Investing in web-based 3D planning technology is vital if kitchen retailers wish to attract and keep tech-savvy consumers and encourage them in store.
Now, more than ever, we are aware of the impact of change. We are continually adapting to new scenarios and climates that affect the way we work, live and consume. Across the board, customers are becoming more tech-savvy and their expectations are rising. Kitchen retailers need to keep up by taking a closer look at what their requirements are today, and anticipating what they will be tomorrow.
You will no doubt be able to offer your customers the ability to use some of the fantastic planning technology that is available in kitchen design. A planning and design solution is a must-have, however does yours do everything it needs to? Is it working hard for your business and your customers? Are you limited to planning in-store? Or do you have the vital capability to offer your customers the freedom to design their dream kitchen – and start their purchase journey – from the comfort of their own homes?
The changing customer landscape
Apart from practical and technological reasons for upgrading your software – new solutions are more scalable and integrable into all areas of the business, they are more flexible and adaptable to user feedback, and they provide faster tools and other enhancements that allow you to become more competitive and efficient – it is also important to take into account the changing customer landscape.
As customers become more technologically adept they also become more independent, preferring to do much of their own research and decision-making. Empowering customers to get involved in their own kitchen designs means greater investment in the project, which means a more likely sale.
Customers’ growing expectations of service and the frictionless ease of use of appropriate technology is also rapidly growing and changing. If consumers can transfer money with a few taps, order meals and upgrade their services online easily, then they expect to be able to do just about everything online. This means using all channels available to them when it comes to retail, i.e. at any time, with access to the latest design trends and a complete catalog.
Investing in web-based 3D planning technology is vital if kitchen retailers wish to attract, and keep, these tech-savvy consumers – and encourage them into store. With 87 percent of consumers starting their buying journey on a digital channel, brands need to ensure they have a strong digital presence, especially in a crowded retail market, in order to remain competitive.
Rising to the challenge
Consumers are also becoming less loyal; with so much choice now available online, they have the ability to shop around and research more than ever. And as they become more experience-oriented, retailers need to look at their overall offering. A recent study by Deloitte revealed that customers’ behavior is changing thanks to technology, which offers them greater competitive options. As the environment evolves, so does the consumer.
In addition, consumers are becoming more educated and knowledgeable, and prefer a more efficient way of shopping. For instance, they are spending less time on traveling to a store, and more on research. According to the authors of the article, The consumer is changing, but not how you think: “If retailers and consumer product companies want to cater effectively to changing consumer needs and identify new pockets of opportunity, it is imperative for them to understand the demographic, economic, and competitive milieu that the consumer is reacting to.” By investing in a cloud-based, automated digital offering, retailers are able to adapt to consumer demand as it evolves, while enhancing the purchasing process.
While research has shown an increasing number of customers prefer to research online, many continue to make their purchases in-store, with the assistance of sales professionals who can add value by advising and ultimately placing the order. This is particularly relevant to DIY shoppers who may create their own personalized design online, before booking a consultation to get an expert opinion, perfect it, and finalize the budget.
An omnichannel retail offering, such as that offered by the HomeByMe for Kitchen Retailers 3D planning solution, ensures customers can take their time and manage their budget. At the same time, it empowers them to use their creative skills to design their own space using an engaging and intuitive solution, while having the support of a professional who can validate and finalize the sale in-store.
By providing their customers with a unique experience in designing their own kitchen to spec, kitchen retailers are adding enormous value to the buying journey and overall experience, while increasing their opportunity to upsell and drive traffic into their showrooms. The question is: can you say the same for your incumbent kitchen planning technology?