How Sales & Marketing Strategies Are Drastically Changing in 2020

2020 has shown us how popular online shopping is. With the world of furniture and interiors being one of the last to turn to majority selling online it has become apparent just how important it is to have an online presence, and a successful one at that. 

In March 2020 there was a worldwide average of 1.7 billion web traffic views to furniture and home decor websites increasing from 1.5 billion in January 2020. Years ago, many of us would buy a sofa and keep that sofa for 20+ years, with the increase in focus on trends and fast fashion that is no longer the case. Many of us will change our furniture and home interiors every few years to keep up with trends and changes in lifestyles. The way we buy is definitely changing, but so is the way that we are selling products and reaching out to potential clients and customers. 

Within the furniture and fabric industries we have seen the same sales methods used for decades, many still employing sales representatives to travel up and down the country. It’s safe to say that Covid-19 has changed the system we all know so well. With travel restrictions and individuals focusing on their health now more than ever, travelling to showcase your newest products seems near enough impossible. With each retail industry slowly moving online, especially the world of fashion, it has become apparent that those methods used for sales of furniture and home decor are becoming dated. Traditional sales methods are now looking to be a thing of the past, and in a time of uncertainty many companies are looking to get online as fast as possible.

With this sudden surge in interiors wanting to have a better presence online, many companies are now finding that they need to increase their digital strategies. A lot of brands use simple fabric flat shots on their websites, with an image of their product only available to view in one colour. This is because photographing products in each variation of fabric would take so much time and money. The demand by consumers to see products in every available fabric is becoming increasingly important. 

E-commerce home decor businesses such as Wayfair have seen consistent growth since they were first founded. Not only this, but many e-commerce interior retailers have struggled far less during Covid-19 than those who have a lesser online presence. Focusing your attention on your brands online presence has shown many companies two things, they don’t have enough imagery to populate their website and their websites are lacking in ease and interest. Within sales one of the most crucial things is to build consumer trust, especially when selling products that consumers are expecting to last them years. With many companies only working with photography this results in a lackluster website which often doesn’t give potential clients any idea of how a product would look, feel or behave. 

Here at Orbital we are able to solve these issues for you! Online shopping for furniture and for clothing is often seen as the same, customers want to see each product in each possible fabric, at different angles. By just having flat shots on your website you may be increasing your website bounce rate, with customers not being able to visualise how your products would look in their spaces they are less likely to shop with you, and more likely to turn to your competitors who use CGI. We are able to build your furniture in 3D and then upholster your products in every possible fabric combination you could dream of! At a fraction of the price too! We are then able to place these products in photo-realistic room sets at different angles, creating multiple visuals to put across your stunning websites and social media pages. With an experienced and creative team, we are also able to create stunning new websites and update your branding, meaning that you will have the overall package. You will have all of your assets in one place, working with one team, resulting in a cohesive, creative and engaging marketing strategy and branding as individual as you are. We are able to meet your demand, meaning more happy customers for you! 

If you are interested in working with us and increasing your brand’s online presence then get in touch today! Don’t forget to keep up to date with us on our social media to see what exciting work we are releasing!

 

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The Importance of Animation within Interiors & Marketing

Over the last few years the use of video has become increasingly popular within the world of interiors and marketing. Video is proven to drive web traffic and push sales within any business, with over 60% of people more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video. Video may seem like another creative avenue that you now have to learn and perfect, however, here at Orbital, we can do all of the work for you.

The videos that you often see in marketing campaigns aren’t necessarily made from real footage. CGI technology is developing rapidly and we are now at a stage where we can make photorealistic animations in 3D that look like filmography. All of the imagery on our site, including the animations on this blog post, are all CGI!  

Many of our clients come to us looking for hyper-realistic CGI shots of furniture and fabrics. With these products built in 3D we are able to turn these CGI assets into films. Using our virtual photography expertise, we have stepped into the realm of filmography, and not just your basic shots. We have animated full scenes. Having beautiful stills is no longer necessarily all you need to sell your brand. We can capture your branding in a CGI animation that can’t be done with web design or imagery alone.

Our team is a mixture of experienced designers, photographers and CGI specialists. Combining their creativity and skill sets result in showstopping filmography that costs a fraction of the price, and takes a fraction of the time, compared to its ‘real life’ equivalent. There is no need for location scouts, expensive camera equipment, drone licenses… just Orbital’s Unreal Creatives and our Studio.

If you thought we could only tackle furniture, you’d be wrong! Although we separate ourselves from most other CGI agencies by perfecting our photorealistic textures and fabrics, we are focused on interiors. From kitchens and bathrooms to Georgian townhouses and Scandi inspired living rooms. If it’s virtual, we’ve got it down. Although the grand stylised animation above may not be suitable for every brand, a simple but stunning slow pan of a product at the top of a web page could be the difference between your customers spending more time looking at your products or going elsewhere. 

Animations are a versatile way to encourage more consumer engagement, they can be used on social media channels, websites, sales pitches and presentations, trade shows… the list goes on. 

 

For Warwick Fabrics UK, we are creating animations for each incredible range they produce! These animations will go along with the lifestyle imagery and fabric shots that we already produce for them. Working in this way is a great way to have all of your digital assets in one place as well as having imagery that not only looks fantastic when standing alone, but is cohesive with every aspect of the project.

If you are interested in learning more about animation and video work then don’t be hesitant to contact us! Check out our social media channels to see more animations as we release them.

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Warwick Sundec - The Newest Range for Summer 2020

We’ve had a busy few weeks here in the Orbital studio, we are incredibly excited to reveal some wonderful new imagery for our long standing client, Warwick Fabrics. We are particularly excited about their new Sundec range as we have had a chance to demonstrate our CGI skills by producing imagery in a new and beautiful outdoor setting. 

With the topic of summer on everybody’s mind this year it is no surprise that we had so much fun creating the stunning imagery you see here! Here at Orbital we have produced countless images for Warwick to use all over their website, social media and marketing campaigns. So it is no surprise that we have created another stunning collection of images for them, showing off every aspect of this weatherproof collection. 

The Sundec collection is an exciting one, with the range being one of their newest, we have taken a different approach regarding imagery and the vibe we wanted to go for. We had to match the modern and contemporary feel of the fabrics to the products we rendered them onto. Outdoor furniture has really made an impression within the interiors realm in the past few years. Many consumers are now focusing their attention, and their money, on the newest and most on-trend pieces to give their outdoor spaces a new lease of life. With many of us looking to make the most of summer 2020 by redecorating and redesigning our outdoor spaces, it is no surprise that there has been an increase in attention surrounding outdoor and weatherproof furniture. So we had to do Sundec justice by creating eye catching imagery to bring to life the Sundec collection. 

 

As we have worked with Warwick Fabrics for over a year we have the majority of their fabrics already built in 3D. This means that we are able to create new imagery for Warwick at any time! Having your fabrics as 3D assets means that you essentially have an endless roll of digital fabric. This is perfect for Warwick as they love to constantly revamp their imagery to stay on top of the latest trends and seasons. 3D assets are becoming increasingly important within interiors as you are able to add more value to your business. With a CGI and design team being based in one space we are able to provide you with all the imagery and assets your heart desires! It means the process of producing imagery for your brand is quicker, easier and more cost efficient than using multiple agencies or photographing every product you make. 

If you are interested in seeing more of our fantastic lifestyle imagery then check out some of our previous work for our clients! Keep an eye out on our social media for the animation we have coming out soon for this gorgeous range!

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The Dream Team - Linwood Fabric & The Headboard Workshop's Collaboration

Two of our most loved, long standing clients have collaborated on a stunning collection! This collaboration project is something of a dream team, Linwood supplying beautiful fabrics, The Headboard Workshop providing incredible furniture and let’s not forget the cracking team here at Orbital providing the spectacular imagery we see throughout both teams marketing posts and across The Headboard Workshop’s website. 

 

The pair have collaborated to bring to you Linwood’s new Kami printed velvet range on one of The Headboard Workshop’s most popular headboards, the Samson. We are loving how this collaboration turned out, the fabulous printed velvet fabric compliments the immaculate design of the Samson headboard. It is a match made in heaven and it seems like the two were made to be shown off together!

 

As The Headboard Workshop and Linwood Fabric are both beloved clients of ours, creating imagery for this project was an amazing opportunity to showcase what we can do here at Orbital! The beginning stages of a project can be quite a process initially, checking fabric colours and textures can be a bit time consuming for some clients. However, once your assets are built you are able to use them over and over again, also having the option to revisit and change room-sets depending on the season or current trends – meaning your collections can be timeless and enjoyed all year round, for many years. 

However long this process is, here at Orbital we focus solely on the furniture and fabric industries, meaning that there is the possibility to share digital assets – making collaboration launches quick and efficient. Once a fabric has been built in 3D, it is like having a huge roll of unlimited fabric – just in the virtual world. We can literally upholster any product with this ‘virtual fabric’ in seconds. So agreeing to share these assets means that you can have ready-made marketing imagery with bespoke branding in days. There’s not a prototype or photoshoot in sight! It can be as simple as sending us a drawing of your new product and the name of a fabric, and receiving branded lifestyle imagery for your new launch in a matter of days.

 

It is becoming increasingly important for a company to have ready made assets in this day and age, especially with the huge focus on internet marketing in the past few months. Most fabric companies only provide a flatshot of their fabrics, this means that you can’t see the texture, reflection, transparency or scale of the fabric. With so many fabric houses around the world, it is impossible for two suppliers not to stock similar ranges. With competition rife, many companies assume that to beat competition, price is the only bargaining chip. With CGI assets available, instead of driving prices down there is an opportunity to increase the value in your product without compromising on price. Being able to offer ready made CGI fabrics for use in marketing imagery as a standard with any fabric purchase is invaluable. This deal is not only restricted to fabric suppliers, being able to offer CGI furniture assets to retailers is undoubtedly a great way to rise above your competitors and close some great sales! 

 

In 2020, most large retailers will only stock products that have been built in 3D to fit with the custom builders and functionality of their websites. If you want to have your products featured on these big retailer sites they will ask you to either provide your products in CGI or they will use their own team to build it for you, racking up a major bill at the end of the project. Therefore, most manufacturers are starting to turn to CGI too. It is definitely the way forward for the interiors, fabric and furniture realm. 

 

If a fabric company already has their fabric ranges built in CGI, ready for a manufacturer to use in their lifestyle imagery, it makes them an undeniable choice of supplier. It puts them ahead of their competitors, making it more cost effective and efficient for all parties involved. 

 

Here at Orbital, we are here to do exactly this, make projects and collaborations feel real with our lifestyle imagery and our abilities to bring ideas and inspirations to life! We were able to produce the incredible imagery you see before you as we are already familiar with both Linwood Fabric and The Headboard Workshop. We are loving the results of this collaboration project and we cannot wait to host another collaborative launch with future clients!

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The Headboard Workshop: The Spare Room Collection

A Close-knit, family-run Business

The Headboard workshop made their first headboard in a London garage, all the way back in 1982. The core principles from that first headboard still stand today – exceptional craftsmanship, beautifully created, made to order and delivered on time. Word spread fast from that first order and they are still creating stylish headboards, beds and more over 30 years later.

Soon outgrowing their London garage, and moving into their own factory in Wales, the quick growth meant that more and more sales were being requested online.

Location, Location, Location…

One problem many manufacturers face, is having beautiful lifestyle imagery, but only being able to show off one or two chosen fabrics on a photoshoot. After finding the perfect shoot location, each headboard would have to be built, upholstered and delivered to the photoshoot. Costing a huge amount not only in cost, but in hours and labour.

Realising that they needed to remove the imagination portion of the sales process, The Headboard workshop approached us. We assured the family-run business that we could show off their product in every fabric available in photorealistic detail.

Introducing the Spare Room Collection

When dreaming of the ideal imagery for their newest launch, The Headboard workshop imagined a classic room, in a townhouse, with leaves blowing in the wind outside the winder. Somewhere attainable yet luxurious, with a calm feel, and dusk streaming through the window. So, Orbital’s Unreal Creatives got to work.

“We are DELIGHTED with the results. Thank you again for your trustworthy hand holding in this, my first attempt at an exciting new world!”

– Laura, The Headboard Workshop

The Result

The Headboard Workshop now have a portfolio of assets to launch The Spare Room collection, for both online and POS materials.

With three bed bases, photographed in four angles each, and with every piece wrapped in six fabrics, it just would not have been possible with traditional photography.

These assets now serve as a basis for a world of opportunity. With the beds, fabrics and roomsets built, who knows what they will be showcasing next. An online customiser? Video animation of the roomset? How about some augmented reality, allowing a customer to place their bed in their bedroom, digitally, before buying. Virtually, anything is possible!

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Win £2k of CGI at January furniture Show 2020

The Furniture Awards is an annual celebration of the best suppliers in the industry exhibiting at The January Furniture Show. Organised by Furniture News, the awards aim to recognise the businesses leading the way in their own product categories.

 

Being immersed in the furniture industry, we sponsor the awards by offering the prizes for each winner. And this is one award that you really want to win. it is especially great for companies that have never set foot into the world of CGI. Offering our expertise to bring your chosen product to life, in a photorealistic room set of your styling. Choose your theme, submit some inspiration images and any materials that may need to be used. Next thing you know, you’ll have a set of photography images for your newly launched product free of charge.

 

If you haven’t yet registered for the awards, what are you waiting for?

 

There are five winners of the Furniture Awards. Each a supplier to the industry outstanding in their field. On the first day of the show, our Director, Rob Walker, will be accompanying Furniture News when informing the winners of their prize. We will also be offering plaques to each winner, along with a giant cheque for £2000. Because why not? It’s a good photo opportunity, and who hasn’t wanted to receive one of those lottery-esque giant cheques?

Now, let's play a little game of spot the CGI.

One of the much deserved winners at last year's show was renowned Parker Knoll.

their prize was spent on recreating a legacy photoshoot. If you haven't yet ventured into the realm of CGI, you might not see the benefits of this straight away. Having a past photoshoot recreated in CGI, means that and products that are added to the range, from armchair to footstool, or any new fabrics, from embroidery to velvet, can be placed in the same room set retroactively. Keeping the range on brand and consistent.

 

Have a look at the two images below and see if you can spot which is the original photoshoot, and which is our CGI recreation. (Without looking at the bottom right hand corner of the images!)

Make sure to come and visit Orbital in Hall 1 on stand G80. You might even catch one of our pretty cool demonstrations. Yes, we will be demonstrating our speed and finesse when it comes to CGI live at the show. If you bring a plain fabric along, we may even be able to render it on a product before your eyes. It’s not something you want to miss out on!

 

Talking of fabrics, while you’re here. Why not heck out our brand-new CGI Fabrics page. We have been adapting and developing specific softwares over the last two years to perfect the art of creating realistic fabric textures like no one else. See the results for yourself!

Have a look at the two images below and see if you can spot which is the original photoshoot, and which is our CGI recreation.

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January Furniture Show: Get All Your Assets in Line

The January Furniture show is one of the UK’s biggest and most well known furniture trade show in the calendar. It boasts five halls from homewares to lighting, and everything in between. The 2020 show will run from Sunday 19th to Wednesday 22nd January.

 

Getting ready for JFS can take a lot of time, thought and preparation. Trust us, we know! But not only do we creaate photorealistic CGI images of furniture products and room sets We also specialise in design.

 

Our team come from a variety of backgrounds, and we have a handful of talented designers who love nothing better than to dissect the success of a brochure design. We are becoming something of a one-stop shop at Orbital. Initially, clienst come to us when they realise they can’t spot the difference betwen our imagery, and their long -winded photoshoots. But, when they realise we offer websites and print design too, it is hard not to resist hvaing your images framed into marketing assets by the same agency. You’d be amazed by the efficiency.

 

The January Furniture Show is the place to launch. New ranges, new brands or new looks. Making sure your marketing assets are updated is crucial. With buyers wandering past hundreds of stands, you want to make sure that yours is what they remember when they go to make orders, and keep on ordering from.

 

If you are wondering how to show off a large number of products in an eye-catching, on brand  and sales inducing hand out. Call on Orbital’s Unreal Creatives. We would love to create a mock-up for your brand, so you can see the results for yourself.

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Opening Our Doors for Long Point 2019

“Long Point returns for its autumn outing from 23rd-25th September. The biannual show, which takes advantage of the historic UK Centre of Quality Upholstery Manufacture, Long Eaton, is a valuable opportunity for buyers looking to catch up with some of the biggest brands in UK furniture.

Due to the large number of upholstery manufacturers with permanent showrooms in the area, Long Point enables buyers to visit over 25 exhibitors in their own spaces, offering both inspiration and intimacy.”

And Orbital are no different! We house some great exhibitors including Staud, Hugo Park and a couple of little extra exciting pieces that we currently have on show in the studio.

We like to welcome all visitors to The Exchange. Not only is it perfect to scope out exhibitors, but you can also have a sneak peek at our design and CGI wizardry in full force. Pop in for a coffee, some biscuits, a chat and a nose around.

Most visitors will have already spotted our handiwork in the form of The Long Eaton Guild’s brand new website, courtesy of yours truly. And there is a great little story behind it, make sure to read the full story of The Long Eaton Guild Donating to St Michael’s Hospice in memory of Matt O’Flynn.

At The Exchange, we will also be hosting the announcement of the winners of this year’s prize. So make sure you enter to win an overnight stay for two at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond le Manoir aux Quat’saisons Michelin starred hotel and restaurant in Oxfordshire. Here’s the Trade Secret: you can enter as many times as you like, just pop your business card in the entry box at every stand you visit! We won’t tell anyone if you don’t…

We love being immersed in the UK furniture manufacturing industry. With over 50 furniture manufacturers in this small town of Long Eaton, the historic Long Point show is an honour to be a part of. We hope to se a few of your faces at The Exchange next week!

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Combining CGI with Core Values: Made to Last

The name Made to Last seems very apt for one of our clients. Because that's what our imagery is, made to last. Saying goodbye to photoshoots, and saying hello to forever editable images, forever re-stylable locations at the click of a button, and forever reusable fabrics.

 

Made to Last are an online retailer with sustainability, durability and the British Manufacturing industry in its core values. Stocking solely British manufacturers, they provide everything home based from electricals to outdoor furniture, and everything in between. When they saw some realistic images that we were creating for one of their suppliers, and realised there were no photoshoots involved, they contacted us straight away. Removing the use of photoshoots also perfectly matches the sustainability factor of this forward-thinking retailer. Not only are they avoiding fast-fashion by supplying high-quality products, but cutting their carbon footprint and waste. Removing the idea of location shoots saves travel and delivery emissions, wasted prototypes, wasted fabrics, and on. Our images are completely recyclable. You only pay for a fabric, product or room set to be built once! so it is pretty gently on the long term budget too!

 

With a new selection of recliner beds, Made to Last needed a room set of a traditional bedroom, that could house a collection of six electric bed ranges, in a selection of colours and sizes. With traditional photography, this would have cost the Earth, in precious employee time as well as money. And that’s our cue!

 

We started by creating a mood board of images that matched their brief. A particular shot was chosen, and we went ahead with digitally recreating their dream location. We then got started on building each bed range and all the available fabrics in 3D. With this option, it allowed us to show the products in a variety of states. With the beds dressed, without the mattress, without incline, and showing off the electrical advantages of the recliner beds. Within a month, Made To Last had a package of images to populate their website, ready to upload, in their inbox.

 

This week, we were happy to see our images, live on their website! No matter how many projects we finish, the feeling of seeing our creation hosed on someone’s website always gives us that sense of excitement and job satisfaction. The excited responses we get from our clients also helps! We can’t wait to get started on our next project with Made to Last, so make sure you keep an eye on their website to see if you can spot which images are from a photoshoot and which were created from nothing in our Studio. We don’t call it wizardry for nothing!

If your business is in need of a website facelift or you want to say goodbye to photoshoots,, get in touch with us today!

Call on Orbital's Unreal Creatives

Have a gander at Made to Last's website. Make sure you check out the new recliner beds, and try to spot any CGI...

Play Spot the CGI...
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Steve Bristow Furniture: The Luxury Site With Imagery To Boot.

Some of you may recognise the name Steve Bristow from the hugely successful masonry company, but the stunning natural stone worktops now have a sister company. Last year, launching at the January Furniture Show, Steve Bristow Furniture appeared, with a luxurious range of hand-polished quartz furniture. But they needed an elegant website to match their new products and new brand. And that’s where Orbital stepped in.

 

As a new venture, Steve Bristow had a number of beautiful designs, but no photographs. No photoshoots? No problem. We were tasked with not only creating a new high-end website with growing SEO hidden within the text, but also creating all of the imagery to populate the new site. And that is what we did.

 

Steve Bristow Furniture are unique in the fact that they not only offer stunning quartz furniture, but the pieces are completely customisable. So how can they show each product in each variation and material? With Orbital’s product builder, that’s how.

 

We created a great hero lifestyle hot for each product, and then rendered each product in every possible material and shape so that the end-user can see exactly what they are ordering before making their purchase.

 

This is an ongoing project, as Steve Bristow Furniture are ever extending their luxury designs. So we are making more and more visual marketing assets for them, and consistently updating their website.

 

Now that these images have been created, they can be used across all marketing channels. Print ads, brochures, exhibition stands and more.

If your website is in need of a facelift, or you want to say goodbye to photoshoots, get in touch with us today!

Call on Orbital's Unreal Creatives

Have a peek at Steve Bristow Furniture's new site. Don't forget to swoon over the imagery!

See the Luxury Quartz Furniture
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