For home retailers reopening their stores, appointments and consultations must be an efficient and effective driver of footfall to maximize sales.

A 3D planning solution can help sales teams to streamline the consultation process, adding value even before customers enter the store.

As home retailers begin to plan ahead for the change in retail landscape, the trick lies in getting the most out of each appointment and turning around sales quickly. In order to achieve this, home retail brands must view the in-store consultation process as the final stage of a seamless omnichannel experience, utilizing 3D planning solutions to streamline the process even before customers enter the store.

The traditional consultation process, despite being the mainstay of the home retail industry, has had its drawbacks. With limitations on the number of customers that an in-store expert could serve within a day, it can be a time-consuming process. The timeframe to close a sale differs for each individual, ranging from hours to weeks before a sale is completed. The in-store expert must ideate with and inspire customers, work out final sale specifications and agree costs for every sale. Optimizing this process will enable shorter time-to-revenue and enhance productivity, contributing to both the top and bottom line.

Engaging potential customers before they come into store

To support the consultation process and to speed up time to sale from beginning to end, home retail brands are opting for 3D planning solutions such as HomeByMe Furniture and Decor Planner. The solution helps streamline sales in three ways:

  1. Better engagement with customers

Market research suggests that 43% of home improvement shoppers carry out their research online but a majority of them make the final purchase in-store after consultation with a sales professional. (Source: ChargeBacks911) The HomeByMe Furniture and Decor Planner 3D planning solution empowers digital DIY natives to build out their own homes piece by piece online, personalizing their dimensions and details from furniture to fittings. The platform is intuitive and easy to use, allowing consumers the flexibility and tools to create a design that closely matches their vision – all from the comfort of their home and in their own time.

With access to highly realistic renders, customers can visualize how these designs will look and make as many changes as they need. Building up this level of engagement with the design encourages familiarity with the retail catalog, and also builds up buy-in for the design, making customers far more likely to complete the purchase when they visit the store.

  1. Better insights into customer expectations

It is not just the retail shopping landscape that is changing but also customer expectations and demands. With trends changing numerous times every season, the more that sales experts are in tune with the latest trends, the more likely they are to be able to recommend products that consumers prefer. This is why the HomeByMe Furniture and Decor Planner 3D planning solution is important. With hundreds of designs being uploaded on the platform at any time, the solution acts like a trend aggregator and provides data-driven insights into the design preferences and expectations of the target audience.

With so many customers making decisions regarding their home and décor online, the platform can offer useful insights to in-store consultants on what consumers might want, even before they set foot in the store. This means that when it comes to showroom consultations, sales experts already have insights into each customer’s designs, style preferences and budget range, thus reducing the time and number of in-store visits required to close a sale.

  1. Inspire and create confidence in the purchase

Home improvement projects are considered high-involvement and high-risk purchases by consumers, not just because of the financial outlay but because the end product plays such a major role in buyers’ everyday lives. One of the most important roles of the in-store expert is to provide guidance and reassurance about a consumer’s choices.

‘How will the design look in real life?’ can be a major stumbling block to closing a sale. Unlike a 2D plan, which is hard for a layman to understand, the HomeByMe Furniture and Decor Planner 3D planning solution reduces purchase risk by providing highly realistic 3D renders of a room so that consumers know exactly what their space will look like. All of this helps speed up decision-making and close the in-store sales loop.

Market edge with the HomeByMe 3D platform

Home retailers should not ignore the importance of an in-store consultation for an effective omnichannel purchase journey. Store consultants can play a pivotal role in moving an interested customer towards the sale. Empowered with data-backed insights into a customer’s preferences and dislikes, in-store experts can improve productivity and conversion rates significantly.

The HomeByMe Furniture and Decor Planner 3D planning solution connects the dots between a buyer’s online and offline journey. By allowing customers to create their own home décor plans online, the platform can offer useful insights to in-store professionals even before a customer comes into their store for the sale, helping to deliver a true omnichannel experience and cutting time-to-revenue.

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