Personalization and the Customer Experience Remains Critical in Driving Growth and Competitive Distinction for Independent Flooring Retailers

Personalization and creating an unforgettable customer experience remains critical to the strategy to drive growth and market differentiation for independent flooring retailers in 2019 according to executives at Flooring America, Flooring Canada and The Floor Trader. The corporate team and its members gathered as a group in the nation’s capitol, Washington D.C. to kick-off the new year at conneXtion, an annual meeting with 500 independent floor covering retailers from North America and Canada. The two-day conference, held at the Gaylord National, brings together the best flooring retailers where they embark upon a personalized experience and learn about innovative solutions that they can implement in their businesses to drive sales.

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“Today’s consumers are savvy shoppers who expect to feel special through an experience built just for them when they shop,” explained Keith Spano, President of Flooring America/Flooring Canada and The Floor Trader group. “In 2019, we’re focused on four key strategic drivers– the customer experience, customer engagement, lead conversion and sales professional development. The programs introduced will focus on delivering enhanced customers experiences from an impressive augmented-reality visualization tool, HomeVio™ to a Retail Sales Professional Network (RSPN), a video news network designed for Sales Professionals to access tips and tricks and just in time news.”

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Standing out from the Competition

Striving to be at the forefront of the flooring industry when it comes to technology, the cooperative continues to pave the way in the flooring industry. Frank Chiera, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Advertising at Flooring America/Flooring Canada and The Floor Trader, explains, “Understanding consumers’ buying habits and the way they interact with technology is what drives competitive distinction. And, our membership has access to best-in-class marketing and technology programs through the cooperative.”

He continues, “At the end of the day, we want shoppers to have a personal experience when stepping into stores or visiting our websites. That means ‘always being open’ and communicating with customers the way they want to be talked to, whether that’s via email, text, chat, phone call or even on our social media channels.”

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Launching at conneXtion will be the Mosaic Marketing Suite—a full suite of marketing services from Drive™, a technology-driven, marketing automation platform with a state-of-the-art CRM system, incorporating real-time lead scoring, lead-conversion and lead-nurturing to digital location-based geofenced advertising, automated social media and so much more. “These new offerings will allow our members to capture shoppers’ attention in a more meaningful way,” said Chiera.

What’s more, the cooperative is rolling-out HomeVio™, a 3-dimensional, virtual reality experience for showrooms where the shopper can visualize what a floor looks like in a room as opposed to making a decision after looking at a product swatch.

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Creating a Unique Company Culture

Today’s competitive retail marketplace makes it tough for brands to rise above the noise and clutter. This year’s keynote presenter, Dr. Daren Martin, a best-selling author and The Culture Architect, will share his insights with members on how to earn loyalty with customers by having a unique culture that will boost productivity and profitability. He’s worked with giants in their respective industries including Amazon, UPS, Southwest Airlines, Adobe and more.

Product Differentiation

Winter 2019 newest launches continue to strengthen our private brands while merchandising to the features and benefits that today’s savvy consumers demand. Waterproof, kid-proof and pet-proof are key features and benefits in our newest exclusive products including Aquadura H2O – the newest innovation in waterproof hardwood flooring. Consumers with active lives and homes can now have real hardwood floors without the worries. Additionally, the newest launch in Downs H2O adds an exclusive collection to the solid core LVT portfolio. Twenty exclusive SKU’s in today’s hottest colors and species continues to strengthen the hardwood looks in luxury vinyl.

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Driving Strategic Growth

Spano concludes, “We will continue to push boundaries to help our retailers be successful. We’re focused on providing a superior customer experience for any shopper who walks into our members’ showrooms and we will achieve this by continuing to innovate and develop value-added programs that distinguish our members from the competition.”

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