Webinar recap: Using flooring visualization data to steer smarter business decisions

Flooring businesses are harnessing room visualization data to gain consumer insights and guide product development, merchandising, and marketing strategies.


Consumer expectations are higher than ever before.

This much, we know.

No longer do customers shop the way that you sell, especially in the post-pandemic world. You must sell the way that they shop. But here’s the challenge for flooring brands: the way that customers shop for flooring continues to evolve — as does the type of flooring they’re shopping for.

And it can be hard to keep up.

To stay competitive and meet the evolving demands of today’s consumers, there’s a critical need for deeper insights into consumer behavior. This was the topic of Roomvo’s latest webinar, “Beyond trends: Navigating 2024 with data and analytics.”

The webinar explores the type of data that room visualization platforms can unleash and how to harness this data to steer smarter business decisions.

It features insights from guest speaker Todd Skidmore, senior director of digital marketing, e-commerce, and analytics Mohawk Industries —  the largest manufacturer, distributor, and marketer of ceramic tile and natural stone in the world. The event is hosted by Roomvo director of customer success Josh McKissock and features insights from Roomvo senior director of strategy Brandon Shidlowski.

Flooring manufacturers and retailers are faced with unique challenges

As a manufacturer, Skidmore says some of the biggest challenges that Mohawk faces is understanding where the flooring industry is going and trying to deal with its complexity.  

“Product innovation now is happening so fast that you have lots of different product types,” he said, highlighting advances made in the resilient flooring space as an example.

Unlike other types of products, people aren’t buying flooring every month or even every year. As Skidmore noted, it may be closer to seven years between flooring purchases. So, flooring manufacturers essentially have to re-educate the consumer about all the latest developments whenever they’re ready to shop for flooring and then drive them to retailer websites to ideally make a purchase.

This involves a high degree of coordination and collaboration between manufacturers and retailers.

Seven years ago, consumers might not have used a retailer’s website, “because it may not have existed,” Skidmore noted. Nowadays, most consumers are starting their shopping journeys online and expect to see what products retailers have to offer.

For a retailer who may be carrying hundreds if not thousands of products from different manufacturers, that’s easier said than done.

“They want to show their products, they need to show their products, but that requires them to somehow get that data from dozens of manufacturers, find a way to standardize it so they can display products in a consistent manner, and then keep them up to date when those products are changing at difference cadences throughout the year,” said Shidlowski. “That’s a crazy task.”

Clearly, the landscape has changed. The question is: how should flooring brands respond?

Doubling down on the digital experience

For Skidmore’s team of digital marketers and e-commerce managers at Mohawk, the focus is on meeting consumers where they shop, providing a best-in-class digital experience across all platforms, and, most importantly, driving leads.

Roomvo helps them tick all those boxes.

“That’s obviously one of the reasons that we’ve developed a partnership with Roomvo,” said Skidmore. “To be able to distribute our products to as many retailers as possible, in the most visual and compelling way that’s going to help drive consumer engagement and ultimately consumer purchase.”

Through the Roomvo Partner Program, Mohawk’s retail partners are given access to Roomvo’s visualization platform to embed on their own websites, allowing consumers to preview products in their homes with just a few clicks, as well as an enhanced product catalog.

As Shidlowski noted, most retailers don’t want to worry about the digital side of their business. This allows them to focus on what they do best: selling floors.

“It’s a way to help your retailers create an engaging experience on their website that keeps consumers there longer, and ultimately transact,” he said. “That’s the goal.”

Unlocking consumer insights using room visualization data

So, where does data and analytics come into play?

Using real-time data gleaned from the Roomvo visualizer, flooring brands can now access unparalleled insights into consumer preferences and behaviors, including what categories and colors are trending, where customers are shopping from regionally, what materials they’re visualizing the most, and what room type they’re uploading, in addition to a host of other metrics.

Crucially, manufacturers can track the viewership numbers across their entire retail network.  

“Data is always better when the sampling size is larger,” said Skidmore. “So, I think that’s the biggest benefit you get. You’re looking at a wide variety of dealers, and you can also start to understand geographic differences because you have enough of a sampling size … If we only had our brand sites, that’s potentially not enough information to drive the reach or the locality of things and the specifics when you get to a certain geographic area.”

Skidmore said his team is always looking at the types of products and categories that are driving engagement and leads, and such data can be a “leading indicator.”

“You will see color trends that start to happen over time, depending on what’s going on in the industry,” he said. “And you’ll see that consistently with design approaches, as well as performance type pieces that people are looking for, whether that be waterproof or pet-friendly. Those are all important things that we’re focused on and making sure the decisions we’re making from a product development perspective are matching what consumers are actually engaging with.”

In addition to product development, Shidlowski said understanding consumer trends in real-time allows manufacturers to manage their inventory more effectively and tailor their marketing strategies, which helps to reduce costs. If you’re seeing that customers are visualizing certain products in their living room, for instance, you can adjust your lifestyle imagery accordingly.

And Shidlowski believes this is only the beginning.

“These insights, at scale, are going to become increasingly more powerful,” he said.

Watch the webinar to learn more about how to harness reliable, real-time consumer data that can help drive your flooring business forward.

Download Roomvo’s 2024 Flooring Trends Report to access the latest flooring consumer behaviors and preferences, including the hottest colors, styles, and materials.

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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