|ROOM VISUALIZATION SCORES WITH CRATE & BARREL, OVERSTOCK AND RUGSUSA
Consumers interested in this exclusive Crate & Barrel rug are invited to see the design in their own room using the new Roomvo room visualization technology.
By Carol Tisch
TORONTO -- After extensive online testing of its impact on area rug sales at retailers like Crate & Barrel, Overstock and RugsUSA, the new Roomvo room visualization software by Leap Tools, Inc., is reporting impressive results.
According to Pawel Rajszel, co-founder and CEO of the Toronto-based Leap Tools, the technology and experience give consumers the ability to preview rugs in their own rooms via mobile device or desktop, and "it makes them so comfortable they are more likely to purchase -- five times more likely, in fact."
Consumers on Crate & Barrel's web site can easily change the rug position, size or change to a new rug using Roomvo.
Roomvo visualization technology allows users to upload pictures of their own room, browse a variety of rug options and see how they would look in their home. In addition to the consumer's room, retailer websites typically offer a variety of sample room sets - organized by room (living room, kitchen, etc.) or by lifestyle look (farmhouse, classic, contemporary).
"We're making customers' lives easier because they can see what will be going into their homes. We're helping retailers with selling. And we're helping our clients improve the customer experience," Rajszel continued, noting that companies using the technology have found that consumers are more willing to purchase a rug when they can see it in their own space quickly and conveniently.
On the market for over a year, but in development for five, Roomvo launched with hard surface flooring companies, with the goal of reducing consumer guesswork and costly mistakes in high-ticket purchases of wood, tile or stone flooring. "We did case studies, testing user conversion rates, and saw they were 5 times what they used to be."
AREA RUGS... AN UNEXPECTED HIT
Consumers can upload their rooms to smartphones, and quickly see how various rugs from RugsUSA will look in their own homes.
Umut Ozeren, Leap Tools' director of business development, says the potential for rugs became evident soon after it was tested by Alexanian Carpet & Flooring of Hamilton, Ontario, a retail client offering multiple hard surface categories, broadloom and area rugs. "In one week using Roomvo, the owner of Alexanian's called to tell us that one of his salespeople had just sold a $4,500 rug within 10 minutes of using Roomvo because the customer could see how it looked in her home. He was blown away."
A Dalia rug by Feizy on Alexanian's website is shown in a contemporary Roomvo setting.
"Consumers are responding so positively to room visualization for rugs, and the category is so strong in e-commerce, that our mission priority is now flooring and rugs," added Rajszel .
In addition to improving overall transaction volumes, Roomvo has helped increase conversion rates and revenue and has also decreased product returns at major e-commerce retailers like RugsUSA, ESaleRugs and Overstock, as well as the omni-channel Crate & Barrel.
"Crate & Barrel did a six-month online test with a limited amount of inventory, and then decided to roll out Roomvo to all of its rugs, as well as to its CB2 brand for e-commerce. Results were so strong that sales people are now using the in-store room visualization experience in store as well," Ozeren explained.
Last year, RugsUSA employed Roomvo to help its shoppers find the right rugs for their rooms and to create a more engaging and memorable customer experience. A site-wide A/B test with 100,000 randomly-selected shoppers demonstrated a 7.8 percent rise in transaction volume for consumers who had access to the visualizer compared to those who did not. Shoppers on RugsUSA who actually used Roomvo were 4.7 times more likely to make a purchase. Results were further supported by a 4.5-star average rating by users and very positive customer feedback.
While Leap Tools is focusing on retailers, the results have also sparked interest with at least one area rug vendor who will soon be going live with Roomvo on its own website. Other vendors currently using the software include Mohawk Flooring and Engineered Floors.
On RugsUSA's website, the consumer can see any rug in their own room or in rooms supplied by lifestyle category.
One unique point of difference between Roomvo and competitive room visualization tools is simplicity. "You don't have to search for an app, download it and upload your photos to it. That's time consuming, and today's consumers want a simplified shopping experience. Roomvo is instantaneous and easy to use," Ozeren said.
To that point, Roomvo acts as an extension of the retailer's existing website, and works seamlessly with Shopify, Magento and other e-commerce platforms. "The consumer still feels they are in Shopify or any other interface when clicking on the room visualizer. All our clients have to do is provide us with a list of inventory and links to photos. We do the rest. The retailer or vendor simply has to incorporate one line of code from us and we can work with their site," Ozeren said.
THE FUTURE IS MOBILE
The consumer-friendly room visualization software seamlessly integrates with Shopify and increased transaction volume for RugsUSA by 7.8 percent.
During the 2018 Thanksgiving weekend, more than one-third of Black Friday online sales were attributed to mobile devices, raking in more than $2 billion of the total U.S. sales of $6.2 billion. Adobe, which tracks trillions of transactions across the U.S. among major retailers online, reported $7.9 billion Cyber Monday sales online, up 19.7 percent on 2017's figure of $6.6 billion. Smartphones alone will account for over $2 billion in sales for the day, another record high.
Smartphones also accounted for 58.9 percent of visits to retail sites, versus 34.7 percent for desktops and 6.4 percent for tablets. That's an increase of 32.1 percent growth in smartphone visits over last year. Smartphones also have accounted for 42.6 percent of sales thus far, or 43.0 percent year-over-year growth.
Rajszel believes that the ease of uploading a photo of the consumer's own room, especially on mobile devices, may be the key to Roomvo's great success." In several of our case studies, transaction volume increase has been equivalent to an additional revenue month per year. And unmeasured value includes fewer returns, repeat visits and new traffic from word of mouth and shared posts on social media," he said.