Recently we polled consumers online about their buying preference for flooring. Since 81% of consumers research online prior to purchasing currently, and that percentage is sure to go up as millennials age, we decided online would be the best method for reaching modern consumers.
What we found in terms of where consumers would prefer to buy flooring wasn’t too surprising nor was it different from our survey three years ago which indicated the same. Local businesses are preferred by about a 30% margin. Something we did find surprising however is that the desire to buy online and ship home has increased by 3%, or 1% per year.
This is more than likely related to the younger generations who are now buying and remodeling homes. Definitely a great indication that an online presence is necessary, particularly the need to show inventory online since product availability is top of mind for consumers who are searching for a local business to buy from – and 50% of consumers who perform a local search will go to a store within a day of the search.
Something else we asked consumers was if they’d ever had a salesperson forget to follow through with something they has said they’d do – sending a quote, a follow up call, you name it. We found that this had happened to over 60% of consumers, and when it happens it almost always results in a purchase from another store. In fact, 60% of the time consumers don’t bother to contact the store, they just go somewhere else and buy. We also discovered that when a salesperson misses a follow up, 40% of the time the consumer feels like “they don’t care about me”.
So the moral of the story is consumers still love local, even though there have been small increases in the desire to buy online… but if you don’t stay in touch with them and follow up, they’ll just go to your competitor.
BI Intelligence – Customer Service Report, March 2016
4 x Google Survey, 4000 responses, May 2016