Soaks Bathrooms

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Soaks Bathrooms

4D software makes for award-winning designs for Soaks Bathrooms.

As Ireland’s largest bathroom showroom, Soaks Bathrooms is well versed in attracting customers through inspiring displays and a knowledgeable design team, but it is keeping on top of the latest design technology that really keeps them ahead of the game.

“We understand that a bathroom is often a once in a lifetime purchase, so it must be perfect. Our showroom staff have been professionally trained with Virtual Worlds Professional CAD design software, enabling them to design bathrooms – no matter the size or shape,” explains Soaks Bathrooms Director Wayne Lyons.

Winner of Bathroom Retailer of the Year at the 2019 Kbbreview Awards, Soaks Bathrooms boasts over 7,000 square feet of showroom space at its Belfast HQ, but the latest 4D technology, along with working shower and toilet areas are what really bring the bathroom buying experience to life for their customers and is a vital part of the sales process, according to Wayne.

“The 4D software opens customers eyes to the hidden potential of their bathroom, with designs and visualisations produced to the exact scale and shape of the bathroom, with any unique features in the space accounted for to make the representation as real-life as possible. A variety of products, moods and colours can be reflected before a final choice is made. Realistic 3D renders are created to show different options and layout possibilities and the 4D Virtual Reality walkthrough gives a sense of scale.”

The 4D technology is a virtual reality room simulator installed into showrooms nationwide to provide customers with complete peace of mind when making a purchase. ‘Virtual Worlds 4D’ and the flagship experience ‘Virtual Worlds 4D Theatre’ are developed by award-winning British software company Logicom Computer Services UK Ltd.

It is being able to really visualise the end result and ‘try before they buy’ with 4D that is changing the way consumers buy bathrooms, and something that Wayne believes has a big impact on closing a sale too. He said: “Our average customer finds it difficult to visualise how the different available options will look in their finished room, and fear of making a mistake can mean that the project stalls. The 4D software allows them to look at different options in place so we can get over this hurdle. It also allows them to make a decision more quickly so our time to closing sales has dramatically reduced.”

At a time when driving footfall into the showroom and giving consumers a reason to visit their independent retailer, rather than the DIY shed or shopping on the internet is becoming more challenging, investing in the latest design technology is a wise choice and something that Wayne believes sets his business apart from the competition. He said: “The 4D virtual reality is something which can only be experienced in-store, and so it offers us something different from the multiples and online retailers. The bespoke, personal service we can offer is our strength, your bathroom is personal to you and we can help you achieve your dream room with the help of Virtual Worlds. The ease of use and number of manufacturers on the system mean we can create stunning designs to really wow our customers, without sacrificing our productivity.

“For our showroom, the 4D experience is totally different to the standard design presentation, and it enables the customer to really feel like they’re in their new room. This speeds up the sales process as we don’t need to go through a long inventory of details, we can just show the customer. It also helps us in terms of increased order values, because anything they don’t like is highlighted and can be corrected immediately. Plus, we can suggest higher value item and demonstrate the difference the increased investment will make to the finished design.

Soaks Bathrooms is not alone in this regard, with 4D retailers across the UK reporting conversion rates increasing by as much as 50% and order values increasing by around 20%, as a result of using virtual reality.

“Virtual Worlds has been integral to our success,” concludes Wayne. “The experience we can offer brings so many benefits to customers and they then talk about us to their family and friends, increasing the numbers of enquiries. Our customers are amazed that they can experience their room before any work has begun, and once they’ve seen the design, they really want it!”