Effective product demonstrations have always been an essential sales and marketing tool, but advances in digital technology and changes in consumer expectations are taking their potential to convert prospects to customers to a whole new level. Engaging and influential, digital interactive product demonstrations are now a key tool in pre-sales and the qualification of a lead into a prospect. They allow your prospects to take control of their ‘pre-sale’ product experience and form their own individual bond with them.
There are now so many innovative ways to use digital interactivity to present your products, and they are being applied to all industries to help increase sales through engagement and inspirational visuals. Interactive product presentations are becoming an essential part of all marketing and sales strategies; The ability to offer the prospect an ‘experience’ to outdo any other, whether this be in store, on an exhibition stand, online or in person. Customers have a new found expectation as a result of faster computers and more powerful graphics cards. Improving technology has meant that consumers expect suppliers to do something amazing with it. Companies cannot afford to ignore this expectation and must embrace the new power of computer graphics and interactive technology to keep consumers engaged with their brand and ultimately sustain and improve their sales.
Photo-realistic, 3D product models, which look and behave exactly like the actual products, allow companies to present sophisticated on and off line products and demonstrations. Extraordinary interactivity allows customers to experience products in a virtual 3D environment, with the ability to rotate, zoom, measure, and interact with the product’s features and options. Through user interaction, selling is transformed from a passive process to an active, dynamic one that gives users control over their own experiences.
If well executed, prospects can effectively be nurtured using tools that allow them to fully explore the key benefits and features of the product and even explore opportunities to tailor it to their requirements. Especially in the case of complex and highly technical products, interactive demonstrations can help ‘break the ice’ when understanding technical jargon. In the past, prospects would only have had the option of trawling through technical specification sheets or calling up the sales team to gain a full understanding of what is on offer. Now, a prospect can be given all of this information (and more) in a visual presentation that allows them to explore details on parts of the product that they wish to get information on, rather than having to trawl through loads of technical text. Furthermore, this presentation can be given through many different display mediums, for example, online via a website, on a mobile device or app, touch screens in foyers, in store or at events, and through webinars (online sales presentations). This range of display options gives their application the power to sell anything from anywhere. No longer are there restrictions around getting prospects to a physical showroom or store.
A well-executed visual presentation permits customers to review instructions at their own pace, put up their queries as and when required and revisit areas of interest as necessary. No amount of text can ever be equated to a visual demonstration of the product. Shooting fancy words or an eloquent usage of language skills is unmatchable to the impact that a live moving image can create. 3D models of a product that can be pulled apart (extracted) and queried by the viewer allow them to focus on areas of the product of interest to them. These presentations can also offer the viewer the ability to ‘customise’ aspects of the product (for example, changing the colour, size etc.). This gives the consumer so much more flexibility and the option to interact with products on an emotional level, creating their own unique visual experience. If the emotions of a consumer can be provoked successfully, they are much more likely to relate to a product and want to make a purchase.
3D interactive demonstrations are now also being applied in new and innovative contexts. During a recent attendance at this year’s Retail Business Technology Expo in London, we experienced a new application of an interactive product demonstration on a touch screen on Samsung UK’s stand. They presented a 3d product demonstration alongside specification and stock information, on a touch screen transparent box around an example of the physical product itself (see image below). Retail outlets with limited space are using 3D product demonstrations and catalogues to expand their ranges displayed in store.
They may only have one physical product on the shelves, but an associated interactive display allows them to show the customer what else is available in the warehouse. Demos are also used more frequently by Sales teams to demonstrate products on the move using mobile tablets or through a web-based presentation. This process has been proven to shorten the sales pipeline, and reduce costs of running the sales teams. Prospects can be pointed towards an online product display before a visit from a sales representative may be required. Then if they choose to request a demonstration of the physical product at a later stage, they are much more likely to make a purchase, making more productive use of the sales representatives time. Interactive demonstrations are also used on touch screen devices on exhibition stands to add to the overall brand experience.
Interactive demonstrations can also make great training tools, ensuring that staff know as much as they can about the product they are selling. They can then be used to continuously train your sales and support staff, sales channel business partners and customers. Helping everyone to understand your product better is the most effective way to reduce both sales and support costs.
With product demonstration evolving as an excellent tool for marketing, one thing that remains certain is that the content of any marketing tool must be visually appealing and engaging. In order for a demo to create a long lasting impression on the minds of the customer, the content must be inspiring. Interactive features can include 360 degree product rotation, drag, drop and zoom and pan, step by step animated information, hotspot information, custom menu and navigation design, user input via search or select, product customisation (eg, colour, finish and dimentions), video user controls, sound effects and audio overlays.
So for the sceptics amongst us, embrace the technology available to ensure you don’t lose market share over your competitors during the pre-sale process. Potential customers are much more likely to buy your products if they can experience them in a way that allows them to tap into their personality and emotions; a place where they can make their own choices in their own time. People generally don’t have the time to trawl through large documents or data sets to find the information they want. Interactive demonstrations can take thousands of words and present them in a visually stimulating way, guaranteed to capture the imagination of your customers.
If you’d like to find out more about interactive product demonstrations and how PAULEY can help you achieve your goals, please contact Christina Lacey on 01908 522532 or [email protected]