Despite the rise of well-established big-box retailers and national home improvement stores, several market dynamics still play to the advantage of your plumbing showroom:
• A big box format stores can only dedicate a small portion of their space and focus to decorative plumbing products, which limits variety and choice.
• Opening price point products tend to the be the leading attraction to customers (which translate to low margin items) leaving an important opening for plumbing showrooms to compete.
Great generals throughout history have trounced larger foes by meeting the enemy when and where the underdog was strongest, engaging only when the battlefield favored the smaller force.
Pricing pressure has killed sales opportunities for commodity-grade items. Trying to compete here is like charging straight into the enemy’s big guns. That means your showroom’s winning battleground is in decorative selection, assortment, knowledge and service.
Even with these trump cards in hand, you’re still in a visibility and selection fight with big online retailers, whose websites serve up dozens of alluring options with a click and have robust ecommerce on the back end.
However, while 82% of decorative plumbing shoppers search online, 94% of decorative plumbing, and hardware purchases occur at a local store. These buyers want to see and touch the product and get some advice.
This means finding and better serving the market, being more nimble with your investments, and standing out in the purchase scenario where value and expertise will be differentiators.
Some of you are already on the way there. Others are still struggling to tie together better online visibility, display and service. (I talked about your business’ key choke points in a previous post.)
The biggest mistake is seeing this as a website issue or tackling a piece of the problem by, for example, shelling out for search engine optimization services. Going back to wartime analogies, this disperses your force. Concentration of force at key choke points wins the day.
Click here to see how we propose you attack multiple weaknesses in one shot, rather than dissipating your energy and budget fighting on multiple fronts. (You may have other unique challenges that are driving you up the wall! Get in touch if you’d like to discuss them.)