First word | Business as usual

Philippa Turrell explains why it's still business as usual and enforced showroom closures could see retailers perform better than ever before

25 Mar, 20

Editor of Kitchens & Bathrooms News Philippa Turrell explains why it’s business as usual and how enforced showroom closures could see retailers perform better than ever

NEWS & VIEWS: first word 1

Without doubt we are working in unprecedented times, with bricks and mortar retail bearing its share of pain and business owners forced to close their showrooms.

We are in a time of change but, while it may be confusing, it doesn’t mean businesses are at a standstill.

Sponsored Video

If installations have stopped, then accomplished retailers will look to retaining and developing new customers for when the showroom doors open again – and they will.

In fact, the principles of kitchen and bathroom remain the same, it’s just where business is being done that has altered. Welcome the new normal or “business as usual”.

Targeting online

Customers may be confined at home, but they haven’t disappeared. Footfall has been driven from the pavements to online browsing and people are captive to their screens.

Now, more than ever they are having to internet for work, news updates, online grocery shopping, and film and boxset streaming.

And here is where accomplished bricks and mortar retailers will turn up the volume of their marketing.

They will create awareness and desire in online communities through all their social media channels.

Links can then drive consumers to their website which will mirror the quality of their showroom and showcase the brand values of their business.

It means retailers can be more flexible, communicating at a time suitable for customers rather than relying on traditional store hours.

Successful retailers will consider the highest times of internet use – perhaps breakfast, lunch and evening – rather than the standard 9-5 to time messages to land with prospective clients.

They can target their message to the locality, using the likes of Facebook advertising or enlist the support of a third-party lead generation company to focus their message.

And remote operation does not even mean a lack of personalisation in service.

Kitchen and bathroom projects can be designed on remote Cloud-based CAD software and shared with all decision makers.

These can be in face-to-face meetings, albeit remotely, with group video conferencing facilitating immediate response and faster design resolutions.

Communication is key and ultimately the lessons we are learning, now, may improve ways of working with customers, suppliers and installers.

In fact, it may lead to improve future efficiencies in the future running across all kitchen and bathroom retail businesses.

So when showroom doors re-open, with retailers having maximised consumer communication through online communities, it won’t be business as usual – it’ll be far better than that!