With limited capacity laws implemented into stores, retailers have had to find different ways to retain people’s satisfaction and interest. Walking into a shopping center or retail department with complete comfortability has become difficult, and the convenience of shopping online contradicts the risk of physically buying products at the storefront. Flooring retailers have seen a huge shift for themselves since the beginning of 2020, as the pandemic hurdled product price increases, decreased revenue for supply and stifled buyer uncertainty within the industry as a whole. However by the end of 2020 home interior design started to become more profitable, and CEO of Kenneth L. Mink & Song and manager of Macy’s Fine Rug Gallery, David Mink confirms that his rug business is seeing increase in profit, and says that “With more and more people working and spending time at home, the more they are spending on their home. This is a benefit to the rug business.” Since the end of last year, many changes have been made to store’s and online flooring retailers.
Simple at Storefront
The most obvious trend for revitalizing customer service has put pressure on businesses to make their customer experience more streamline. Jim Mckay, vice president of sales for Great Floors, has limited the amount of manufacturers promoted in his store during lockdown, reevaluating the 40 hard-wood flooring planks displayed in his showroom by saying “This is just ridiculous. We can’t even tell the difference between all these things. How’s a customer going to do that?” Macay says that “We have big stores, and it’s really easy for a customer to walk in that front door and be overwhelmed. So we’ve tried to simplify it,” aiming to limit manufacturer brands to create a streamlined store experience. Darren Braunstire, VP of Worldwide Wholesale Floor Coverings, explains how he separated wire brushed and smooth wood options into different sectors within the hardwood section, and how specifications are placed behind the tiles to keep from distracting the main displays; Methodology like this amplifies customer experience through simplifying advertising tactics, while still keeping standard manufacturer promotion.
In a 2020 analysis, more than 75% of consumers polled online services more engaging than storefront sales for their basic needs, like banking, food/restaurant shopping and video calls for emotional human support. This integration toward digital solutions has helped retailers promote products during social distancing. Director of U.S sales at Mercier’s, Wade Bondrowski, has expressed how social media presence has sustained communication and customer personalization, as data within these apps integrate products with customer interest. Keeping sales face to face, Adam Ward senior project manager at Mohawk, reveals that virtual conferencing has become a daily occurrence between staff members to ensure constant team collaboration, and Hallmark, a manufacturing company, reports that their increase in “real time responses,” online has kept connection between customers and specialty retailers. Omni-channel is a new culmination of all online promotion platforms into one source, which Dan Foskett, CEO at Flooring Superstore, has utilized to great extents. Foskett reports that his sales have grown 142% since 2020, with floor sample requests increasing by 172% and web sessions by 99%.
COVID has shown the advantage of multi-channel digital sources ledwaying the path toward future customer experience, and the stresses within the flooring industry has produced creative solutions to a seemingly impossible situation. With coordination on both fronts, flooring retailers are reaching the highest global revenue levels since 2013, and have started out the first quarter of 2021 strong.
It goes without saying that even with great customer service, you also need efficient processes in order to achieve that. With VendorPriceBook, communication between vendors and retailers is streamlined so that there are minimal delays. Quick service equals happier customers. From getting pricing for inventory, to making purchase orders—everything is done quickly on a cloud-based application that VendorPriceBook provides.
And it’s not all about communication—VendorPriceBook members can easily send announcements and promotions to retailers. It’s really a symbiotic tool that helps businesses on both sides make the most out of their relationship!
Learn more about VendorPriceBook today.