For a lot of people, the winter holidays represent the “most wonderful time of the year.”
And for retailers, they can be the most profitable too.
On average, the months of November and December accounted for close to 20% of total retail sales over the last five years. This should come as no surprise, considering that some of the biggest annual shopping events — Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day — fall during this period.
And while holiday sales are slowing in some industries as consumers try to cope with the rising cost of living, home decor/improvement businesses appear to be among the least affected.
So, is your business ready to capitalize on the crucial months ahead? As much as it’s an opportunity, the holiday shopping surge also comes with its challenges — limited availability of samples, staffing shortages, more returns, and more competition, to name a few.
Here’s how room visualization can help you overcome them.
A new way of sampling
As a home decor brand, you know how important samples are in the buyer journey. With flooring, countertops, and wall coverings, for example, people typically want to see your products up close and personal, and, ideally, in their own homes before going ahead with a purchase.
If you don’t carry an abundance of samples, or deliver them in a timely manner, you could be missing out on leveraging the increased demand during the busier times of the year.
Unless you provide an alternative solution, that is.
For many home decor retailers and manufacturers, that solution is Roomvo’s industry-leading room visualizer. With Roomvo, customers are able to visualize your products in their homes using a cellphone or desktop, “eliminating the need for physical samples,” as The Home Depot stated in their visualizer launch. And for those who still want a closer look, The Home Depot also offers Roomvo’s 3D virtual sample option that allows users to zoom in on products for details like texture.
These digital alternatives bring your entire product catalog to your customers’ fingertips without the limitations of physical samples, decreasing the amount of time they might require to make a purchase.
Self-service shopping experience
If you have a brick-and-mortar storefront or showroom, you can probably expect to see more foot traffic during the holiday season. This means your retail sales associates may not have as much time with each individual customer, which could result in lost sales. The obvious way to combat this challenge is to have more people working, but it’s not the only one.
With Roomvo, you can also set up your showroom with self-service shopping experiences that help keep your customers in-store for longer, generate warm leads, and drive on-the-spot sales.
So, how does this all work?
It could be as simple as placing Roomvo QR Codes on product samples and displays. Once a customer scans the code on their cellphone, they’ll be taken to the visualization page on your website and be able to see the product come to life in demo rooms or their own living spaces.
Additionally, with Roomvo Kiosk, customers can use the room visualizer on interactive touchscreen displays — either independently or in collaboration with your sales staff — and get access to your entire product catalog, beyond the samples you have on display. If they’re not ready to make a purchase, they can then send themselves or someone else a list of their favourite products. And your sales team will receive a copy of the email with their contact info and list of SKUs, making it easy to follow up.
After seeing your products visualized in their homes with Roomvo’s technology, shoppers are up to 5x more likely to make a purchase. So, even if your sales reps aren’t available to hold your customer’s hand in the showroom, Roomvo can help do the job for them.
Optimized e-commerce website
People love shopping online around the holidays. In fact, Cyber Monday alone drove $11.3 billion in e-commerce sales last year, making it the biggest online shopping day of all time.
If your home decor business has e-commerce capabilities, you need to be doing everything you can to optimize your website for this online spending spree — from creating product pages that sell, to providing different types of engaging content experiences.
Room visualizers check both those boxes.
Flooret, an online-only retailer, launched their Roomvo-powered visualizer in December 2018 and found that visitor time on site had more than doubled, bounce rates had fallen, and sales volume had increased by more than 20% in the four months that followed.
Without the ability to show off your products in person, room visualization is the best way to instill consumer confidence and turn your website browsers into buyers.
Unsurprisingly, more online sales typically lead to more returns. They go hand-in-hand, which is why retailers typically see the highest levels of returns around the holidays.
In fact, holiday returns cost U.S. retailers upwards of $100 billion in 2020, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation. The survey also found that 11.5% of home improvement orders were returned in 2020 — only the auto parts and apparel industries had higher return rates.
Safe to say, this can be a very real (and costly) challenge.
That’s why it’s important to not only have high-quality product imagery, but also a room visualizer that delivers an ultra-realistic simulation of what your products are going to look like in a customer’s home. Roomvo’s proprietary visualization technology accomplishes this by expertly detecting different surfaces and lighting conditions in the customer’s original photo, resulting in smoother edges and lifelike detail in the final rendering.
If people know exactly what they’re getting, and how your products are going to look in their space, they’ll be far more likely to keep those products where they belong: in their homes.
Your competitive advantage
How can you set yourself apart from the competition?
That’s an important question at any time of the year, but even more so during the highly competitive holiday season when shoppers are bombarded with all sorts of discounts, promotions, and communications from brands trying to get a share of their wallets.
For home decor businesses, providing a fun, frictionless shopping experience that makes it easier for customers to find their perfect match could be the answer.
“It takes away all the worry they had, and helps them get to a purchasing decision faster,” Scott Levy, president of Arley Wholesale Inc., said of Roomvo’s visualizer. “If you can get to customers in their home, and your competitor can’t, you’ve got the competitive advantage.”