Carpet One members go ‘high tech’ at summer convention

HomeNewsCarpet One members go 'high tech' at summer convention

By Steven Feldman

Dallas—Carpet One continues to seek out ways to differentiate its members from the competition, and the recent summer convention only served to illustrate that. A revamped carpetone.com, designed to engage consumers at every step of the purchase process, took center stage, with more enhancements to the One Stop Digital (OSD) marketing initiative playing a supporting role.

The Carpet One website relaunch is in response to changing consumer shopping and buying habits. “The way they consume media has changed,” said Janice Jacobs, vice president of marketing. “Eighty percent of purchase decisions are made online.” In fact, she said customers today are making 12-plus online visits over the course of many weeks and generally four websites but are only visiting 2.4 stores on average (where most sales occur). “But the impact of digital is what’s driving customer expectations to new levels. They expect a seamless experience between an online visit and the physical store. It is so important today to have the best customer experience online. We have to provide education. It is more important than ever to earn their trust.”

The new website opens up opportunities to add more content and make Carpet One the best site in industry to get ideas, learn and shop, Jacobs said. “The aim is to attract customers earlier. We have to get on their long list before we get on their short list. We have to convert them into buyers by connecting with our members’ stores in new ways.”

Content is the driving force in today’s marketing, she added. “We want to reach customers before, during and after their purchase. The strategy is to provide more information. We have developed content like Flooring Expert videos, where experts answer common questions that customers look for online.”

The old site, according to Jacobs, was not responsive. “We had a separate desktop site from the mobile site, and the mobile site was limited. Consumers use their mobile devices to seek out advice, especially with flooring. Over 40% of online traffic comes from online devices with the limited Carpet One site. Think about how many more customers we can convert with a more responsive site.”

Carpet One took its time to come up with what it believes will be the best site in the industry. The first step was hiring a research group to understand flooring consumers’ path to purchase. “We talked to 2,500 consumers,” Jacobs said. “We discovered the path to purchase can begin with, ‘I’m just trying to find out what’s out there,’ to ‘I’m trying to get inspired’ all the way through to ‘I’m ready to buy.’”

When consumers come to the new home page, they will find it to be fresh, modern and inviting, Jacobs said. “It is helpful for what they want to do: learn or shop.” Reviews are elevated on the new site, which keeps customers engaging with the website.

Carpet One revamped its website in response to changing consumer shopping and buying habits.

Other features include:

  • The ability to now search the entire website. The new site allows the consumer to search products, videos, photos, articles, etc., on the site. In the past, only the product catalog could be searched.
  • New product selection tools where customer can compare various products and categories.
  • Results display pros and cons so customers can easily compare across different categories.
  • Reviews will show up on each member’s microsite. This helps with their Google ranking and is one of the key factors customers use in their final purchasing decisions.
  • If the customer chooses shop, there are two options: a quick pick filter to narrow down choices, or the Selectaflor finder option, which asks the customer a couple of engaging questions to determine her wants and needs. The customer is then presented choices that best align with her answers.
  • An updated room visualizer, where the customer can use stock photos or upload her own photos and change wall colors and countertops. She can then share her room visualizer choices via social media or with friends and family.
  • A feature to create Pinterest-like boards to organize all her inspiration and products anywhere on the site. She can then send these boards to her local Carpet One store, so when she comes into shop the member knows the inspiration that brought her there.

“This site is potentially a game changer for us because it addresses wherever you are on the path to purchase,” said Eric Demaree, president. “You want to be inspired; it takes you there. If you are ready to buy; it takes you there. The site has every bell and whistle. It has geo-targeting, is has responsive design. If you are interested in hardwood, it will talk to you about hardwood. And if you leave our site and go to Nordstrom, the retargeted ads will appear.”

(For more on this story, see the August 1/8 edition of Floor Covering News.)

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