Providing a highly engaging, frictionless customer experience is essential in today’s floor covering market, and it’s no secret that room visualizers yield multiple benefits for retailers. They not only simplify the buying process, but they also keep shoppers on retailers’ websites longer, encourage more product views, offer data-driven insights on customers’ shopping habits and, ultimately, boost conversions.
Moreover, according to the companies that specialize in this technology, room visualizers are primed to get even better. “Roomvo is now more realistic than ever,” noted Brandon Shidlowski, senior director of strategy, Leap Tools, the maker of Roomvo, which accounts for the greatest market share in this space. “Our room visualizer is better able to detect surfaces and different lighting conditions, which means smoother edges and lifelike detail.”
Shidlowski noted that Leap Tools has added loads of new functionality to Roomvo, including the “Compare” feature, which allows customers to view multiple products side-by-side. “We’ve also introduced virtual samples for a number of industries, which allows shoppers to zoom in on a 3D version of the product.”
The benefits don’t end there. Shidlowski added that Roomvo is helping clients bring technology into the showroom. “The top retailers around the country are investing in tablet computers for their RSAs and large digital displays or touchscreen terminals,” he explained. “We’ve made it even easier for retailers to make the most of room visualization with embedded catalogs and complete, custom-designed websites.”
Other major players in the room visualizer space are upping the ante. Jaime Vinette, strategic accounts executive for Hyphen Solutions, the parent company of Chameleon Power, noted the company’s online room visualizer technology has been updated in recent years. Enhancements include interactive floor selection within uploaded photos, sample ordering, integrations with client shopping carts and CRM systems. Newer features also include side-by-side product comparisons, flooring pattern and color customization—and even support detailed options like grout color, installation patterns and mosaic construction.
“After acquisition by Hyphen Solutions, we introduced Hyphen HomeSight to elevate the new home selection experience for homebuyers,” Vinette explained. “It instills trust and eliminates uncertainty, allowing customers to visualize the result before making any purchase, ultimately leading to a more successful design experience and satisfied customer.”
Broadlume, a pioneer in online room visualization, has produced “significant” upgrades to its product, according to Jeff Bieber, vice president of marketing. These include visualization kiosks, stair visualization, diverse light bulb options, 3D samples and, more recently, a comparison feature between existing floors and visualized options.
Bieber added that Broadlume’s visualizer is intricately linked to a flooring retailer’s entire business: from integration with the product catalog and streamlined online sample ordering from product pages to capturing customer information (including lead notifications and product details) and data-driven insights into frequently visualized flooring products.
Other major visualizer updates from Broadlume are also in store. “Although I’m cautious about revealing confidential details, I can provide a glimpse; I am excited to share that we are on the brink of launching a major update for our visualizer. This update encompasses an extensive range of new products, substantial visual enhancements and noteworthy speed improvements. Our update will harness the power of AI to enhance the visualization experience, elevate product image quality, expedite image processing—and there’s more AI-driven surprises in store.”
Indeed, AI—with its intuitive and dynamic tools—will continue to play a significant role in the online room visualization field. “The technology has allowed users to easily upload their own scenes and auto-detect the areas to be changed,” Hyphen Solutions’ Vinette noted, adding that Chameleon Power will focus on “leveraging the power of AI to further revolutionize the room visualization experience.”