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Sharp responds to changing behaviour with virtual showroom

The firm’s channel can show off a range of products and services through a virtual showroom, rather than making users travel to a physical destination

Sharp has made a virtual showroom option available for partners keen to show off a range of the vendors products to customers who don’t want to travel to a physical location.

The members of the firm’s technology partner programme will be able to get access to the virtual showroom with the elite level getting a chance to offer their own dedicated microsite with customised branding for a bespoke experience.

Sharp has unveiled the virtual option in response to changes in customer behaviour. Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the use of virtual tools and a willingness by customers to save time by using online options to gain information about products and services.

The Sharp showroom gives partners the chance to showcase a range of technologies, including managed print, audio visual, document and workflow solutions, and facilities.

Paul Leach, director of dealer sales at Sharp UK, said the virtual showroom was a way of providing more support for its authorised channel partners.

“At Sharp, we are always looking for ways we can improve our technology partner programme to further support our dedicated dealer-partners. Our virtual showroom experience is a perfect example of this,” he said.

“We’re providing our dealer-partners and their clients with options, retaining our physical showroom, but enhancing the client journey with the virtual showroom experience.” 

Users can use augmented reality via their mobile phones to look at products and to get an idea of how they would look in position in their offices.

The vendor has also made sure the showroom can be used to pitch to clients from a wide range of verticals, including corporate and education. Partners will be able to show a range of products, including office and meeting room interactive displays and screens, multi-function printers, and classroom technologies – with touchscreen tables as one example.

“The aim of the experience is to provide dealers with a way to help their customers and prospects explore what they can achieve with technology in their workplace and organisation. Saving time and travel, evaluating our portfolio more easily, to quickly reach that all-important conclusion as to which product, solutions and or service is right for their organisation,” he added.

“We simply can’t stand still. Innovation is key to continue meeting the changing needs of buyers, and to stand out to our dealer-partners and their clients and prospects as a supplier that goes above and beyond to help them make the best decisions for their organisation,” added Leach.

Sharp has been encouraging its channel to look beyond just hardware to generate revenues to include more managed print and workflow services. The virtual showroom will provide an opportunity to shine the spotlight on those activities as well as the traditional screens and printers.

Earlier this summer, Sharp Europe appointed a fresh president, Joe Tomota, who was given a brief of growing the firm’s services business and growing the document solutions and display business.

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