The business world is constantly changing, and if you don’t adapt to it, your brand will never survive.
We can now work from anywhere, find information on anything, and buy whatever at a click of a button.
So, are physical stores heading the same direction as cassettes and VHS?
Surely, it’s only logical to go digital, like everything else.
But where does that leave premium brands that pride themselves on a personal connection with their customers?
The answer to this daunting question may well be virtual events.
If you’re not familiar with the term, virtual events are web meetings that allow people to connect from anywhere and interact with one another.
They’re used worldwide to host conferences, training seminars, and sales meetings.
Although this technology first appeared in 1993 in the form of a trade show exhibit, its use is slowly being realised in today’s market.
Numerous lockdowns throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has seen retailers close their doors again and again.
Many high-end brands have found that resting solely on online sales driven by their customer is not aligned to their service offering.
While convenient, digital shopping doesn’t allow businesses to provide the unparalleled service clients expect from them. It also limits the amount of support they can offer an individual customer.
Instead of waiting around for unstable restrictions to stay lifted, some retail brands chose to connect virtually.
One example is Dior.
Over the past months, the French luxury house has set personal shopping sessions for their boutiques. They can share the latest designs and offer remote shopping to their customers.
Virtual events have allowed Dior to continue giving its long line of loyal clients their own personal managers to look out for their bespoke needs.
With a 23.7% annual growth and an estimated value of half a trillion dollars by 2028, this technology deserves your attention. Virtual events can take your retail store to the next level in every aspect of your business.
Here are a few things you can look forward to in the future:
Renting a venue is easily one of the biggest expenses for any brand. Virtual events don’t cost nearly as much, pushing up potential profits.
You can always use these additional funds to boost the marketing for the occasion. Some businesses are reinvesting for even better tech. Improving the platform used to host the events can increase its reliability and understandability for your audience.
Understanding your customer is one of the main keys to creating a successful business. By hosting virtual events, you’re opening your brand up to a world of data that will help you network and build stronger communities.
This technology allows you to put together discussion rooms or identify common questions arising in your audience. The vast amount of different metrics you can use is astounding, and each one allows you to provide a better experience.
Floor space and a location of an event have always limited the number of customers you can host. Virtual events erase these issues entirely by allowing clients to join from anywhere with an internet connection.
Goodbye local market, hello global audience.
And the best part is you don’t have to lose your unique selling point in the process. These events let you display your brand's quality to thousands of interested buyers from around the world.
You can’t ignore the vital role that the internet has in the marketing of your business. A few years ago, nobody had heard of Google Ads. Now, high-end brands spend millions on ensuring their visibility online.
Virtual events keep your brand relevant and trending, allowing you to schedule meetings with clients quickly. More events will mean bigger audiences, resulting in faster brand growth.
Plus, all the new data you collect can help you adjust the experience and cater more to your clients.
Now that you see the benefits this tech can have for your business, how do you set up a virtual event?
There are various routes you can go depending on your store and products. However there are some things that remain important, no matter what you’re selling.
Set out a personalised approach for your sessions, ensuring there is enough time available for each client.
If you have a live virtual event in mind, consider the most convenient schedule for your target market. As you host more of these meetings, you’ll gather more accurate data on the topic of time.
Write down some of your customer’s current needs and wants. It’s also crucial to account for any new potential buyers and what they may like ahead of time.
Think about the journey and the experience your clients will have. Before offering anything to the public, try it yourself and see where you can improve.
While creating your virtual event, don’t underestimate the power of branding. Set up an area in your boutique where you can use existing branding to highlight your company.
The key is to maximise your visibility while not spamming your clients. You want to maintain the quality and high-end finish after all.
Sometimes too much of a good thing can ruin an experience entirely. A minimalist style works perfectly in the fashion industry. It ensures there’s not too much clutter around, allowing the clothing or accessories to shine.
Rather than displaying your entire collection, pick out the best sellers and only work with those products. You could even distill things down further and cater to specific niches in separate virtual events.
Lighting can make or break your virtual retail store. After all, they need to see the products in all their glory.
Pick out an area with great lighting. If you can’t find a spot without any shadows or dark zones, ask your production partner for assistance. They can then use additional lighting to bring out the best of the video area.
The type of tech you use to create your virtual events is a crucial piece of the puzzle.
Imagine your clients are busy asking a question or picking a product when suddenly your connection goes down. It would ruin the entire experience and potentially harm the way your customers view your brand.
Always pick a production partner that will be able to check and manage your internet connection and provide a backup.
Ensure that the service has a positive reputation in the virtual events industry. Ask about their previous work and the software they use.
Remember to check that they have dependable, high-quality equipment to match the identity of your brand.
It’s stressful enough running a retail store, let alone figuring out how to stand out from the competition.
The last few years have highlighted just how fast the world as we know it can change. Everything is constantly evolving, and if you don’t watch out, your brand could be left in the stone age.
The idea of a virtual retail store may sound like something from a sci-fi script, but it’s fast becoming a necessity.
High-end brands are learning that these online events are helping them connect with their audiences like never before.
Not only can retail businesses maintain the quality of customer service that's put them on the map, but also find ways to enhance it.
Virtual events will also help you show your brand to the world and attract new customers from every corner of the globe.
The future looks bright for retail stores, and this technology is leading the way. Why not find out for yourself and start offering virtual events today with Connected Event Group?