The purchase journey needs to provide guidance for the customer at every point, allowing seamless transitions between in-store and online experiences.
In recent years the automotive industry has put the wheels in motion for a digital overhaul of its business practices. Industry leaders have leveraged new game-changing technology to differentiate their brands from the competition and change the rules of engagement between retailers and their customers.
Cloud-based solutions have served as the main disruptor, allowing automotive retailers to effectively embrace e-commerce and provide consumers with everything they need to buy a new car across channels, from any location. By utilizing the latest technology, businesses have been able to update legacy systems and archaic business processes, streamlining their operations and offering more efficient omnichannel customer journeys – from brand awareness, to a brand-new car on their driveway.
New studies have found that 20% of all UK cars are expected to be sold online within the next 10 years, representing a £41 billion revenue shift from offline to online sales. Worldwide, more than one third of customers would now consider buying a car online.
So, why is this important for kitchen retailers? What can be learnt?
The crossover between the kitchen retail and automotive sectors
Similar to cars, kitchens represent high value and, therefore, high risk purchases for consumers – they want to be 100% confident in their choice of make, model and the exact specifications. But when operating this extremely bespoke service, where every component can be customized by the consumer, there are many moving parts that can also result in added complication. This can breed uncertainty amongst consumers, who look for reassurance from detailed and easily accessible sources of information.
Range management is also incredibly challenging for both sectors, which offer huge product ranges that span into thousands of components, often with only subtle distinctions between them. Without the necessary clarity when performing a comparison, the customer journey can lose momentum, risking indecision which can result in an abandoned purchase.
Solutions are therefore required that make complicated product information easily understandable for non-professionals, reducing the need for sales staff intervention. The purchase journey needs to provide guidance for the customer at every point, allowing seamless transitions between in-store and online experiences, propelling them towards completing transactions and receiving the benefits.
The transition from car showrooms to online e-commerce using cloud-based solutions
Integrating e-commerce into the sales portfolio provides consumers in the market for a new car with greater autonomy. This in turn frees up crucial staff resources, something previously unachievable due to the complex nature of automotive product offerings. Offering information and guidance that does not necessarily require a salesperson present, means more customers can be served per day. They can easily move between in-store and online channels, conducting research and arranging test drives or showroom appointments for ‘hands on’ validation, before proceeding to purchase either online or by visiting the showroom.
Cloud-based solutions also enable a smoother transfer of highly technical information, removing the margins for error associated with manual order processing to simplify transactions and ensure compliance with the relevant receipts, guarantees, warranty and certifications. Further value is delivered through added features such as online chatbots that speak directly to a product expert or 3D product imaging, where users can examine each and every component detail in 360-degree precision.
All of these benefits can be applied to kitchen retailers – and more.
How the HomeByMe 3D planning solution can bring the same benefits to kitchen retailers
The HomeByMe for Kitchen Retailers 3D planning solution provides an easy to use platform where entire kitchen layouts can be created in minutes – white labeled to fit with any brand’s image. The solution itself is also fully customizable, providing entirely unique experiences for each customer, specific to their selections and requirements. Product set recommendations can be generated after inputting the room dimensions and selecting the relevant room shape, guiding users through their projects. This delivers inspiration for users and upsell opportunities for retailers. Alternatively, a design can be completely custom built from scratch, with every component handpicked to complement the customer’s requirements and taste.
Product selections in the platform are complete with detailed product information, including exact measurements and 360-degree images to educate and inform users’ expectations. Additionally, automated business rules guide customers through their design journey, highlighting any potential design conflicts and ensuring high quality, compliant designs that are sales ready. Realistic 3D renderings of design projects also assist users, they are downloadable, shareable and give an accurate visualization of end-results that replicates the in-store experience.
These features work in harmony to give consumers all they need to feel informed, reassured and confident of their purchase decisions – shortening the sales cycle and increasing conversions.
As kitchen retail begins to step into the digital arena, cloud-based solutions that can be white labeled provide a cost-effective and time efficient route to market. They allow retailers to overhaul and streamline internal business processes, whilst giving customers a customizable platform that addresses omnichannel needs.
Essentially, investment into new technology and digital services offers unparalleled potential and returns, aiding the sale of ‘big ticket’ items while improving customer satisfaction. Whether an automotive company or a kitchen retailer, the right cloud-based solution is the perfect vehicle to drive success for future business strategies.
To read more about how kitchen retailers can integrate 3D planning to drive the omnichannel experience, you can find our dedicated blog post here.