Updated: Aug 6, 2018
This isn’t something you hear too often, but the fact is consumers still need to see and feel what they’re buying. No matter how much information the internet can provide, it can’t replace the sensory experience of being in a physical store.
Experience is everything. Otherwise, people could simply stay at home and do all their shopping on their computers or phones.
You can take advice from the retail world, where retailtainment and predictive analytics are popular trends, but the truth is kitchen and bath showrooms are already at an advantage.
Providing a personalized experience is what
you do best.
Personalized experiences drive higher sales: 40 percent of shoppers spend more than they planned when a shopping experience is tailored to them. It’s no wonder. Online retailers immediately present add-ons and new options based on the original search term. The same can be true in a physical store.
Keep track of a client’s order history, especially if they have purchased from you online.
An app with all your products helps salespeople make better suggestions.
Show them what the products will look like in their homes with VR (virtual reality) or AR (augmented reality).
Don’t offer ‘maybes’ when you can offer ‘the one.’
The best-designed showrooms are inviting, organized and interactive. There is no mystery anymore; most purchases are driven by impulse and emotion, and the best retail environments play this to their advantage.
Create a connection:
And not just with a great a sales team! Working faucets and shower heads, a mix of trendy and traditional styles, interesting textures- these are things customers can feel and experience with all their senses.
Offer the unexpected: Can your clients book time to actually try out the products? Take product experience to a new level by letting customers try out baths and showers- check out the Kohler Experience Centers.
Spark the imagination:
It’s as simple as adding lifestyle graphics. Show them what life will be like with their new products.
Trigger their emotions:
Immersive in-store experiences can mean anything from a cocktail hour to a decorating class to a live music event. There is no way an online retailer can compete with that!
Make them feel at home:
A cup of coffee, lemonade in the summer, a comfortable place to sit and speak with a sales person- it’s the little things that count.
Online prep for offline sales
In the days of internet retail, giving consumers a reason to come into a brick-and-mortar store has become a major factor for showroom owners. It’s all about having a physical-digital strategy in place.
Consumers are still making 80 percent of their purchases in store, but more and more those purchases are influenced by online research. It’s expected that by 2022, 41 percent of in-store sales will be web-influenced.
Providing a seamless transition between online browsing and in-store shopping is easier than it seems. Bringing tech into the showroom can be as simple as keeping tablets handy; if 82 percent of smartphone users consult their phones before a purchase, why not hand them a tablet and make sure they get the right information?
Generating repeat business
The challenge is convincing a customer to do business with you. There are a lot of options out there, from big box stores to online retailers, so what sets the K&B showroom apart?
The expert knowledge.
Whether they are coming in for a bathroom faucet or a complete kitchen remodel, decorative plumbing items are a high-end purchase. In most cases, the trip is not about a grab-and-go purchase.
A customer needs to feel cared for. They are looking for a way to make their lives easier by putting themselves in the hands of experts. Great customer care and follow-through on promises establish trust and prove reliability.