Iconic brand, Cobra has become one of the first companies in the South African sanitaryware industry to set up a virtual showroom, which means that you will soon be able to experience all of Cobra’s products from the comfort of your home. The showroom uses 3D renderings and videos to create a virtual space that feels tangible and real. Nothing in the market currently compares.
“Our virtual showroom allows our customers to gather all the information and inspiration they need to make an informed decision on their kitchen and bathroom fittings,” says Corrie Stride, Leader: Marketing at LIXIL Africa.“ But it’s not just the product display boards that visitors will find useful, it’s the way in which the portal offers a completely immersive experience. It’s like standing in one of our brick-and-mortar showrooms, but with all the conveniences that the digital world affords.”
Although the creation of a virtual showroom had been on the cards for some time, Covid-19 sped up its development. “The pandemic highlighted the importance of having a great digital presence,” says Dave Nemeth, the Managing Director of Trend Forward, the company that created the platform. “Despite the fact that consumers and professionals are spending more time online, there are very few companies pushing digital boundaries. Most are simply offering online catalogues of their products.”
Together, the teams at LIXIL Africa and Trend Forward decided to create something different – a virtual space that customers will enjoy exploring. “Our hyper-realistic showroom includes audio and video,” explains Stride, “and the products have all been rendered in full 3D to allow visitors to see them from every angle.”
Cobra’s products have also been placed in unique and beautiful environments – from private homes to schools and hospitals – that will inspire consumers and professionals alike. “We looked at current trends and designed spaces that will not only help users to engage with the products, but also to gather new ideas on how to design their bathrooms and kitchens,” says Stride. “Videos, image galleries and brochures are available to enhance this experience.”
The final product is intuitive and very easy to use – and it’s attention to detail is remarkable. Users will also be able to use the virtual portal to interact with a real salesperson, who will be able to answer any questions they may have.
The virtual showroom offers detailed technical information that will be useful for architects, plumbers and other professionals. The 3D models provided in the showroom can be downloaded in a variety of formats so that professionals can use them in their presentations and technical specification documents. Video tutorials are available at the click of a button as are all the necessary datasheets.
“We have not come across any other showroom that has been designed from scratch and uses so many elements,” Stride says. “We believe that our customers will be inspired at every step.”
Cobra’s virtual showroom keeps no office hours, and visitors are invited to engage with it at any time of the day or night from wherever they are in the world. The showroom will be launched in early November 2020 and, after that, will be updated on an ongoing basis as new products are made available.