The holidays are sneaking up on us.
Thanksgiving is around the corner, and Christmas is coming up on its heels. Before we know it, everyone who considered buying new flooring this year will have it installed in time for their holiday parties, guests, and celebrations—that is, if your shopping experience has met their needs.
See what we did there? That’s how you sell a blog.
All jokes aside, this final chapter of our three-part series on flooring shopping is perhaps the most important. We’ve covered the major players in the flooring business—looking through a brand lens and from the retailer’s point of view—and reviewed how the consumer journey evolves when shopping for flooring.
To recap, here’s what we’ve learned:
- Flooring shopping takes a while (up to 18 months)
- Consumers want to be able to shop online and view physical product in-store
- Customization is key, and style preferences are constantly changing
And, further to these points, brands and retailers have their own ways of doing this. Bigger retailers like Lowe’s and The Home Depot are trusted names and feature an enormous “catch-all” store layout, where a customer can walk in and find essentially whatever she needs. The price, for the most part, is reasonable and fits most budgets when it comes to flooring.
When considering how flooring-specific retailers like Lumber Liquidators approach product marketing, there’s a discernible contrast. This is a warehouse-style approach, and for a consumer sorting through options and trying to get the perfect fit for her space, this can be overwhelming.
So, where’s the sweet spot for brands and retailers as they try to capture flooring shoppers and move them further along in a long, sometimes tedious process? It’s somewhere in between.
Trend-forward & customizable
Buying new flooring is a major decision, so it’s best to showcase to consumers the most fashion-forward and popular styles that have staying power—not those you’re just trying to get rid of.
On top of that, shoppers want options. They want to see how the product will look in their spaces (we’ll get to that in a moment), and, on a more basic level, they should be able to estimate and calculate how much it will cost before they visit the store.
On-point enhanced content
How you present the product content goes a long way to moving the customer along in the journey. And this goes beyond just the product page itself; as we know, there’s a prolonged research phase for flooring shoppers. Once they move into the “desire” stage of the process, they’re going to get more serious about making a decision. This is where the content goes to work—it must move the customer to go from thinking about flooring to wanting to visit the store to see for themselves.
Your enhanced content experience must provide a few key elements for shoppers:
- An emphasis on visuals, i.e. being able to see (in high definition) what the product looks like and how it’s styled in different settings, whether it’s a kitchen or living room, etc.
- A calculation tool: how much flooring do you need, and how much will it cost to fill that space?
- It must pass “the reality test,” and the best way to do that is by offering a visualization tool, which we’ll get to in the next section
Virtual & physical experience
The goal here is to drive action, right?
Your action plan for capturing and converting flooring shoppers must include a robust, intuitive experience. Lumber Liquidators is a retailer that enables customers to upload photos of their space and get a visual sense of how the product looks in their homes. One example we like is from Shaw, which leads every product page with a ton of visual, real-life content.
Each product page has an “inspiration gallery” that can be swiped through based on the style and finish. There are videos for each option as well, and as you progress down the page (after seeing the most important thing: what it looks like!), you’ll get deeper into specifications and the nitty-gritty.
The bottom line: It has to look real. It has to feel real. And the content must paint a picture that motivates the customer to either order a sample or find the flooring in a store near her. That’s how you set yourself up for success and accelerate the purchase process.
If you’re looking for a quick fix, you’re in the wrong place.
There’s some heavy lifting involved here, but that’s why it’s critical to work with an experienced creative partner to build these pages and experiences for your customers. Our team at Kreber has worked with brands and retailers to develop creative solutions for their wide-ranging content challenges.