In the current critical times, technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and 3D are helping the industry in an unexceptional way on both retail and manufacturing aspects. Today, the concept of virtual showrooms is helping manufacturers show their collections to buyers in a digitised environment. These are interactive experiences that introduce users to a 100 per cent digital environment by utilising the power of virtual reality to offer an innovative 3D product experience. Since the fashion industry is bound by international travel restriction today, virtual showrooms are helping manufacturers connect with retail buyers in a digitised environment. Moreover, the technology is also empowering manufacturers with on-demand manufacturing capabilities by allowing them to show their collections to retail buyers before they purchase it and getting it manufactured within no time.
“As the fashion industry is starting to move away from supply manufacturing to demand manufacturing, the virtual showroom would, naturally, be a process where customers can buy without having to make the garment first,” said Tracy Wong, Founder, Voor3D.
The technology works by converting the designs into Hyper-Realistic Prototype, allowing viewers to see products from different angles as well as in close-up views. This gives the illusion of shopping in an offline-like environment where they can also get a better visualisation of the garment style, colour, fabric texture, size, etc. The viewers also get an option to connect with the store or manufacturing representatives for any additional assistance.
Voor3D is a virtualisation company that allows stores and brands to digitise their styles and present them in a digital environment. The technology targets wholesale brands and designers. The solution focuses on creating digital spaces for the fashion companies, and uses it as a marketing tool to showcase and sell their collections.
The retail buyers benefit from more efficient brands, style sourcing and transactions – without having to travel to showrooms or tradeshows. Seeing a style in different colours or design variations can be instant rather than waiting for the sample. The Voor3D virtual showrooms are cloud based, and hence, on-demand viewable. “We help brands and designers virtualise their designs into a virtual showroom with merchandising capabilities. The showrooms are deployed through our SaaS web-app (and later through Oculus VR) where viewers can see and ‘walk’ through the showroom and instantly visualise colours, patterns, prints or any other design variations of a particular style, right on the browser,” said Tracy.
In virtualising designs for brands and designers, Voor leverages 3D fashion design technology to achieve photo-realism and accuracy to fit and drape. The technology works on the company web-app and the users can to go on to the web-app to view the collection anytime, anywhere.
The Voor3D solution allows the design and production team to internally review early stage styles in 3D while eliminating proto samples and determining final collection deigns. Merchandisers then can facilitate buying decisions while eliminating travel and ensuring ease of decision-making with synchronised communication. The team members get the details of the garments correct like colour/print variants, style information, buying information and showroom and synchronised communication. The company also offers the solution to brands to show their collections to customers in a digitised environment. This concept helps retailers to bridge the gap between offline and online retail, providing customers an experience of shopping in an offline store.
One of the best features that the company offers to provide complete digitisation is multiplayer collaborative environment, using VR Oculus/VR Headsets. The technology allows the team and fellow designers to be in the same virtual showroom and review collections in a collaborative environment.
The other example of the manufacturing and export side of the business is the recent collaboration between VirtuLab (a solution provider of virtual showroom) and Cheer Sagar (a leading apparel manufacturer and exporter). In the virtual showroom, the company has displayed 10 categories or styles of products and each category has three mannequins displayed in 3D and rest of the products are accessible through the style album. Buyers or visitors to the showroom can add selected products to the enquiry bag and complete a checkout process.
“We have worked with the VirtuLab team to launch our 3D virtual recently. We are already getting very positive engagement and responses from our clients. In a digital world, it is a very engaging way to showcase your product range to clients, especially much better than the typical 2D display of collection on websites. We are betting on this virtual showroom to be our primary source of marketing to customers in the upcoming season. I personally feel this method of showcasing our products will go beyond COVID-19 and this virtual showroom will become an important asset in our marketing toolkit. We are happy to have made this investment at the right time,” said Tarin Poddar, Director, Cheer Sagar.
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