In a digital age where consumers can take inspiration from millions of home improvement project ideas across multiple channels, home retailers need to
adopt new strategies that overcome information overload and provide a top resource for successful project planning.
Today, the huge expanse of information available to consumers risks them feeling overwhelmed. When undertaking home improvements, they are faced with the challenge of making high stake and high value purchase decisions but are presented with an over-abundance of options to choose from. While providing a helpful source of inspiration, this can also complicate the decision-making process and make it less exciting, with a growing number of customers regretting their purchases as a result.
Retailers need to strike a balance, providing new ways to stand apart from their competitors and provide exceptional customer experiences that help to guide their customers through the purchase journey. With the help of solutions such as 3D planning, retailers can ease the pressure of decision-making when it comes to home improvements, and prevent over-information by presenting customers with high quality and relevant content that cuts through the noise.
According to recent research undertaken by the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI), 33 percent of homeowners had lingering regrets about their home improvement projects, with more than a third wishing they had invested more money into the finished result. What’s more, regretters were more likely to have used a wide range of inspirational sources, especially television, magazines and social media; and it is not just budget that consumers are led to regret:
Research by Houzz.com reported that the majority of consumers will take between 12 and 36 months to kickstart their home remodeling projects. The wealth of information available has resulted in an extended research stage and this has impacted the timelines for project completion, delaying the ‘time to value’ or ROI for customers. There is also the risk of consumers becoming impatient, leading them to abandon their plans or make snap decisions in order to progress the project, which they may regret at a later date.
Home remodeling is a major life event and needs to be treated accordingly. When deciding which furniture to buy and fixtures to fit, consumers will often cut corners, distracted by show stopping trends and special offers. However, by doing this, they miss out on what they actually want or need in terms of product sets. The consumer is then left with home designs that either lack longevity or are not customized exactly to their tastes, needing further remodeling in the future and costing more money than if products had been chosen more effectively.
Not every consumer has the budget to call in a professional designer, with many opting to ‘do it themselves’ and plan projects where they can directly source products from home retailers. However, without engaging with a professional there are many things that can go wrong. A missed inch when taking measurements can require an entire refit and with an overwhelming number of product options to choose from, validation by an industry professional to check the viability of the project and receive installation advice will often prove critical to the project’s success.
As a result of ‘over-inspiration’, it is becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to pull the trigger and complete a purchase; they feel hesitant to commit, delaying decisions in order to shop around and undergo comparative product research. This is having a detrimental impact on home retailers, who have to work even harder and allocate more resources to satisfy any customer concerns and get those deals across the line.
In order to overcome this, a personalized approach is key. By incorporating a 3D planning solution, such as HomeByMe Furniture and Decor Planner, retailers can provide unique experiences that support consumers from the very initial research stage, through to the in-store experience and, finally, completing their purchase. With the ability to enter their exact measurements, users can quickly generate personalized product set recommendations that provide helpful references and inspiration, alongside access to expansive digital product catalogs. All designs can then be viewed in hyper-realistic 3D renderings that can be downloaded, displaying a true to life representation of how products will integrate into the user’s own home.
3D planning solutions also enable consumers and retailers alike to leverage the expertise of in-store staff to provide professional guidance and validation, with user profiles that allow for designs to be accessed from any location. This is in addition to thousands of in-built design rules, which incorporate guidance from professional bodies such as the NKBA for the highest quality designs, flagging any design conflicts or errors immediately to the user. When in-store, consumers can then carry out further due diligence, they can touch and feel furnishings, or try out appliances and electronics, for further reassurance ahead of making a purchase.
By incorporating a 3D planning solution into their strategy, retailers can streamline the in-store and online experience for the right balance of inspiration, planning and professional support for their customers. The results are high quality, hyper-relevant services and product recommendations that are within budget and in line with customer aspirations.