The industry has been adapting to new, digital versions of their regular business practices, from team meetings to consumer interaction. For the B2B buying process, virtual showrooms have emerged as a remote alternative for many firms.
NuOrder is the latest company to extend that capability to its customers.
“Virtual Showroom was always on our roadmap,” said Heath Wells, co-founder and co-CEO at NuOrder. “But it was accelerated due to COVID-19, as customers were asking us how they can sell completely virtually.”
NuOrder provides a wholesale e-commerce platform for brands and buyers, but the online experience was usually supported by in-person product demonstrations. With such interactions on pause, virtual capabilities are the only way retailers can review product collections and build their assortments for future seasons.
Virtual Showroom allows buyers to interact with products in 360 degree visualization, with high resolution zoom-in functions for assessing fabric and design details. Brands can also build out an interactive experience for their buyers, showcasing merchandising examples in a digital showroom format and supplementing the experience with content, such as video footage or runway imagery.
A recent NuOrder survey of 2,000 retailers found that the majority were expecting to reduce their future orders by 25-50%. With this new technology, NuOrder hopes to have an immediate impact on the confidence of buyers in their purchasing decisions; the platform lets brands build their digital assets in the background and publish as soon as they are ready.
“We are feeling an energy re-emerge in our conversations with brands and retailers, so we are hopeful that will translate to sales in the coming market,” said Wells. “That said, we must acknowledge that the market is softer so it is all about putting your best foot forward and ensuring you drive growth with existing partners.”
Even as travel begins to open up, Wells is confident this technology will help brands to sell merchandise on a year-round basis. Without the need for a face-to-face visit, buying sessions won’t need to be contained within the usual planned trips.
The technology will be rolled out to NuOrder customers in June and July for the next season of product. The platform currently counts more than 2,000 brands and 500,000 retailers as users, in addition to exclusive partnerships with Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s.