Digital showrooms pose a threat to trade shows | WARC | The Feed
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Digital showrooms pose a threat to trade shows
LIXIL, the Japan-based maker of bathroom and kitchen fixtures, fittings and building materials, is pivoting to digital showrooms in the expectation that half of its post-COVID customers will use virtual platforms.
Why it matters
In a traditionally conservative industry – one that, in Japan at least, according to the Financial Times, traditionally depended on face-to-face interactions and fax machines to place orders – major changes are taking place as manufacturers have responded to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
At LIXIL, that meant the rapid introduction of online video sessions with customers and subsequent investment in tech such as augmented reality. It also opted not to attend a major two-week long trade show in Germany and instead invest the €6m it would have spent there in creating a virtual platform, GROHE X, that falls under the auspice of its GROHE brand, and is accessible at any time.
Towards a different future
- With 70,000 views in the first week following its launch and 4,000 appointments with customers around the world, including architects, designers and plumbers, GROHE X has been “a massive game-changer”, says a LIXIL regional marketing leader.
- Use of 3D images and augmented reality in digital showrooms has enabled customers to explore a wider variety of kitchen and toilet designs than would be available in a physical showroom.
- LIXIL anticipates that customer penetration levels for its digital showrooms will grow from the current figure of 10% to 50% by year end.
“This type of platform [GROHE X] is very efficient, much faster, much more scalable and more tailored than a traditional trade show” – Gerhard Sturm, MENA marketing leader at LIXIL.
Sourced from Financial Times
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