The fashion industry is like no other. Designers often work late into the night to put the finishing touches on a new collection, while wholesale buyers jet in to visit showrooms in the world’s fashion capitals. New virtual showroom technologies—initially adopted during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, are here to stay after proving their value, giving designers more time to get new collections in front of buyers while supporting greater sustainability through reduced travel.
Italian consulting company GUS Technologies is an early adopter of various augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. The company serves both buyers and sellers with its management, sales, and distribution software for fashion and luxury brands. Its marquee product is Portfolio, a B2B e-commerce platform based on B2C shopping experiences that transform and supports sales and managerial operational processes to improve efficiency and competitiveness.
In 2020 GUS partnered with Matterport, expanding into virtual showrooms using Matterport 3D digital twins. “The pandemic hit the fashion industry hard,” says Marcia Souza, ERP application consultant at GUS. “It’s global, with new fashion shows all over the world every season. The lockdowns and border closings forced us to take our most innovative step yet and create a new sales channel.”
Fashion Week without Borders, and Faster Time to Market
The new sales channel is a virtual 3D showroom that includes videos, photos, product details, and Buy buttons. And it all starts with Matterport.
As part of its service to clients, GUS uses a Matterport Pro2 camera to capture a client’s showroom in 3D at 4k resolution and turn it into an immersive digital twin that can be viewed and explored on any device with an internet connection. Next, GUS adds Mattertags to each product that customers can click on to view videos, photos, garment specifications, in addition to size and color availability. GUS uses the Matterport API and Matterport SDK development tools to sync product, sales, and lead data with its clients’ enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms.
Buyers in a Matterport virtual fashion showroom can see the space and the clothing for sale in great detail and in 3D. And they can place their orders right there in the virtual showroom,” says Souza.
GUS integrates video chat so sales agents can talk with buyers live, while they are visiting the virtual showroom. “It’s a great opportunity for buyers to learn more about the design. Sales agents can explain the logic of the collection, the colors, and they feel that the designer wanted to convey for the season,” Souza says.
The virtual showrooms also shorten the time to market for each new collection since buyers don’t need to schedule appointments and travel long distances to get there. “Clothing manufacturers can use Portfolio to launch their new collection for the season, and items can be available virtually as soon as they’re ready to be presented. It’s incredibly fast and efficient. The showrooms are fully immersive, and strolling through them is simple and intuitive.”
NYKY, an Italian fashion company that markets three distinct apparel collections under separate brand names, is the first GUS client to try out the new Matterport-powered showroom. GUS transformed NYKY’s physical showroom into a high-definition, 3D showroom using Matterport in just three days.
The process starts on day one with a GUS staff member capturing NYKY’s showroom using the Pro2 camera. By the second day, the GUS team identifies the product codes on the racks and shelves of the showroom. On day three, the team imports the product codes into Portfolio and connects it to the ERP. In addition, the team positions the Mattertags on the digital twin. Thanks to the system integration with Portfolio, the Mattertags are automatically associated with each hanger and shelf.
“NYKY has always been proactive in adopting new technologies. Recently, in order to face the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the fashion industry, we decided to use the Portfolio virtual showroom to render a digital twin for immediate availability to buyers around the world. The virtual showroom turned out to be a competitive advantage for NYKY which has helped to increase sales,” says Alessandro Biasotto, CEO, NYKY.
Removing Barriers to Follow-up Orders
There’s another benefit to having a digital twin of a showroom: the time machine effect.
During fashion week, buyers might make a dozen or so showroom appointments in a single city and make a list of the items that interest them. They often need a second appointment to place an order after they’ve spent some time mulling their options. Then after returning home, they won’t have the collection in front of them anymore if they want to change their orders or purchase additional items.
“Perhaps they took some pictures, but photographs alone don’t include all the information that they need to make a decision,” Souza says. “Having a virtual showroom that’s available 24 hours a day in every time zone in the world is a gamechanger.”
A Revolutionary, Permanent Sales Channel
COVID-19 inspired GUS to create Matterport showrooms when traveling to real showrooms was difficult or impossible, but they will long outlive the pandemic. “The fundamental added value for our customers is the integration of the virtual showroom with the e-commerce Portfolio software and their own ERP,” Souza says. “It’s not a passing trend. Buyers and sellers can now do business together without having to travel to showrooms all over the world when it’s time to place wholesale orders. What we have created is a revolutionary, permanent, and sustainable sales channel.”
GUS has been in the fashion business for more than 20 years. It has accrued a great deal of knowledge during that time, not just about the industry but also about its clients, what they’re looking for, what’s important to them, and how to best serve them. “Even though we’re just getting started with Matterport,” Souza says, “we know that both buyers and sellers are going to love how it accelerates and simplifies their business.”
GUS Technologies is a Matterport Platform Partner that leverages Matterport APIs and SDKs to build and commercialize their apps and integrations with Matterport’s market-leading spatial data platform. As a Platform Partner, they gain access to a range of commercial benefits, such as Matterport’s distribution network and enhanced support as well as co-marketing and co-selling programs to help them successfully monetize their applications. To learn more about the Platform Partner Program and apply to join, visit https://matterport.com/platform-partner-program.
ABOUT GUS TECHNOLOGIES
GUS Technologies designs sales, management, and distribution software for fashion and luxury brands. Its marquee product, Portfolio, is a B2B e-commerce platform that now includes virtual and augmented reality and 3D digital showrooms.
Matterport Pro2 3D Camera, Matterport API, Matterport SDK
- Accelerates time-to-market with virtual showrooms captured and published within three days
- Live video chat between sales agents and buyers, paired with immersive detail of digital twin, provides compelling alternative to in-person showroom meetings
- Integration with ecommerce and ERP systems streamlines ordering for buyers and internal workflows for customers
- 24/7 on-demand availability of virtual showroom allows collections to be viewed without an appointment, at any time of year, or for reordering