The result of the pandemic has meant very limited person-to-person contact and cancellation of the large textile care exhibitions, where the industry would normally be catching up on the latest developments and innovations. So, Alliance Laundry Systems LLC decided, if customers cannot physically travel to see its products, it will take its range and solutions to them – virtually.
The result of many months’ work is a virtual showroom that leads the way in just what can be achieved to make products and services accessible for viewing and interrogating in an engaging and practical manner via a sophisticated yet easy-to-navigate custom-designed virtual platform.
LCNi spoke with Christophe Sisternas, vice president marketing international, Alliance Laundry Systems, about the thinking behind the new project. According to Sisternas, Covid-19 and lockdowns extending over long periods made it problematic to stay close to customers, hence the development of the virtual showroom. “Investors in equipment and concepts need the latest news across our brands – it is a very important connection. It became obvious that with lockdowns constantly being pushed back that we need to employ digital methods to give 24/7 full information just like we do at trade shows. Using the virtual showroom, it is easy to explain/demonstrate key benefits to potential buyers. Visitors can drop in any time and also share their experience with others with direct links to FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn and emails.
“The virtual showroom is an open platform everybody can use and also contact us whether it is Alliance sales personnel or local distributors. Visitors can use the platform to request assistance remotely in place of face to face and come back any time 24/7 to learn more. “
Buyers can go straight to the business sector they are interested in.
“For example, under Healthcare you can find the concept and the solution.,” says Sisternas. “The products are available in all sizes and configurations and are displayed in ‘3-D’ format so you can turn them through 360° to see all sides, look inside doors and play around with set up. When you find what you need you can then simply get in touch with your local distributor.
“Everything new is flagged, just as at a show, so you know about new features and developments immediately.”
“Alliance believes in a new standard in communication, offering 24/7 premium customer experience and opportunity for easy learning and time optimisation,’ he says.”
On the subject of shows, Sisternas believes Covid-19 has changed perceptions of our global market because of the physical and bureaucratic difficulties of moving around during the pandemic. He predicts that regional shows will be the way forward. As he points out, we don’t even know if by the end of the year if we will have free movement.
“Or if people are going to be confident enough to travel to large events with heavy concentration of people from around the world. Are people going to need Visas, vaccine passports to travel? Some people are going to want to stay in an area in which they feel comfortable, rather than jetting off around the world. Again, companies may be wary of exposing staff to infection, even with a successful roll-out of vaccinations.
“However, some areas of the world are doing better with this than elsewhere. Hence, he says, the idea of more regional shows in specific areas ie., Europe/ Middle East/Africa; United States; South America; and Asia/Pacific are likely. Plus the inconvenience of travelling to different time zones is minimised,” says Sisternas. Alliance, he adds, is a global company but wants to work closely to region specific needs. “Global, but thinking and acting local, or as he defines it ‘glocal’.”
• Check out the Alliance branded virtual showrooms at