or you can use direct marketing videos that highlight specific pieces. This creates a direct connection between a video telling your brand story—and a product in the buyer’s shopping cart.
  • Create a 360-degree view of products. If you were in a showroom in person, you could pick up a product, twist it around, and get a feel for it. 360-degree viewable images are the virtual equivalent of that. 

It sounds like a lot of work. But it’s possible to use NuORDER to make it all easier. For example, we like to tell brands that if you want to get a lookbook going, you can upload assets straight from your phone. The NuORDER platform handles the rest.

Questions and Answers

Want to know more about NuORDER Virtual Showrooms? Let’s browse through some FAQs found in our webinar "Master The Art Behind Digital Selling: Best Practices for Fashion Brands":

  • How can you use your cell phone to create a video? It’s a simple drag-and-drop interface once you’re in NuORDER. It’s simply a matter of loading the files from your iPhone into the drag-and-drop page in your virtual showroom library. All you really have to do is make sure you have the image assets ready to go.
  • Is there a generic background for Virtual Showrooms? Can brands create them? You have plenty of options! You can use a stock image, you can take a photo of a “showroom,” and more. 
  • What about fonts for brands with specific needs? Our Sites Manager incorporates hundreds of fonts, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one that matches your brand. Or you can include the font in your image if you can’t find a precise match.

Today’s fashion brands don’t need an in-person experience to feel like an in-person experience. With Virtual Showrooms, they can bring the in-store feel to any consumer online—and tell just as many stories.

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NuORDER is dedicated to providing thoughtful, informative B2B eCommerce industry insights. Brands use NuORDER's platform to deliver a seamless, more collaborative wholesale process, where buyers can browse products, plan assortments and make smarter buys in real-time.