From in store to online how retailers can integrate 3d planning to drive the omnichannel experience

A variety of tools are available for retailers and consumers today to help better design and visualize a kitchen remodel during the planning process.

From in–house systems and CAD-based software to online configurators and room planners, 3D design is now instrumental within the industry; but achieving a seamless experience across channels presents a challenge to retailers. A solution is needed where customers and sales professionals can easily access and share their kitchen designs from multiple platforms and touchpoints – both online and in-store. Disparate, disconnected solutions are no longer enough to service the demands of an omnichannel audience.  

With the introduction of cloud-based 3D planning software, users can design a kitchen, living room or entire home within a web browser environment, opening the door for retailers to offer an in-store solution that can be replicated on their website. White-labeled or branded to the shop front they desire, retailers can now offer the ease and usability of 3D software across channels, with complete access to a customer’s designs in a click. By shortening the time sales professionals spend on this planning process in-store, their efforts can be refocused on those extra touches to improve the overall customer experience and secure the sale instead.  

Integrating systems for a comprehensive customer view 

To appeal to a fast-paced retail market for consumers, extending the in–store experience online offers a great opportunity to encourage 24x7 browsing. This is achieved by presenting an always open store environment for meeting customers’ design requirements and offering next–level convenience.  

Retailers need to facilitate customer demand to seamlessly move between bricks and mortar stores and ecommerce websites, starting projects online and picking up where they left off in-store. This would mean that a customer can walk into any store, anywhere in the world, and access their designs through their user account. Customers can also grant access to the retailer, unlocking additional benefits; sales professionals, for example, can ensure they have the existing designs and preferences of a customer to provide a far more personalized shopping experience. 

CRM integrations can also be used to tailor marketing campaigns and promotions. With greater insight into a customer’s preferred style, even room layout, retailers are able to better fulfill the demand for personalization and send highly relevant content at the right time, encouraging a call to action and accelerating the purchase journey. 

Providing options through access to extensive online catalogs  

To remain competitive, kitchen retailers are expected to provide a wealth of product options to consumers, raising the likelihood of finding suitable products and securing a sale. But this results in an immense catalog of stock to maintain and audit on the website, too. Each product is meticulously photographed and imaged, including detailed notes on their sizes and dimensions – a resource intensive exercise.  

Retailers can make this process more efficient by integrating their 3D planning solutions with their product catalog. Every stock item can be itemized and transferred onto the website as a 3D image. Once a 3D image has been created with the 4-, 5- and C-axis dimensions, images can be made to swivel and move. Users can create their own kitchen layouts by moving items or to fit their ideal layout, which means users can feel the effect of being in their newly designed kitchen while it is still on the planning board. 

This level of integration allows the entire stock catalog to be accessible and presented to the user for consideration, with live pricing in line with promotions and discounts. Once a product record is created, it can be used, reused and manipulated forever. The potential payback is worth many times the initial investment in resources. 

Supporting seamless omnichannel customer experiences 

For a kitchen omnichannel strategy to be truly effective, channels must be easy to engage with, both by consumers and sales professionals. Consumers use 3D design solutions for design/ layout visualization, automated proposal generation and purchasing tools online. Additionally, sales consultants can use the same solutions in consultation with customers in the store. By utilizing system integrations such as CRMs and product catalogs, both the customer and salesperson can work together collaboratively on projects regardless of whether it is designed in-store or online.  

A browser-based application supports an omnichannel audience across multiple platforms, including computer desktops and hand-held tablets. Retailers can take this even further, by creating an in-store kiosk that lets customers test drive their generated kitchen designs by simply logging in and picking up where they left off. This carries the customer experience across the different channels for a consistent and cohesive approach. Any salesperson at any time is able to step in and provide instant, informed assistance. 

Promoting business growth with 3D 

A key success factor in retaining and growing a market share in the fast-paced kitchen remodel market is to effectively leverage 3D design, visualization and ecommerce technologies. The technology can be used to implement an affordable, effective omnichannel strategy that dramatically improves the kitchen remodel experience. 

 HomeByMe delivers on these requirements, offering retailers a number of key benefits, including: 

  • Compressed sales cycle  customers and sales professionals can simply and easily make changes to a kitchen remodel design online, minimizing the need for, and lessening the length of, in-store consultation. The high-quality renderings produced also improve visualization and facilitate decision-making and purchasing selections, contributing to a shorter overall sales cycle.
  • Reduced cost of sales – a multichannel 3D planning solution secures qualified customers more quickly, reducing sales overheads, and minimizing unnecessary deliveries and returns, all of which decrease the cost of sales.
  •  Increased customer satisfaction – customers have more flexibility and control of the design process when offering a 3D planning solution on their website. They become more invested – and play a bigger role – in achieving successful outcomes, leading to increased customer satisfaction in the kitchen remodeling process and related purchases.
  • Extended market reach – An online 3D planning capability for consumers extends a positive branded experience beyond traditional geography-based markets for kitchen retail goods. The retailer can choose the look and feel of the kitchen remodel planning experience through need mapping and user preferences on their website. They can also gain valuable insights into customer personas by learning who uses the solution, what they are buying, and their demographic makeup.
  • Leveraged business analytics – a multichannel 3D planning solution allows retailers to access additional business analytics to help support growth. The data can show the average frequency of use online, average costs of kitchen designs, the most common furniture selected and the average shopping cart value. It is an invaluable solution to help retailers grow their business and personalize their sales and marketing activities

As shopping habits continue to evolve towards complete omnichannel experiences, cloud-based 3D planning solutions are positioned to prove more crucial than ever in bridging the gap between online and in-store. By providing the detailed insight needed into shopper behaviors and preferences, kitchen retailers can differentiate their customer service, marketing and sales strategies with high quality personalized interactions, anytime, anywhere, on any device, and by any store representative.  

To further explore how integrating 3D planning solutions within your wider technology suite can optimize the customer journey from in-store to online, visit our website built specifically to serve kitchen retailers where you can organize a demonstration of the platform with a member of our team of experts. 

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