February 13/20, 2017: Volume 31, Number 18
By Lindsay Baillie
Atlanta—Abbey Carpet & Floor recently welcomed dealers and vendors to its winter convention, where the star of the show was technology.
On the digital front, members were treated to a newly redesigned consumer website that touts improved responsiveness. The new consumer website, which is set to go live April 4, aims to strengthen awareness of Abbey’s name across the U.S. while allowing dealers to distinguish and differentiate themselves as independent retailers.
“Our new website is built on a responsive platform, meaning if a consumer is using a smartphone to search for a flooring store near her location the site will adjust to fit her device,” Steve Silverman, president and COO, Abbey Carpet & Floor, told members during the opening general session. “The same is true for tablets and laptops.”
Spearheading the website’s redesign are Bill Wilson, vice president of marketing and advertising, Abbey Carpet & Floor, and Ken Norvell, IT development manager. To complement the platform, Abbey has also updated the website’s layout. “The design is crisp, clean, inviting and easy to navigate,” Silverman said. “The layout is fitting of today’s design trends and offers an impactful and effective consumer experience.”
Other highlights: The full screen format is enhanced by the simplicity of acquiring information through the updated main menu. Flooring types, product details, photo galleries, call to action pages, “About Us” pages and a room visualizer are only some of the features easily found among the menu options.
Tying it all together is a new tagline, ‘Create your own lifestyle,’ which is descriptive of what the website offers the consumer. “Beautiful flooring products are shown in a full-screen format to help inspire the online search and provide a vision for what she might want in the home,” Silverman explained.
Dealer members in attendance liked what they’ve seen so far. “The website is going to be great for all the dealers,” said David Hayes, David’s Abbey Carpet & Floors, Knoxville, Tenn. “Everyone who is an Abbey dealer should take advantage of that. This is going to be a huge upgrade to what we have now. New technology, new ideas. We really love it.”
Hayes is particularly impressed by the new Room Visualizer feature, which allows the consumer to select different flooring products to view in a virtual room. She can also upload her own photos into the visualizer and apply product directly to the virtual room. “The room scenes and the ability to move the different products around the room is definitely going to be a big asset for us.”
Others are similarly intrigued by the new technology. Tracy Taylor, Taylor Flooring, Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., noted the website’s revamped look and features. “It looks good. The website looks more updated and you can use the room visualizer.”
Another highlight from the convention was the launch of a pay-per-click program called Customer Connect. The program was developed to give dealers more exposure on the Internet. For a monthly charge, dealers can select pay-per-click advertising that is geo-targeted according to ZIP code, with links directly back to their websites. When a consumer clicks on the ad she is brought to the hero site showing the promotion, providing a streamlined connection from start to finish.
Also new is Abbey’s Performance Plus Rewards program, which offers dealers the opportunity to improve profitability with exclusive, private-label brands, eliminate Internet shopping, and incentivize and reward retail sales associates. At no cost to the dealers, RSAs can accumulate points that can be redeemed for premiums. To be a part of the program dealers must register their stores and retail sales associates.
While the convention focused on providing dealers with solutions through the website, various programs and new products, it also provided a space for dealers to network and share ideas. “The greatest value for me is the interaction with other dealers and picking up thoughts and creative ides and some good tactical information,” said Tim Mann, Brian’s Flooring & Design, based in Birmingham, Ala.