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Visual tools that increase product sales

Jayne Adamson elaborates on the importance of visual tools and how they can help increase sales in the flooring industry.

WHEN it comes to home improvements, a large proportion of consumers say they lack confidence in choosing their wall and floor coverings. They’re scared to get it wrong and as manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in this space, we need to make sure we give them confidence, so they make the purchase. At the end of the day, if we don’t, and our competitors do, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out who’s going to win that coveted sale.

The importance of showing them how our products could work in their own space should never be underestimated. Years ago, before the rise of the digital age, we’d launch a range of say, six colourways or designs, and we’d choose one of them to photograph.

It’s always the case, the product shown in a real-life setting would sell the best because the end-user could imagine in their home because they could see it in the right setting. Not rocket science when you think about it, is it?

Skip forward a few years and with the rise of the internet and social media, it’s no longer viable or acceptable to show one colourway in a range because each one had its own place, each one would appeal to a different shopper, and all those different shoppers were online. So, marketing budgets got bigger, and sales grew, ranges started selling, not just products – happy days, right?

Yes of course, but as we’ve come to expect more from the digital world, things just keep moving on, and they do it quickly. We should continue to inspire the consumer with aspirational room settings, make sure they look inspirational but also accessible and this will achieve the goal of instilling confidence, but there are additional ways to do this which should be considered.

One such way is using an online visualiser. In recent years we’ve seen an enormous increase in businesses in the home improvement and interiors sectors using visualisers to inspire customers and gain trust. If homeowners can see how a product will look in their space, they are far more likely to confidently buy it.

There are various levels of visualiser out there and of course varying levels of budget, but the beauty is, many distributors and manufacturers are supporting their own customers by adding these to their websites and there’s no reason whatsoever that you can’t use them to help your customer. Plus, it costs you nothing. The best ones, for me, are ones where you can upload a picture of your own room and then choose the flooring and wallcoverings giving a visual showing exactly how that choice will look in that room. It’s quick and surprisingly realistic.

Another effective way of showing customers that your product is right for them is using imagery supplied by other people. Your past customers are your advocates and again, it costs you nothing. Everyone loves to show off when they have just renovated or decorated a room at home, so they take photos and post them on Instagram or any other social media platform. Most people would be happy for you to share their posts or use their imagery on your website and this gives prospective customers the confidence to buy as they can see that product in a real home, they can relate to it. All you must do is ask, and I guarantee most people will say yes.

And finally, you have the in-store environment. If you’ve the space to have some room settings then great, but don’t just think about the product you’re selling, think about the customer and what they’re looking for. Often, they’re looking at full room solutions rather than a specific product for that room. You may not sell plants, towels, vases, lamps etc. but you can use these to inspire your customer, to make them feel your product suits them and their home – make it look real. You could even re-prop every few months to keep your showroom fresh and take photos to use on your social media.

There are many ways to inspire your customers but making their decision easy is the key to the sale, so use these tools.
07904 589251
Jayne Adamson is product marketing specialist at Plum Product Marketing

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