Ideal Bathrooms: Displays still pay

Danielle Lillis says displays are vital, but keep them fresh to counter online sales

26 Nov, 18

Commercial director of Ideal Bathrooms Danielle Lillis says displays are vital, but keep them fresh to counter online sales and consider a multi-channel approach.

There have been frequent discussions regarding the impact of online retail on traditional in-store purchasing habits.

The rise of digital-savvy customers and e-commerce websites has resulted in high street retailers having to adapt their selling techniques.

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Ideal Bathrooms: Displays still pay

But what will the increase in online purchases mean for the bathroom industry? There are two key concepts the industry is aware of.

Showrooming – viewing products in-store before purchasing online – and Webrooming –viewing products online before purchasing in-store.

Showrooming impacts sales

Our Ideal Industry Report 2018, a survey of the UK’s bathroom retailers, merchants and multi-channel retailers on performance, offers views concerning our industry.

It was highlighted that 43% of respondents believed showrooming would be a high impact trend for the year ahead, suggesting it will secure sales.

It is critical for retailers to create and utilise displays to champion their products.

According to our report, retailers believe displays remain a crucial part of their customers’ sales journey.

In fact, 62% said displays have ‘important’ or ‘very important’ significance, with 90% of respondents having them within their business.

This overwhelming support shows bathroom retailers’ firm confidence in displays is unwavering.

And yet, the majority of retail businesses surveyed believed their biggest challenge was still online competition.

It’s important to remember the perils of trying to compete against online competition, too.

Stacey Allen, showroom consultant at Redstone Supplies, gave us some advice on how to avoid this pitfall.

Displays must pay

Displays can be time-intensive to create and 60% of them are kept for a year or two.

This is a tactic that comes under fire when compared to the almost instant updates we see online.

Without investment of time and money in regular display refreshes, a traditional retailer could be at a disadvantage as online retailers can update their offers at the click of a button.

You may now be thinking the traditional display is losing ground to online shops.

Displays hold critical importance in allowing customers to visualise the products in their own home.

They can touch them and understand textures, gaining an idea of quality.

Aspirational styles, attention to detail, including on-trend and eye-catching accessories, will leave customers feeling inspired and more likely to make a purchase.

This is the case even if that purchase is made online from the comfort of their own home.

Pricing pressures are driving changes in the products being displayed in showrooms, with a number of shower brands reportedly removed from displays due to cannibalisation caused by online retailers.

Over half the companies surveyed (56%) said they chose brands for their respective showrooms primarily according to the sales margin they provided to the business.

At Ideal Bathrooms, we have real faith in displays and the tangible benefits they offer to retailers.

The key takeaway here is it’s now a must to provide a memorable experience to showroom visitors.

In our survey, when asked to rate the most important factors for customers ordering in-store, respondents chose ‘customer service’, ‘aftersales service’ and ‘professional reputation’ as the most significant.

Add online

In conclusion, we believe the upshot of the report’s results is that a combination of traditional showrooms and online purchasing puts retailers in a strong position.

Investing in a multi-channel approach should be high on the agenda.

We’re always looking for ways to combine traditional values with modern technology to help our clients provide their customers with the best of both.

Now more than ever, it’s essential the showroom experience is inspiring and unforgettable because, while customers are drawn to the latest technologies, what they really want is a knowledgeable company that they can trust.

Ideal Bathrooms recently invested in its distribution in Scotland, with a move to a 33,000 sq ft hub in the centre of Glasgow.