These Flooring Trends Might Surprise You

Styles come and go, and then come back again and that’s just the case for clothes–home design trends also experience shifts. Pastel pink tiles of the 90s. Checkered board floors of the 50s. Each decade seems to have its own signature look when it comes to flooring and interior designs. As flooring manufacturers, vendors and retailers, it’s important to stay on top of consumer trends because tastes do change, and that in turn affects supply and demand.

With the pandemic allowing more people to stay and lounge around in their homes, many people are looking to renovate. Flooring is a great first step to that process. Let’s take a look at what trends we think will stick out through 2021.

Hardwood: always a classic choice, hardwood can be elegant and modern at the same time. This year, you might want to take notice of cool color tones, wide planks, and environmentally friendly finishes. Source: The Flooring Girl.

Antimicrobial: health and safety are at top-of-mind now more than ever. “Antimicrobial” or “antibacterial” types of floors are those that are finished or with technology (i.e. Microban) which help inhibit the growth of bacteria.

Terracotta Tiles: social media is going crazy over these! These give a space a rustic, earthy charm if we do say so ourselves and they are less expensive than other ceramics. They can be as basic or as ornate as a home remodeler pleases–check out all the varieties here and you’ll see why they’re growing in popularity!

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If you want to visualize yourself as a renovator and understand the decisions they have to make before buying flooring, check out this video:

While there may be some debate on which flooring styles may ultimately takeover and be the next big trend, there’s one thing that will always ring true for consumers looking to renovate–they don’t want to wait around for pricing. With a long laundry list of items to buy and things to fix, a home renovator needs to know what flooring is in stock and what the cost is. As a retailer, a customer on the showroom floor will expect quick answers and paper pricebooks won’t cut it.

VendorPriceBook streamlines communication between vendors and retailers so looking up pricing and inventory can be made on-the-spot using a mobile device or computer. To learn more or to start your free trial, please go to VendorPriceBook.com.

How to Increase Customer Satisfaction Through Technology

For any business, supply chain management can mean the difference between failure and flourishing. In the floor remodeling market, this rings especially true. How many projects have been derailed when a dream tile or hardwood is out of stock?

Shiny marketing may attract consumers, but inventory and prices form the bedrock of customer satisfaction. At the end of the day, they want practical and stylish flooring available now at the lowest price point possible. If any of these factors don’t align, your customer falls through the supply chain gap.

Technology Intervention

Increasing supply chain efficiency used to require much more legwork. Today, as they say, “There’s an app for that”. 

Read on to see how mobile technology can help your business close the gaps.

Mobile vs. Manual Accounting

For efficient inventory management, ditch the paper and turn to cloud-supported accounting like QuickBooks Online or Xero. Mobile accounting allows you to update expenses, orders, and invoices in the moment. 

Standing in a bamboo field to source your next supplier? Simply pull out your phone and crunch numbers in the app. The bamboo farmer gets paid, and you jump ahead of bamboo flooring demand.

You can automate inventory by connecting order data to product stock in the cloud. This saves you hours and errors of counting inventory by hand. Buyers will see the difference on the shelves.

Customers need up-to-date pricing and availability so they can get to work on their home project.

Keep Everyone in the Loop

Centralized communication apps, like Slack or Discord, are another powerful tool to support customer satisfaction. 

Product updates can reach all employees in a single click. In turn, customers receive correct information about what’s available at what price, with the inventory to back it up. This builds consumer trust in your company.

Consider intercompany channels, the ultimate space for suppliers and retailers to communicate. A request that may have gotten lost in phone-tag or emails can now be found in one spot. It’s all about making communication accessible.

Listen to Your Customers

How often do customer service representatives hear the same complaints? Or the same wishes? 

Perhaps a certain type of laminate sells well, but your customer service center receives a high volume of complaints later. “This laminate catches dust and dirt at the seams.” Soon after, customers are calling on their warranties. 

Imagine if you could solve the problem months ahead in product design.

Through mobile communication, you can. In-app tags and search tools allow customer feedback to be flagged and gathered. These trends can be analyzed to materialize real changes – before the customers and demand wave disappear.

The Virtual Marketplace

At one time, suppliers and retailers relied on trade shows to find each other. Now, you can discover or be discovered by simply scrolling on your phone. 

Apps like VendorPriceBook bring together retailers, suppliers, and brands. Much like a dating app, each business has their own profile with photos and information. Filters allow you to cast a broad or narrow net. And while it might be less romantic than an OkCupid match, sometimes a beautiful vertical alignment is born.

Jump In, Jump Ahead

Floor remodeling customers are a reliable demand stream just waiting for an organized operation to provide the products they desire at competitive prices. Empower your company using mobile technology to tighten the supply chain, wherever you may fall in line.

If you’re not sure where to start, our flooring app contains essential tools to maintain up-to-date inventory and prices. Give it a try for free to see how small tech changes can create big ripples in your business. Our newest features include the ability for retailers to create purchase orders right on the app! VendorPriceBook is truly revolutionizing the way retailers and vendors do business!

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Sources
https://www.gocanvas.com/mobile-forms-apps/46-Retail-Sales-Wholesale-Distribution/show_category

https://www.vendhq.com/retail-apps

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tradebeyond-the-fastest-growing-retail-sourcing-app-innovates-with-major-retailers-300823455.html

https://www.cbxsoftware.com/solutions/tradebeyond/

https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/12/16291246/slack-shared-channels-frontiers-announcements

https://www.merchantmaverick.com/reviews/quickbooks-online-review/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/joycemazero/2019/11/05/excellence-in-supply-chain-management-requires-supply-chain-expertise-in-the-boardroom/amp/

Using VendorPriceBook to Find and Connect with Retailers

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FIND NEW CUSTOMERS

Expand Your Retailer Base

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Where would we be without GPS? It helps us find where to eat, where to shop and how to get from point A to point B. GPS locators are everywhere; from our cars to our cell phones. Now, VendorPriceBook is harnessing the power of Google Maps to help you find customers in your area and connect with them on our social network.

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“Having a map feature for Vendors seemed like the logical next step,” says VendorPriceBook founder and CEO Charlie Mirzakhanyan. “It’s the easiest way for Vendors to find and connect with Retailers in their area as well as find new Retailers across the country.”

“We’re always improving our features for Vendors and Retailers,” continues Mirzakhanyan. “This map feature is directly inspired by feedback we’ve received from clients who wanted an easier, more intuitive way to connect with other flooring businesses. We’re excited about the future of VendorPriceBook and hope you find these new features useful.”

VendorPriceBook’s new map feature allows Vendors to search by ZIP code, destination, city, state and keywords. “This feature is very exciting,” concludes Mirzakhanyan. “It will change the way Vendors obtain and maintain new and existing Retailers. This is a game changer.”

HOW TO CONNECT WITH NEW CUSTOMERS USING THE MAP FEATURE

Step 1) Log in to your VendorPriceBook account.

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Step 2) Click on the ‘Find New Connections’ button.

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Step 3) Search by ZIP code, destination, city, state, or keyword.

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Step 4) Choose the retailers you want to connect with and click on the ‘Connect’ button. In addition, if you are on the road and need directions, click on ‘Direction.’

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Step 5) After clicking ‘Connect’, assign a pricebook/catalog, sales agent, location and documents. Click ‘Submit’ to send a connection request.

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After the retailer accepts your connection request, a virtual connection will be established between you and the retailer. They will be able to see your entire product line and access the information you have provided to them (e.g. pricebooks, catalogs, documents and announcements). They can use the search box to search for products as well as download your pricelist.

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Having a virtual connection with Retailers gives you the ability to instantly provide them with up-to-date pricing, information, announcements, and increase engagement with your company and product.

Go beyond product photos: provide consumers with complete remodeling ideas and inspirations.

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Click to Join and Connect with Thousands of Retailers and Vendors

Is Your Stone & Tile Store Stuck In The Stone Age? Evolve with VendorPriceBook!

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In a new study released by Floor Trends Magazine, researchers found that only half of tile & stone companies use the Internet to promote their businesses. In this rapidly growing technological climate, that seems like a shockingly low number. Fully 48% of tile & stone retailers and vendors are missing out on the benefits of promoting their companies via websites, blogs, and social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. What is holding them back?

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We here at VendorPriceBook understand the frustrations of doing business online. One of the biggest problems is that retailers have to go to multiple vendors’ websites and log in with different passwords to access their pricing and company information. On top of this, most companies also do business by phone, fax, email, and hard copy pricebooks. If a retailer has fifty vendors, this process can get quite complicated, not to mention time-consuming and frustrating. Until now, there hasn’t been a centralized database for all your pricing in one convenient location. That’s where VendorPriceBook.com comes in.

VendorPriceBook aggregates vendors’ pricing into a single website, allowing retailers to access pricing and company information with a single click of the mouse. But we’re more than just a directory for pricing–we’re a growing community of professionals, committed to connecting vendors and retailers in social sharing and communication. Think of us as a combination of LinkedIn and Facebook for the flooring industry.

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We believe communication is key to developing business relationships, strengthening trust and building partnerships between retailers and vendors. If that sounds like something you believe in too, check us out at VendorPriceBook.com to see how we can help grow your stone, tile, carpet or hardwood business and promote communication within the flooring industry.

Find VendorPriceBook on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+

Software vs The Cloud: How Cloud Computing is Revolutionizing the Flooring Industry

Many floor coverings businesses currently use software to handle their pricing and inventory. Most software programs seek to get businesses online and ease business-to-business (B2B) communications. These are admirable goals, to be sure, however, many problems can be solved by new and emerging technologies that move internal software systems into the cloud.

Cloud computing eliminates the need for internal systems like data storage and software. All services in the “cloud” are accessible anywhere there is an internet connection.

VendorPriceBook is a cloud-based tool. Now, to access pricing and inventory information, there’s no downloading, no memory or software required. With VendorPriceBook, all your business operations are accessible online.

You can take your job on the go with smartphones, tablets and laptops. You can take your retail showroom mobile, connect with new customers instantly and provide customer service updates.

While software programs are great when it comes to inventory control and organizing internal systems; they lack the ability to improve communication between Vendors and Retailers. With the pace of technology moving more quickly than ever, cloud-based computing is rapidly becoming the industry standard for doing business.

VendorPriceBook is more than just a business tool, it’s building an online community. By connecting companies in the cloud, we can increase accessibility, streamline communication and create meaningful B2B relationships that help grow and maintain your business for the future.

Are You Saying “Green” or Being “Green”?: Go Paperless with VendorPriceBook

“Going green” is a marketable strategy for many businesses. But, is your company really eco-friendly or simply “greenwashing” the truth? Some vendors offer recycled or energy-efficient products, but these eco-friendly options still only represent a small percentage of the market. Until “green” materials gain traction in the flooring industry, what can retailers and vendors do reduce their carbon footprint?  Retailers may not be able to control the kind of product in their showrooms, but they can control how they receive their price books. Now, everyone has the option to go paperless.

The flooring industry is currently in a state of flux, struggling to update the outdated, paper-based pricing system. VendorPriceBook.com provides flooring vendors and retailers an opportunity to transition into the 21st century. Toss those price books into the recycle bin and access all your pricing in one eco-friendly and efficient cloud-based web system with VendorPriceBook.com.

By adding VendorPriceBook.com to your “green routine,” not only will your products be eco-friendly, but also your management and operations. VendorPriceBook.com is an essential addition to all companies interested in environmentally-conscious business practices. VendorPriceBook.com allows retailers and vendors in the flooring industry to eliminate waste by going paperless, reducing their carbon footprint, and streamlining their day-to-day operations.

But maybe you think “going green” is a hippie fad that sounds nice, but doesn’t make sense for your company’s bottom line. The good news is that going paperless is actually a financial benefit for the flooring industry.

We all know that vendors must provide their price lists to retailers for businesses to run smoothly. The problem is, the paper-based system is costly, disorganized, and quickly becoming outdated.

Let’s say, for example, that XYZ Distributor provides price binders to 500 retailers in the Southwest. It costs $7 to print one price binder and $1.50 to print and ship pricing updates (in a smaller manila envelope, for example). To deliver the price binders to their 500 retailers, XYZ Distributor must spend thousands of dollars to ship them across several states and/or hundreds of man-hours for sales agents to deliver these price binders in person to their retailers.

But the cost is not exclusive to the vendor. Retailers often receive emails and faxes with pricing updates from their vendors. They must print these pages, and add them to their existing price binders. They must go through this process with every new price updates, product modification, or when a product becomes out of stock. This doesn’t include the man-hours spent in and out of the office trying to contact vendors over the phone for accurate product information that is not provided in the hard copy documents.

Most vendors and retailers are already using the Internet to maintain a company web page or at least check their email. It makes good business sense to utilize VendorPriceBook.com as a tool for streamlining your business, reducing printing and shipping costs, increasing productivity, organizing access to price lists, AND helping save the environment.

This system will benefit ALL vendor and retailer relationships. And the best part, IT’S EASY. “Going green” doesn’t have to be a headache or a financial burden. VendorPriceBook.com will make your work more efficient and reduce costs created for the current paper-based system. It will save retailers and vendors time and money, and result in a satisfied end-user experience.

Going paperless with VendorPriceBook.com makes sense for the environment, and cents for your business.

To B2B or not to B2B: Making The Most of Your Business-to-Business Interactions

Business-to-Business (or B2B) communications can cause numerous problems for a number of disparate reasons. Trying to coordinate between vendors, manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers can make for a hectic schedule–and that is before a single customer even lays eyes on a product. The truth is, there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes that most customers never know about. Although complex, B2B interactions are far more common than Business-to-Consumer (B2C) interactions. If you are a flooring retailer, for example, your day-to-day operations are split between your B2B (vendor, for example) and B2C responsibilities. Part of the problem with B2B interactions is the high risk involved, as compared to B2C interactions. For example, if a retailer fails to make a sale, they may be out a few dollars. But if there is a breakdown in the B2B chain, you may be looking at a loss of thousands.

Let’s say, for example, that a flooring retailer has information from a vendor that a certain tile is available in 12″ x 12″ or 6″ x 6″. A customer orders 2 boxes of the 6″ x 6″ size. However, when the retailer calls to confirm the order, he discovers that the 6″ x 6″ size would require a special order with a wait time of three months! The customer is unwilling to wait this long.

The retailer has to make a choice: either refund the customer (and lose their confidence) or steer them towards another, similar product (and lose credibility based on product knowledge). Either way, the retailer is left at a real disadvantage–and all because of faulty, unclear, or outdated product information.

This is the twofold risk of B2B interactions: loss of profit and loss of consumer confidence/brand credibility.

VendorPriceBook.com eliminates this risk by allowing the instant sharing of updated pricing and product information between Vendors and Retailers.

For Vendors, VendorPriceBook.com offers industry-specific target marketing. Our Marketing Assistance Program provides your retailers FREE access to VendorPriceBook.com, which in turn translates to direct retailer-to-vendor (B2B) connectivity. VendorPriceBook.com takes the legwork out of rounding up info from dozens of retailers around the country–we do it for you!

For Retailers, VendorPriceBook.com is equally as beneficial. By eliminating multiple price books, our service can streamline and organize your day-to-day operations and lower your overhead in the long run. Our paperless, cloud-based system provides the maximum of ease and accessibility in this age of rapid online growth.

As for the example above, VendorPriceBook.com allows Vendors to instantly update their product information online, without having to scroll through multiple product listings on their own website, or having to send out email lists or hard copy catalogues.

Retailers, what is your main frustration with your vendors’ price books?

It’s the thorn in the side of every flooring industry retailer: vendor price books. You may have dozens scattered around the office–in binders, stuffed into drawers, propped on shelves, or hiding under coffee cups. Each price book represents a different vendor, but in your showroom, you may feature product from hundreds of different vendors. Therein lies the problem.

Being at the mercy of multiple price books can be frustrating, but more importantly, it can be costing you time and money.

For decades, this complicated system has dominated the flooring industry, and because it directly affects retailers, many vendors may not even realize its drawbacks. Inadequate communication and indifference to the status quo has combined to create an endemic, industry-wide problem. No one has questioned this productivity vacuum–until now.

VendorPriceBook.com is a website that seeks to connect vendors and retailers in the flooring industry. By posting vendors’ price books online in a single, convenient database, retailers are able to access their pricing instantly. This allows retailer salespeople to spend more time talking to their customers and less time looking up product prices. But as many drawbacks as there are to the current price book system, we believe that there are just as many benefits to VendorPriceBook.com.

We here at VendorPriceBook.com want to hear from you. Our goal is to be the “voice of retailers.” Our company was founded by a tile retailer who was fed up with the waste and frustrations caused by multiple price books, and decided to do something about it. So, what’s bugging you? Vote in our poll below.

Feel free to leave us a comment here, or check us out on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

And don’t forget to visit VendorPriceBook.com!