Omnichannel: the key to enabling in-store experts to use their time effectively

Learn how a 3D planning solution saves your kitchen designers from wasting time and helps them increase high ticket sales.

The majority of all kitchens sold are ‘standard designs’: involving common layouts and without too many complexities. This high proportion of standard kitchen designs means that this type of proposal and quotation absorbs a significant proportion of the time and resources that kitchen sales professionals and designers have available. As a result, they cannot then focus on the more complex, higher-ticket value projects that drive top and bottom line growth.

But if designers move their focus to complex projects, how can retailers address demand from customers seeking more standard kitchen designs?

It’s estimated that around 85% of all kitchen quotes that are developed are for standard layouts, and it’s only the remaining 15% that incorporate more complex designs.” – Simon Booker, VP of Sales and Marketing, HomeByMe, 3DVIA at Dassault Systèmes.

Empower customers to create their own designs

To enable sales professionals to concentrate on high value tasks, kitchen retailers need to empower customers to design their own spaces, with all the support and resources they need to get the kitchen of their dreams. The most effective way to do this is to offer an experience that provides everything a customer may need to complete the majority – if not all – of the purchase cycle autonomously – from research and planning, to design, budgeting, and final purchase – and only involve expert designers at the final stage when or if required.

The fundamental requirement for this is a simple, enjoyable and intuitive online design experience, enabled by a 3D planning solution. The HomeByMe Kitchen Planner 3D planning solution incorporates several features that allow customers who are looking to purchase a standard kitchen create their dream designs autonomously.

Templated layouts

Retailers can offer templated layouts created by their design experts for consumers to kickstart the design process themselves. By offering preset templates that reflect the layouts most in demand at the time, retailers can give consumers a design head start. These can include most – if not all – the elements they are looking for in their new kitchen design such as a cooker, refrigerator, sink, storage of various form factors, and more. From there, customers can then adapt every aspect of a template to fit their specific dimensions, interior preferences, furniture choices and more, to make it their own. Retailers can make the most of this feature by launching new templates periodically and supporting these with marketing campaigns to attract new customers.

Customizable features

A kitchen design should perfectly fit the space available. The HomeByMe Kitchen Planner 3D planning solution has an inbuilt intelligent planning algorithm that delivers millimeter precision customizability, so that every customer has the confidence that the kitchens they design will work perfectly in the space they have available. The solution takes into account every detail from windows and doors, to hinges, ledges and skirting boards to ensure minimal errors and returns. With these technical aspects taken care of, the real fun can begin. Consumers can try out different layouts easily and quickly via an easy-to-use drag and drop interface, like wallpapers, floor materials, cabinets and more.

Design alerts

When a consumer uses a 3D planning solution to create their dream kitchen, it’s critical that any potential design or regulatory issues are flagged as soon as possible during the design process. Concerns about inadvertently breaking building rules are often a major barrier for consumers who want to try designing their own spaces. Retailers can help eliminate design errors with intelligent business rules that enable even a lay person to create layouts that are accurate, compliant and purchase ready. Alerts such as “No water supply position” and “Entry door interferes with safe operation of appliance” are just a couple of examples within the HomeByMe Kitchen Planner 3D planning solution that make users aware of rules they may have overlooked. These notifications appear instantly on screen throughout the design process, allowing users to design compliant kitchens and have confidence during the purchase cycle.

Instant pricing and availability information

Fear of bill shock is another huge purchase barrier for customers, especially those on limited budgets. As a result, projects are often abandoned at the final stage. By providing upfront pricing information in real time as different elements are added to a kitchen design, retailers can instil a greater level of trust and dramatically reduce the risk of cart abandonment.

Another big reason for cart abandonment is lack of available stock. With the HomeByMe Kitchen Planner 3D planning solution there are several methods to counteract this:

  • Display notifications to alert customers to out of stock items instantly
  • Integrate with existing CRM systems to notify users when an item is back in stock
  • Analyze customers’ past preferences and flag alternatives

High quality renders

Kitchen designers often rely on that ‘wow’ moment when the hi-res design is unveiled for conversion. Allow consumers to have the same experience with high-quality design renders. High resolution 3D renders firstly inspire users with new design trends and layouts, and secondly, enable them to understand exactly what their final designs look like before committing to a purchase.

Social validation has become a key part of the purchase cycle for many consumers, particularly when it comes to big ticket items. These 3D renders can be easily published via integrated social media sharing options so that customers can gain the thoughts and validation of their friends and influencers.

Set designers free

By integrating the HomeByMe Kitchen Planner 3D planning solution, retailers can offer a seamless and effective online experience that helps customers be more autonomous and take up less time with in-store sales professionals. Designers and sales experts can then focus more of their time and resources on more high-ticket, complex designs.

In addition, customers become more engaged with the portfolio and brand, and are less likely to go elsewhere for comparison shopping. Retailers in turn benefit from a compressed sales cycle and increased customer satisfaction and advocacy.

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