Traditional shops have a bit of a problem, and it was brought into sharp focus during the Black Friday sales. People are, unfortunately, a bit lazy and a bit time poor. Shopping online, via a smartphone, is an easy solution. There’s cash-back deals and vouchers which help to make the online option your default route too.
What, though, of those “big” purchases and for those times when you actually need to see something “for real”? Well, a London-based tech-startup called GoInStore have already been working on solutions to this, and you can see how an online customer can magically be brought into the store. Now they’ve started working with Marriott Hotels to offer virtual tours of meeting and events facilities.
If you’re planning an event, whether it be a meeting, wedding reception or something in-between, the GoInStore technology will let you connect via a live one-way video stream with two way audio. Basically that means that Marriott staff can show you round and you can talk to them, they can talk back, but they can’t see you. That’s a good thing if you’re sitting there in your pants eating chocolate.
André Hordagoda, who co-founded GoInStore, tells us..
When booking a space for a convention, in most instances it involves the customer or their representative making a personal visit to assess suitability. If you were trying to get the customer to commit to a convention package and host a number of events over a number of locations, the logistical challenge increases. Marriott where already thinking about creating some form of ‘virtual site inspection’ to address this very issue when we began talking. It was clear GoInStore was a great fit.
With the real-time technology, customers can see everything they want to see and can ask any questions about the venue without having to travel to the hotel in question. The onsite expert acts as their guide as well as the eyes and ears. If you want to try another hotel, then a session can be switch across without fuss.