“I like that but could I see it in this tone of yellow?” How often have you heard this on your showroom floor?
This is a question that has been haunting showroom salespeople for decades and, I think, we just might have the answer. At the 2019 Lightovation show at the Dallas Market Center, a leading luxury lighting manufacturer had strategically placed 4’ x 3’ interactive touch screens amongst its spectacular products. The screens were programed so the user could simply swipe right to easily move from image to image. Even amongst hundreds of beautiful lighting fixtures, these screens, with their larger-than-life images, were the draw. An EXPERIENCE garnered more interest than the actual product. People would stand and swipe to their heart’s content as the images were quickly delivered from its huge database. Yes, it was a large screen that was the star of a show attended by the purchasing agents from the top lighting showrooms in the United States and Canada. Not a specific fixture, product series or brand, but a SCREEN. Are we focused on our screens or what?
Brick and mortar showrooms are not going away, but if a physical luxury showroom does not incorporate a 21st century experience, that will hurt its image. Imagine a customer walking into your showroom and heading straight for the interactive screen. In a matter of minutes, they are flipping through your products as fast as they can swipe. Customers travel to your showroom to interact with the actual product and still want to be able to see everything imaginable. They want to experience the best of both the physical and digital worlds in your showroom.
When a customer asks what this faucet looks like in another finish, no problem. You can show it to them on your 4’ x 3’ screen. You cannot physically show it all, but you can show a large image of your customer’s dream look by simply accessing your mighty, mighty database.
The answer is to bring the internet power into your showroom. Slap a screen on the wall and voila, millions of product images are alive! Unfortunately, it is not simply plug and play. It will take some programming, and access to properly configured vendor databases to make this dream a reality.
When I returned home, I did a little digging and discovered these two “Kiosk” companies. It seems kiosk is the preferred terminology in the self-serve retail world, as opposed to large touch screens.
Also note, these company’s understand that your screen needs are different from McDonalds and they have programers ready to deliver what will surprise and delight your customers.
I believe kiosks (screens) will be a big showroom draw and expand showroom offerings to infinity and beyond…
A version of this article appeared in the December 13, 2019 issue of DPHA’s Connections