Dive into the experience: how a global pandemic made virtual sales more engaging for customers
It seems like forever ago when the COVID-19 pandemic started, and we were all forced out of the office. The collective panic and uncertainty were felt by businesses worldwide. Discovering a way to keep business “running as usual” presented a unique challenge – but through necessity comes innovation. The disruption in global transportation halted conventional in-person meetings, which in turn inspired InVue to hatch a more customer-focused approach. This led to the development of a space dedicated to enhancing customer engagement, now affectionately known as the InVue Experience Center (IEC).
“If we can’t bring loss prevention and point of sale products to you physically then we’ll bring them to you virtually!”, we thought. Thus, the InVue Experience Center was born. What was once a showroom and engineering space soon transformed into a 5,000 square–foot “store” to rival even the best QVC set. What resulted was a setting that could mimic almost any retail environment with real merchandise on display. It wasn’t just a space for the sales team, but a space for our customers to really envision themselves, their products and how their customers would interact with them.
In a matter of months, the InVue Experience Center was complete, but no one knew how successful it would be. It was a sort of measured shot in the dark that ultimately paid off in dividends. Being able to engage with customers virtually opened a lot of doors and presented new challenges with unique solutions.
Meeting in-person often meant extended travel times, high expenses, and limited the time a customer could engage with a rep. Meeting virtually wasn’t new, but it was certainly underutilized. Once the possibility for virtual sales meetings became a reality, it was as if the flood gates had opened…in a good way, of course.
“We were here taking calls from all over the world in the wee hours of the morning trying to keep our eyes open. We were hitting record numbers of calls each week. That was an awesome time!” recounted Dan Aja, InVue’s Senior Product Director.
Partners could call in at odd hours and get “on-demand” service. Not only were they seeing the product, but they were viewing it in use. Instead of explaining what a new point of sale system could do for their revenue, we could show them in real time, with real products, in a mock store setting. Retailers could see what Zips could look like in their hardware store, how to apply a package wrap to theft-prone electronics, or what the T1000 self-service wall hook looks like when it’s installed at scale to an entire peg wall.
Over time, the camera equipment got better to quell lags and quality, and the spaces became more personalized and industry-specific to accommodate a wider variety of retailers. “Our partners and customers had such positive feedback that we built smaller versions of the InVue Experience Center in The Netherlands and Hong Kong,” says Dan. We have always put our customers’ needs at the forefront of everything we do. We took the proverbial lemons and turned them into our very own lemonade that we could share with you.