How home improvement stores can help customers redesign their entire room

To increase loyalty and maximize the potential for cross-selling, home improvement brands are utilizing advanced room visualization technology that can visualize multiple products and surfaces in a customer’s home in one single design experience.

When it comes to home renovation projects, people like to dream big.

A customer planning to create their dream bathroom, for example, generally won’t just be focused on the floor, or the vanity, or the shower — at least not in isolation.  

They’ll be focused on the whole picture.

And even if they’re planning for a smaller renovation, it’s not uncommon for these types of projects to expand as customers begin experimenting with designs. Maybe they initially thought a fresh coat of paint would suffice, but then fell in love with how a particular countertop or backsplash looked in tandem with the new colour on the walls. Or maybe they were looking for a new floor and found the perfect complementary wall tile along the way.

For home improvement stores, this presents a significant opportunity for cross-selling into different product categories, increasing customer loyalty, and positioning yourself as the one-stop shop for a customer’s entire DIY project.

There are many ways to achieve this, including product recommendations and demo rooms where customers can “shop the look.” But these professionally designed room scenes don’t always feel attainable. For this reason, more and more home improvement brands are turning to room visualization technology that can visualize multiple products and surfaces in a customer’s home in a single design experience.  

Here’s how it works — and how it’s benefiting customers and businesses alike.

What is room visualization?  

Let’s start with the basics.

Powered by augmented reality (AR), room visualization allows customers to see what your home improvement products — flooring, countertops, wallcoverings, and paint, to name a few — will look like in any room of their own home. They just have to upload a photo of their room, select a product from your catalog, and the room visualizer will show customers what that product will look like in their homes.

Multi-product and multi-surface visualization takes this experience to the next level, giving customers the ability to preview multiple products and surfaces simultaneously and redesign their entire space with just a few clicks.

Room visualizers typically live directly on retailer or manufacturer websites and seamlessly integrate with your product catalog and product detail pages (PDPs).

How multi-product and multi-surface visualization benefits customers

Selecting the perfect products for a home renovation is no easy feat.  

For hard-surface flooring alone, customers will have to choose between materials like solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, luxury vinyl, laminate, and tile — each of which can achieve the same type of look. Any given retailer may have hundreds, if not thousands, of design options available.

Now, imagine if your customer wanted a new countertop as well.

No wonder homeowners spend an average of six to seven months mulling over home improvement projects, from the birth of the idea to the purchasing decision. There’s a lot to consider.

Multi-product and multi-surface visualization simplifies the design process, helping customers experiment with different combinations of materials, colours, and finishes to achieve a cohesive design that suits their actual living space. It’s like having a crystal ball that shows customers exactly how their space will transform with every design decision. Seeing all these elements come together leads to better-informed and more confident purchasing decisions while removing any friction from the shopping experience.

Knowing that shoppers value one-stop shopping for all of their home improvement needs, the importance of providing a simple, seamless shopping experience should not be understated. With multi-product and multi-surface visualization, your customers won’t have to waste their time searching for products elsewhere, gathering samples, and worrying about whether or not they’re making the right choice for their home. They won’t even need to leave your website throughout the entire buying journey, from product discovery to visualization and checkout.  

Instead, they’ll have everything they need to create their dream space — right at their fingertips.  

How multi-product and multi-surface visualization benefits businesses

For home improvement brands like MSI, a leading supplier of flooring, countertop, and wall tile products in North America, the ability to visualize multiple products in a single design experience has been “a complete game-changer,” according to President Rup Shah.

By providing the end consumer with “instant gratification and increased confidence in their selections,” Shah said visualizer usage has resulted in much higher conversion rates and product engagement. In fact, MSI’s product views within the room visualizer have doubled since adding the multi-product feature. In 2023, customers viewed almost 4 million products from nearly 300,000 website sessions.

The ability to visualize multiple surfaces in a single design experience has been “a complete game-changer” for MSI.

MSI is one of several leading home improvement brands, including The Home Depot and Daltile, benefitting from using the Roomvo visualizer.  

As noted by Paij Thorn-Brooks, vice president of marketing at Daltile, visualizing an entire room design — as opposed to a single surface — maximizes the potential to cross-sell into different surface categories and increase the total value of an order.   

“When customers can see what a final space will actually look like, including floor, wall, mosaic and countertop components, they are more likely to want the ‘entire package,’” Thorn-Brooks explained. “If customers can see it, they will want it.” And if they had an enjoyable experience interacting with your brand, chances are they’ll keep coming back for more.

After completing one design project, 86% of homeowners feel motivated to renovate other parts of their home. By providing an impeccable customer experience with room visualization, you can help ensure they’ll continue to choose your brand over your competitors.

Be more to your customers than just one product or surface

As a home improvement store, one of your unique selling points is the wide selection of products that you carry. In fact, that’s one of the top two reasons homeowners shop at home improvement stores over other types of retailers. Multi-product and multi-surface visualization aligns perfectly with your business, reinforcing your position as the complete solution to a customer’s home design projects — no matter how big or small.

Written by:

  • Farhan Devji

    Farhan Devji is a published author and content writer who’s written for some of Canada’s biggest newspapers and worked in communications/marketing for close to a decade. His new book, Alphonso Davies: A New Hope, was published in May 2023 with ECW Press.

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