As we start to prepare for ‘life after lockdown’, independent KBB retailers and merchants with showrooms need to continue communicating their unique ranges of products and services, which of late has become somewhat reliant on virtual communications and new digital services.
That the message from Jones Digital which was born out of a need to respond to lockdown #1 and created last summer to offer digital storytelling, social media content, branding and marketing services within the KBB and builders’ merchant sectors.
As the pandemic took hold back in March 2020 and design enquiries slowed for retailers, a timely conversation between Scott Currie, Managing Director at Virtual 360° Tours Glos and Peter Jones at Jones Digital, led to a multimedia solution that simulates an existing business or property.
Virtual 360° Tours Glos was first established in 2018, creating an immersive, virtual reality tour that is tailored to KBB showrooms and designed to market any showroom using the Matterport platform. Statistics report that websites that offer virtual tours gain 83% more interest than those without; a figure which means retailers are able to engage their customer for up to 10x longer when compared to standard photography.
In just six months, Virtual 360° working in partnership with Jones Digital has achieved:
- 163 confirmed bookings – for Virtual 360° Showroom Tours
- 106 Showroom Tours – already filmed and completed
- 88 supporting Digital Storytelling Packages
- 632,507 unique visits and page impressions to its clients’ online showrooms
- 144,724 full plays of the tour recording
Scott said: “From a simple online post highlighting my virtual tours and invitation to appear on the Survival Special Series that was created in response to lockdown #1 through Jones Digital, Peter and I found we had a common goal – to unreservedly support the specialist retailer. From there, we decided to team-up and share the benefits of digital storytelling as with the addition of a virtual showroom tour, you can support everything you say to your customer with well-rounded visuals and interactive mapping of their showroom and all-important product displays.
“We have found that serious customers will visit a virtual showroom up to seven or eight times, so you can be safe in the knowledge you’re able to engage with self-selecting clients who are keen to spend with you.”
Peter added: “I was so fired-up when hearing about Scott’s one-stop digital solution I felt sure that if we didn’t join forces it could be a missed opportunity for the independent KBB retailer. For me, having the added benefit of a virtual tour is a proactive way to have an edge on the competition and serve an already captive audience without needing your physical store to be open. We have already begun to disrupt the narrative of our industry, transforming how retailers are able to communicate and engage with their customers and this is why we are overwhelmed by the positive results so far.”