The Falke Group is a German family-owned company based in Schmallenberg in the Sauerland region of Germany, which mainly manufactures hosiery. In addition, sportswear, men’s and women’s fashion and accessories are produced. Over 3,000 FALKE employees, more than 1,000 of them in Germany, stand for their products worldwide with curiosity, ingenuity and passion. Falke is now also relying on the Metaverse to completely rethink its purchasing processes with 3D/VR technology and take advantage of the Metaverse’s capabilities.
Facebook (now Meta) and Microsoft recently announced their alignment with the “Metaverse,” a new parallel world to our real lives where people can meet, interact, play, work and communicate with each other in virtual reality, despite being in different locations. For many people, working from a home office has become the norm. At the same time, it’s important for companies to make it more efficient for employees and customers to collaborate in different locations, rather than just working with teams or Zoom.
Falke’s idea now is to put the purchasing process for retailers of Falke products on a virtual footing as well, and to that end, virtual reality technology is taking on an important role. In the past, retail buyers and sales staff had to travel long distances to present new collections at trade fairs or in Falke showrooms, and the time required was very high. Often it was also not possible to present the entire product range with all variants in the exhibitions. With Virtual Reality, the world of Falke products has now been recreated in a Virtual Reality showroom, which is easily accessible for every buyer with one click like a website in 3D. Falke’s products are presented in a deceptively real way and in the future a buyer will be able to view hundreds of color and fabric variations at the touch of a button and then order them right away. In addition, the system integrates the possibility of live meetings between Falke employees and buyers. People meet in a virtual room and exchange information about the products very naturally, almost like in reality. Thus, workshops and seminars online also become a positive experience.
“For Falke, this is an efficient way to reach all our retailers worldwide digitally. We reach more dealers than before and save significantly on travel and logistics costs,” says Simon Falke, sales manager of the Falke Group. “But it’s not just about efficiency. With virtual reality, you create real experiences that will soon be indistinguishable from reality – and this is an important factor, especially for fashion. We are already investing in the Metaverse because we believe that in the near future, everyone will be using virtual reality as an e-commerce channel from their homes. Creating a Metaverse store for Falke customers would just be the logical next step.”
Falke worked with Zreality to design the architecture of the showroom, which was then made available in a matter of weeks using the Zreality Grids platform. “User feedback was very positive,” says Jan Knieriemen, COO of Zreality. “Highlighted was the easy, but also universal possibility to access with any device, like PC, tablet, smartphone of the VR goggles, but also what a high quality for the 3D environment and display of the products is possible.”
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