Furniture retailer combats COVID-19 with virtual showroom
BoConcept has shuttered stores during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is simulating the brick-and-mortar shopping experience.
The Denmark-based luxury furniture retailer, which operates franchise stores across the globe, is offering customers a fully virtual analog to the in-store experience. BoConcept is enabling customers to ask questions, tour showrooms and examine items in 3D.
BoConcept's new virtual store allows customers to see how every product is styled in-store. Visitors can then examine items up close and in 3D, allowing for a detailed look at every item from every angle. If they have questions or want advice about the items they're interested in, customers can click the new “Enquiry” pop-up box on all pages, which will connect them directly with store staff.
Furthermore, BoConcept is offering virtual design services through Skype, Zoom and other video-conferencing apps so that customers can consult directly with one of BoConcept's design experts. After selecting the items they are interested in, customers will receive a quotation which can be sent to the nearest store for fulfillment.
"When it comes to buying furniture, it's not enough to see a picture online and click order," said Steen Knigge, BoConcept's director of U.S. marketing. "Our customers want to experience the piece they are interested in before having it delivered. They want to talk to our design experts and learn which items and styles are going to best complement their spaces. That's the experience customers get at our showrooms, and that's the experience we are now offering online."
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic limited the ability of customers to shop for furniture in person, a number of prominent furniture retailers had started providing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)-based shopping and design experiences. These include Ikea, Amazon, Walmart, and Wayfair.
Founded in Denmark in 1952, BoConcept's 15 U.S. locations include a flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York City.