During the inaugural Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) Kitchen & Bathroom Forum, our Sales & Marketing Director, Mike Tattam, presented on the importance of the showroom experience.
Focusing on what influences buyer behaviours, Mike confirmed showrooms are more important today than ever: “The internet has changed how most of us buy and influenced our expectations of service,” says Mike. “It’s easy and convenient to now buy most of what we need online, putting a strain on many bricks and mortar retailers. People thought online shopping would reduce the need for showrooms too. But when it comes to high ticket home improvement items like bathrooms, clicks haven’t replaced bricks.
“Consumers may start by researching online but before they decide they look for where they can go to see and touch the products, explore the options and have their questions answered by knowledgeable staff.”
In Mike’s view, showrooms give customers the confidence to buy and they will make their decision based on the whole experience: “It’s where merchants and stockists have a distinct competitive advantage so think about the showroom holistically so every feature enhances the experience and makes it easy for customers to decide,” empahsised Mike, “And think about solutions too. Customers will want to learn about a range of options that will suit their bathroom space, style and lives.”
Mike’s presentation also covered the how our senses – consciously or not – influence buyer behaviour: “Without instruction sight, sound, smell and touch will kick in as soon as we enter a showroom so first impressions count.”
Mike’s tips for creating a memorable and impactful showroom experience were to consider the following:
- Is your showroom clean & tidy?
- Does it have good lighting?
- Is it welcoming from the outside?
- Are the displays stimulating and well kept?
- Is the literature up-to-date and accessible?
- Do you offer seating and refreshments?
And when it comes to showering spaces specifically:
- Is the hardware polished and damage-free?
- Do the handles feel secure and comfortable in the hand?
- Do the doors close smoothly and quietly?
- Is the glass smear and scratch free?
- And not forgetting the floor! Is the tray robust? Anti-slip? Low threshold?
- Are accessibility products included?
Mike concluded: “Stockists who blow customers away with stunning displays, expert knowledge, and a great customer experience will be the winners in today’s omnichannel world.”
For information on how Lakes can help support your showroom sales, call 01684 853870