So, you’re a home improvement retailer and you want to use a room visualizer.
By now, it’s clear that room visualization is not only the future of the industry, but already an essential part of the purchasing experience. By giving consumers the ability to see different products in their own homes without having to rely on the traditional method of providing physical samples, you’re creating an immediate emotional attachment and significantly increasing your chances of making a sale.
Perhaps room visualization is already part of your strategy, but you aren’t reaping the rewards from your current solution, or it’s not serving your growing needs as a business. Maybe you’re looking for cost-effective ways to “level up” and get ahead of your competition.
In either case, you have two options.
You can try to build and improve upon an in-house tool, or you can partner with a platform that specializes in room visualization. As explained by Josh Ruff, the vice president of revenue at Roomvo, more and more home improvement retailers are opting for the latter.
“With the amount of financial and human resources, knowledge, and expertise that’s required to build and maintain a room visualization platform, nine times out of 10 you’re better served to see what’s out there in the market,” Ruff said. “With outsourcing, you’re saving time and money.”
Offloading innovation and investing in a long-term roadmap
Technology moves fast.
Cellphones barely resemble what they were even five years ago. Camera quality has improved drastically. Augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are continually becoming more advanced, seemingly by the day.
Is your visualization software keeping up?
“Building it is just one very small piece of the broader puzzle,” Ruff explained. “If you’re not innovating, your tool becomes outdated in 12 to 24 months and you’re back to square one.”
If you’re a retailer, your core business function is, well, selling your products. You might have your hands full simply trying to maintain your in-house room visualizer — let alone innovating and building upon it. But you don’t have to accept the status quo and get left behind.
The best way to future-proof your business is to partner with a company that specializes in room visualization. That way, you’re offloading the innovation and investing in a long-term roadmap, rather than simply getting access to a stagnant tool. At Roomvo, for example, any customer at any given time has access to the most updated version of their proprietary technology — without any added costs.
And it’s always evolving.
“That is our core business,” Ruff said. “Technology and innovation.”
Initially, the company started out using a traditional AR technology where users could hold up their phones and project a product into their room. But usage rates dropped off quickly because users had to download an app. Nowadays, they can simply upload a photo of their room, select a product, and see it in their space within a matter of seconds. No downloads or data entry necessary.
More and more products are also being added to the Roomvo visualizer. Not only can users preview flooring and area rugs in their space, they also have the option to view countertops, wallpaper/wall coverings, and paint — all consolidated into a single user experience. In fact, Ruff said there are some major enhancements coming to their paint visualizer that will significantly improve its ability to accurately detect a user’s wall and apply colour to it while maintaining the texture of the surface.
“We are constantly innovating on the platform,” he said.
A scalable solution that supports the growth of your business
Much like your room visualizer needs to keep up with emerging technologies, it also needs to support the growth of your business. As you grow, you’re going to have more products. You might want to expand geographically and branch into a new market.
“To build a system that’s flexible and can accommodate all those things is very costly,” Ruff said.
As a result, most custom-designed room visualizers are more limited in scope. That was the case for Swiss Krono Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wood-based building and interior décor products. For years, they’d been using a custom solution. But over time, they found it increasingly difficult to maintain and scale to the growing demands of the company’s many business units. As a global operation that distributes products in more than 120 countries, they needed a visualizer that could be easily integrated across multiple brands, websites, and languages.
And that’s one of the main reasons they outsourced to Roomvo.
As Ruff noted, “scalability can mean a lot of different things.” And a lot of times, these are things that need to be considered at the early stages of product development.
Is your room visualizer built to scale?
Getting the most out of your visualizer
As with any tool, a room visualizer can be what you make of it.
Are you investing in the technology? Is your system easily scalable? Do you have a support team in place?
According to Ruff, the overarching support component is often overlooked by retailers operating their own in-house visualization software and why some ultimately decide to outsource.
“There are two different ways you can think about support,” he said. “One is your traditional support of the technology. I’ve built this thing, now what? You need ongoing support just to keep the tool running smoothly and to make sure all the products are in there. The second piece is, especially with visualization, who’s actually helping you drive the ideal state of implementation?”
That’s one of the major benefits of partnering with a company like Roomvo: they’ll do the heavy lifting and help set you up for success. Not only will they manage everything from onboarding to product data ingestion to technical support, they’ll also provide industry trends, best practices, and a comprehensive analytics package through a dedicated customer success manager.
Which of your products are being viewed most, and in what spaces? What are the popular colours and textures? What are your competitors up to?
You’ll get answers to those questions and more.
“You get consumer-level insights that can really help drive marketing messaging and product decisions,” Ruff said.
For some home improvement executives, room visualization can be a headache. But it doesn’t have to be that way. For peace of mind and proven results, contact the Roomvo team to learn more about outsourcing your room visualization.