We’re living in a digital world.
That’s been clear for a while. And even more so since the COVID-19 pandemic, which coincided with a significant shift in the expectations of today’s consumers.
Shoppers want products faster. They want the option to shop online, without having to leave the comfort of their own homes. And, perhaps above all, they want a seamless shopping experience that is tailored to their own unique needs.
Last week, Roomvo hosted a webinar with IGI titled, Elevating the digital experience with room visualization: Meeting the expectations of today’s consumers. Our vice president of revenue Josh Ruff was joined by Daltile vice president of residential sales Patrick Warren to give insight on the digital experience in 2023, the benefits of room visualization, and best practices.
“The consumer has evolved,” said Warren. “At Daltile, and our three brands, we found that we had to evolve with the accelerated change of the consumer, how they purchase, and what journey they’re going on to ensure they’re getting the product they’re looking for. That’s been very important to us.”
Here’s how your business can evolve, too.
Introducing personalization across the entire buyer journey
Everyone appreciates a personal touch.
A personalized email, rather than a templated one. A personalized gift, rather than a Starbucks gift card. And, yes, a personalized shopping experience.
According to a recent study from McKinsey & Company, 71% of consumers expect companies to provide personalized interactions. And 76% of them are frustrated when this doesn’t happen.
“Consumers don’t just want personalization,” the authors stated. “They demand it.”
And they demand it at every touchpoint. Not just in-store, where a sales rep can speak to a consumer to get a sense of their preferences. But also online, where almost every shopper now begins their purchase journey.
From the perspective of consumers, personalization has become a necessity. McKinsey found that 78% of consumers are more likely to recommend and repurchase from a company that personalizes the shopping experience, driving brand loyalty during a time when it’s increasingly harder to come by.
“If you get personalization right, the rewards can be transformative,” Ruff said.
Transforming the shopping experience with visualization
So, how exactly can businesses offer a more interactive shopping experience? For home improvement companies, visualization should be near the top of the list.
Take Roomvo, for example.
Using Roomvo’s augmented reality (AR) visualization platform, manufacturers and retailers can easily transform the online and in-store shopping experience.. The platform allows customers to preview what different products are going to look like in their own space — rather than in a staged room.
“You can’t get any more personalized than seeing what a product is going to look like in your home,” Ruff said. “You can look at a sample, that’s one thing. But when you see a room come to life, that’s where the magic happens.”
If your customer wants new wallpaper in their living room, for example, they simply have to upload a photo of their living room from their mobile device or computer. Then, within seconds, they’ll be able to browse through your wallpaper catalogue and see what design suits their space. The same goes for countertops, backsplashes, flooring, rugs, and Roomvo’s newest offering: paint.
The goal, according to Ruff, is to “turn more browsers into buyers.” And that has certainly been the case for Roomvo’s thousands of retail and manufacturer partners, who have seen up to 5x conversions since adopting their room visualizer.
Making visualization work for your business
Visualization isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all solution. Different companies may have different needs and business goals, so it’s important that you make visualization work for you.
That, precisely, is what Daltile has done.
As the leading manufacturer and distributor of ceramic tile, porcelain tile, and natural stone in the U.S., Daltile partnered with Roomvo in 2022 to launch their “Stylizer” that gives customers the ability to preview a combination of floor, wall, and countertops all in a single user experience — rather than looking at these products independently. Because if someone is renovating their home, chances are they’ll be more interested in multiple products.
“Whether it’s wallpaper, furniture, cabinets, tile, backsplash, or flooring,” Warren said, “any time you can bundle those together will ensure success.”
Warren said that Daltile has really focused on working with their staff and dealers to leverage Roomvo’s visualizer as a “selling tool,” and not just something that’s neat to look at. For Daltile, the visualizer isn’t meant to replace the in-person shopping experience because that’s still important to a lot of consumers.
Instead, it’s meant to complement it.
“Specifically, for us, we’re very SKU intensive,” Warren said. “We have a lot of products, a lot of colours, a lot of sizing, so it’s very hard to get that message across successfully in a dealer showroom. There are a lot of products there. What the visualization tool allows us and our three brands is to provide that consumer with access to a tremendous amount of SKU that they may not be able to see in a dealer showroom. We believe it’s a one-two punch.”
Embracing new technology
One of the best ways to meet the expectations of today’s consumers and future-proof your company is to embrace new technology. Ruff pointed to Apple as a prime example.
Most recently, they released a new AR and virtual reality (VR) headset, the Apple Vision Pro. The use of such technologies was already on the rise, with $4 billion invested in AR and VR since 2021. And now, Ruff expects companies to double down even further.
“There’s no question that Apple drives the market,” Ruff said. “They have been the catalyst for broader adoption of newer technology.”
For visualization platforms like Roomvo, who specialize in augmented reality, this will only lead to further innovations and more immersive experiences for the consumer. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said last fall, there will come a point in time — in the not-so-distant future — when people will wonder how they led a life without augmented reality.
“The consumer is going to want to go where they can visualize more products,” Ruff said. “Everyone’s going to want to play in this space.”
Watch the webinar to learn more about how Roomvo visualization can help your company deliver a best-in-class shopping experience.