Print.IT Reseller - issue 110

PRINTITRESELLER.UK 39 VIRTUAL SHOWROOM focussed environments and visit reception areas, offices, meeting rooms, presentation areas, classrooms, print/ mail rooms and early years areas. For Sharp’s direct operation, the virtual showroom also showcases its range of IT services solutions. Interactive online tools Demonstrating Sharp’s technology in the context of modern and dynamic workspaces, the interactive online tools enable decision-makers to view and review products, services and solutions in a number of captivating 360-degree environments. Each product, service or solution has a product hotspot that contains a wealth of information, technical specifications, images, brochures and explainer videos – all accessible within the platform, meaning visitors don’t have to exit to the main website to glean further information. Visitors can also view and interact with the 3D model for each product, as well as leverage augmented reality to see the products in their own environment at scale. Sales teams can also host meetings within the virtual showroom. The virtual showroom also features switch-out options for different configurations, sizes, and similar alternative products. Visitors can see what ideal workplace design looks like and the technology used within it to enable collaboration and productivity. There is also a version of the environment that is available for use with VR headsets. This will allow sales reps and dealer partners to present the virtual showroom at exhibitions and events using VR headsets, with the option of Chromecasting the environment to a larger screen. Changing buyer demands Emily Thompson, Senior Marketing Executive at Sharp UK explained that Sharp designed the virtual showroom to better support changing buyer demands. She cited research conducted by Gartner that revealed 80 per cent of B2B sales will occur in digital channels by 2025, as Millennials and Gen Zs make up a larger proportion of the B2B buying audience. Thompson stressed that the virtual showroom will complement, not replace Sharp’s physical showrooms. “It’s very much designed to be another channel that people can use – what we are doing is providing more options for buyers to browse,” she explained. One of the value-adds for Sharp’s partners is the potential that the virtual showroom has in speeding up the decision-making process. As Thompson points out: “A partner might have a customer that initially might have had to wait two weeks to get into a showroom just because they couldn't make any dates. Now, they can literally go online and have a look at the technology options and make a decision to proceed one way or the other. That’s particularly Sharp’s investment in the virtual showroom is designed to help both its direct and indirect sales channels support customers in their buying journey. All dealer partners will have access to use the virtual showroom, as a benefit of being part of Sharp UK’s technology partner programme. Certified and premium partners will receive a modified version of the main Sharp virtual showroom while top-tier elite partners will be offered their own dedicated microsite featuring their logo and brand colours for a truly bespoke experience. As more of the consumer technology world embraces virtual and augmented reality across the buying journey, this innovation brings the same experience, interaction and technological engagement for dealers, targeting businesses and organisations exploring workplace technology. The virtual showroom features the complete Sharp range of products – across managed print, audio visual, document and workflow solutions, through to furniture. Visitors can choose to enter education and businessSharp UK has launched an industry-first virtual showroom. The immersive virtual environment will enable channel partners to showcase Sharp’s portfolio of product and solutions leveraging 3D product renders, information and videos for each solution, as well as augmented reality for enhanced product evaluation Sharp UK launches virtual showroom It’s very much designed to be another channel that people can use – what we are doing is providing more options for buyers to browse continued... Emily Thompson