Making Decisions in a Myriad of Choices: Our Websites Can Help

Written by Shannon Vogel on . Posted in Website

When consumers start replacing flooring in their home, especially if they’re covering multiple rooms and using different types of flooring, making decisions can be the hardest part of the process. Narrowing down types of tile, vinyl, carpet and hardwood, when each category has hundreds of choices, is overwhelming for anyone.

Creating Your Space websites help make this easier on consumers with some helpful features on our websites! We offer a Lifestyle Quiz and a Style Quiz to help consumers narrow in on the right flooring choices for themselves. For example, consumers may be wondering about the advantages and disadvantages of vinyl plank flooring and if it’s right for their lifestyle. After taking the quiz, they will be confident in their choice, making the job for your sales staff more simple!

In our Lifestyle Quiz , consumers will answer specific questions about the size of their family, their lifestyle and preferences and the quiz will generate helpful ideas and things to consider to help them choose the right flooring for their needs.

Also check our Style Quiz. COnsumers will click on a series of 10 images of homes and décor they like best and receive a style profile at the end. Being confident about thier style will help greatly when choosing flooring. 

These two surveys are a great place to start before visiting our showroom and talking with a sales consultant. Ultimately, your consultants will help guide your customers through the flooring world’s myriad of choices, but if you start with these quizzes on your website, you’ll go into the first meeting with a bit more personalized knowledge about the consumer, giving them the confidence to make great choices.

While you’re at it, check out the other features in the Design Center on our websites:

  • A workbook to save design ideas.
  • “Ask Our Expert”: Looking for advice from an expert? Our frequently asked questions section can help consumers find the right design solution for their flooring project.
  • Design Styles: Learn all about today’s design styles: Italian Impressions, Rustic Reflections, Seaside Simplicity and Urban Chic.
  • Flooring Gallery: Get design inspirations from the gallery of floors section.

We look forward to working with you to design a wesbite that sets you apart from other flooring stores. Contact us anytime with questions and we’ll be happy to assist you.

FloorCon 2020 Featured Image

FloorCon 2020: A New Standard in the Flooring Industry

Written by Broadlume on . Posted in Blogging, Community Growth, Digital Marketing, Strategy, Trade Shows

First and foremost, our sincerest thank you to everyone who attended FloorCon 2020! You helped make this inaugural event a true celebration of the flooring industry. 

We hope you had a great time, received a glimpse into the new and powerful technology that will power the future of flooring, and learned a wealth of information about the art of Digital Retailing. We already can’t wait to #FindYouAtFloorCon again next year (hopefully in person)!

Whether you want to catch up on everything you may have missed during the event (or whether you simply want to relive the excitement), read on for all the highlights from FloorCon 2020.

FloorCon by the Numbers

Across two days, FloorCon was attended by a combined 2,860 people (and counting) in the flooring industry via Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and posted content.

In addition, FloorCon boasted:

  • 500 Gift Bags Sent To Dealers
  • 7 Sponsorship Partners
  • 6 Master Classes
  • and 3 New Product & Partnership Announcements

FloorCon Day 1: Foundations

FloorCon’s first day wasn’t short on excitement (and not just because of appearances by David Hasselhoff and Mr. Wonderful!) Here are some of the highlights from FloorCon Day 1: Foundations.

FlooringStores United

After opening addresses by industry leaders John Weller, Michael Vogel, and Todd Saunders, Broadlume led off the day with a bang by announcing FlooringStores United

Broadlume’s flagship marketing program, FlooringStores United includes an integrated suite of powerful sales tools, a year-round calendar of turnkey digital marketing promotions, limited distribution access to products from top-level manufacturers including JJ Haines, Raskin Industries, and Revolution Mills, an early look into Mohawk’s new Omnify program, and much more.

As Broadlume’s VP of Enterprise Caitlin Tateishi explained, FlooringStores United provides dealers with the integrated tools, data, and products they need to move customers through the floor buying process quickly and seamlessly—a process Broadlume has termed Digital Retailing

This online-to-offline experience will remove many of the traditional points of friction that exist today when a customer searches, shops, and buys flooring—and it promises to elevate independent flooring dealers like never before.

DealerHQ

And as part of the FlooringStores United suite, Broadlume also announced the official launch of DealerHQ—Broadlume’s proprietary lead management platform. 

This all-in-one dashboard provides flooring dealers with up-to-the-minute leads and performance reporting, an easy way to compare reports, and the details of each and every customer that interacts with their store’s content and ads.

Plus, dealers can read, listen to, and respond to every email, phone, and text-form lead that comes in—right in their DealerHQ dashboard, alongside their customer notes and history.

And to help dealers interpret this powerful data and use it to create personalized strategies that sell more flooring, Broadlume will provide every FlooringStores United dealer with a dedicated Digital Account Manager. 

Armed with this data, usability, and expertise, Broadlume aims to give independent flooring dealers an unfair advantage over their competition.

Podium Interaction Management

Broadlume also announced its partnership with interaction management company Podium.

Podium Interaction Management allows dealers to directly chat with customers on their websites, communicate internally with in-store team members, collect payments, and easily schedule and confirm in-home estimates. And it’s all accessible through DealerHQ!

This ensures that each and every flooring retailer has the context needed to give customers an amazing, frictionless shopping experience both online and in the showroom. 

With Podium, asking questions, booking appointments, and sending pictures to a customer is as easy as sending a message—making it easier than ever to transform online conversations into offline sales.

Online-to-Offline Visualization

In a day that was not short on product announcements, Broadlume’s Chief Product Officer Dimitar Alexandrov delivered one of the most intriguing presentations with his introduction of the Broadlume Visual Shopping experience.

The Broadlume Visual Shopping experience provides the first step in Digital Retail by bridging the gap between the online website experience and the offline showroom experience. 

This is accomplished using:

  • Augmented reality (AR) product visualization tools that allow consumers to find products on dealers’ websites, and then see how those products look in their homes using a smartphone. 
  • Built-in messaging platforms that allow dealers to connect with consumers instantly through chat, text, or phone.
  • In-store visualization kiosks that allow RSAs to help guide conversations with consumers who have already researched and selected from online product catalogs. 
  • E-commerce sampling that bridges the gap from offline to in-store.

And perhaps best of all, every one of these features is integrated seamlessly into DealerHQ.

With 70% of flooring sales now starting online, consumers expect an easy, personalized experience that helps them make an educated buying decision. The Broadlume Visual Shopping experience helps dealers provide that experience—and the sale that follows it.

Virtual Mill Tours, Tools of Digital Retail, Happy Hour, and More

But of course, the first day of FloorCon wasn’t all product announcements and demonstrations. It provided a wealth of fun industry information and networking opportunities, too.

Virtual mill tours of Foss and Revolution Mills gave flooring dealers an eye-opening, first-hand look into the way the products we sell are manufactured. 

Broadlume’s Director of Website Jennie Lottimer presented on the Tools of Digital Retail in order to give dealers an in-depth look at what goes into building and operating each and every flooring website. 

And of course, Broadlume Chief Revenue Officer and co-founder Dan Pratt taught attendees how to mix the perfect old fashioned while dealers talked shop, asked questions, and networked. All in all, it was an absolutely one-of-a-kind experience.

FloorCon Day 2: Floorplan

FloorCon Day 2 was packed with master classes and showcases designed to elevate local flooring dealers. Here are some of the highlights from FloorCon Day 2: Floorplan.

Introduction to Digital Retail 

After recapping all the excitement of FloorCon Day 1, Broadlume Chief Innovation Officer John Weller took center stage for a holistic, educational, and fun master class on the necessity of Digital Retailing.

According to a KPMG consumer study highlighted during John’s presentation, 58% of consumers said they preferred to shop online because they were able to do so 24/7. Another 54% preferred it because it allowed them to price-compare. And 40% said that online shopping saved them time. 

John’s presentation showed that these metrics make one thing clear. Digital Retailing—creating an integrated, frictionless website-to-showroom floor buying experience—has never been more necessary for flooring dealers.

Google Presents: How Consumer Behavior has Changed and Flooring Insights (with Joanna Chick)

When Broadlume announced that FloorCon master classes would be led by industry experts, they were not exaggerating. That’s why Joanna Chick, Head of Co-Marketing at Google, was asked to lead a presentation on changes in consumer behavior—and how those changes affect flooring dealers. 

Joanna, whose focus is helping small businesses grow, shared some truly eye-opening Google metrics and explained how those metrics should affect dealers’ priorities moving forward. A few key takeaways:

  • Mobile usability has never been more important. 
  • Consumers’ attention spans for information that does not apply to them is shorter than ever before—but their attention to targeted information is higher. 
  • Consumers expect a frictionless buying experience. 

The smartphone revolution has accelerated the need for a seamless buying process that begins online, that uses personalized information to move a customer through the sales funnel, and that ends with an informed RSA selling that customer exactly what they need. 

In short, it has accelerated the need for Digital Retail. The future of consumer habits is changing—and flooring dealers should take note.

Master Class: Hiring the Best (with Susan Weller)

Have you ever had issues with your hiring process? According to recruitment professional and FlooringCareers founder Susan Weller, you’re not alone. In this fun and engaging master class (which followed a pep talk from Shark Tank’s Mr. Wonderful), Susan covered the fundamentals of successful hiring within the flooring industry. Hint: you need to invest if you want to hire the best!

Master Class: Shop at Home (with Joe Zago)

Joe Zago (owner of The Carpet Guys) opened his master class by explaining that when he moved to Michigan in 2009, he had less than $1,000 to his name. But today, he owns and operates a $30 million shop-at-home business. 

In this wildly inspiring master class, Joe demonstrated how he used a shop-at-home flooring method to disrupt the Michigan flooring industry—and how flooring dealers around the country can do the same. 

From heavily investing in advertising to outsourcing digital marketing and website design (in order to focus on selling more flooring), Joe’s master class showed us exactly how he became The Carpet Guy.

Master Class: Saving Money with Tax Tactics and Software (with Patrick Ferries)

Patrick Ferries, COO of RollMaster, followed up Joe Zago’s master class with an equally valuable course of his own. And when it comes to successful tax tactics and software for the flooring industry, there’s no-one who knows more. RollMaster is a business management system designed specifically for flooring companies.

The bottom line: if you’re not utilizing the Use Tax, you’re leaving money on the table. And since Quickbooks doesn’t allow or account for Use Tax, you need to be sure to find a tax management system that does. 

Master Class: Navigating PPP and Upcoming Tax Laws (with Bob Saunders)

Continuing on the subject of taxes, FloorCon’s final master class of the day was an informative course on the state of the PPP—and what flooring dealers should know about upcoming related tax laws. 

Presented by Bob Saunders of Robert Saunders CPAs LLC, this course covered everything that has changed about the PPP program since its inception, the elements that are expected to change moving forward, and how these changes will impact flooring dealers.

If you received a PPP loan for your flooring store or tuned in to Bob’s previous Broadlume webinars on the subject, this is required watching. 

Closing Address and Flooring Trivia

In the true spirit of the flooring industry, FloorCon 2020 wrapped up with a mixture of education, friendship, and fun. After a heartfelt closing address by Broadlume CEO Todd Saunders, FloorCon attendees were invited to participate in a rousing game of flooring trivia (also hosted by Todd)—complete with prizes for the winning team! 

All in all, it was a wonderful way to end a wonderful event.

We Can’t Wait for FloorCon 2021!

Once again, on behalf of the Broadlume family, thank you to everyone who attended FloorCon 2020. You helped make this event one of the most fun, educational, and memorable events in the history of the flooring industry. We can’t wait to see you—and those who were unable to attend this year—at FloorCon 2021!

FloorCon 2020 Sponsors

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our fantastic sponsors who helped make FloorCon 2020 possible:

Lumination Sponsors

Podium

Podium is the ultimate messaging platform for local businesses. With Podium, it’s easy to conveniently connect with customers, drive new business, and communicate internally all through one seamless platform: DealerHQ.

RollMaster

RollMaster software is one of the premier flooring specific business management software products on the market today, providing complete flooring automation with numerous business and marketing application interfaces.

Wagner Meters

The mission of Wagner Meters is to create and provide solutions in moisture measurement technology in order to enhance the quality and value of their customer’s products. Wagner is proud to provide tools and resources for flooring professionals to succeed in today’s “digital-first” business environment. 

Accu-Cut

Accu-Cut has been building time-saving carpet cutting machines and equipment since 1990. As a Broadlume partner, Accu-Cut is excited to continue helping flooring dealers meet their business and personal goals.

Interweave Sponsors

Floor Covering News

Floor Covering News is the strongest link in the retail floor covering chain. For the past 30 years, retailers and distributors have turned to this publication as their preferred read for the information they need to succeed.

Perfect Vents

Perfect Vents strives to add new products that retailers can use to differentiate themselves from the box stores and grow their businesses and bottom lines. Everyone at Perfect Vents is thrilled to be a part of FloorCon 2020! 

MeasureSquare

Since 2001, it has been MeasureSquare’s mission to provide retail flooring dealers with the best in-field estimating and quoting tools in order to empower growth and profit, while streamlining the customer journey via shop at home and showroom business models. 

Flooring Social Media Groups

Written by Shannon Vogel on . Posted in Facebook, Social Media

If you’re in the flooring industry and on social media you’re going to want to know about the following Facebook groups so you can stay connected!

Beat The Box Stores is an online community for flooring retailers, installers, manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, software providers & others that are part of the flooring community. For discussions on everything from new products like hemp flooring, to tips on hiring qualified installers, to the average cost of installing engineered hardwood floors, it’s a great place to start.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeatTheBoxStores2020/

Flooring Dealers Group was created to share marketing, selling, and business ideas that help our community to achieve their goals. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1488508921460181

This group is all uplifting memes and feel-good quotes for women in the flooring, real estate and construction industries with the occasional business conversation. https://www.facebook.com/groups/fabulousfemalesinflooring

If you want to talk about all things flooring with other females, this is a great group for discussion, creativity, education and information. https://www.facebook.com/groups/womenoftheflooringbusiness

Check these out and join the groups that will benefit you and your business! See you online!

Time to Check Your Tech!

Written by Shannon Vogel on . Posted in Take action!

  1. COVID messaging
  2. Current store hours
  3. Shop at home services
  4. In-store appointments
  5. Special hours for at-risk customers

Keep these things in mind and connect with us if we can help!

Does My Flooring Business Need to Be Advertising on Facebook Right Now?

Written by Amanda Marotta on . Posted in Facebook, Social Media

In a global pandemic, your initial answer to this question would be a hard “no;” however, with people at home more than ever right now, this can be the opportune time to target homeowners.

In fact, Facebook is currently encountering a giant “surge” of active users on its platform. In the most recent statistics, Facebook has seen a 50% increase in time spent on the platform.

Additionally, flooring-related Google searches for terms such as disadvantages of cork flooring, easiest flooring to install, engineered wood disadvantages, and even brand-specific keywords like RevWood have increased as well. This means customers are still looking to buy new flooring.

With this 50% increase of active and new users—and increased customer interest in new flooring—now is an ideal time for businesses to be advertising on Facebook. In fact, while most companies are reducing their advertising budget, your business can be seen more than ever during this time. Imagine the reach and exposure that your business can see simply from Facebook advertising.

If you are interested in advertising on Facebook, Creating Your Space can make it easy. We take the guesswork out of advertising and make your life a whole lot easier. Simply contact us at socialmedia@creatingyourspace.com for more information.

Stay Positive and Choose Joy,

Creating Your Space

Reasons Why Social Media Is Essential for Communications During a Crisis

Written by Amanda Marotta on . Posted in Social Media

Social media is a viable and imperative tool for crisis communication. In fact, it can often be your company’s front-line communication source for emergency situations. If you are curious to understand why social media has a significant impact on your followers, here are four reasons why social media is essential for crisis communication:

Speedy

Think about how easy it is to post something to social media. It is quite easily one of the fastest platforms for posting communications during a crisis. That being said, this feature can be a positive and a negative attribute. Since speed is your friend with social media, you need to take into account what you are saying.

Deliberate

Your social media posts are deliberate. They are directly and distinctly from your brand. Remember, you are talking directly to your audience; therefore, your post needs to be well-thought and consciously done.

Immediate

As we previously mentioned, social media can be your first source of communication in regard to a crisis. Often, social media is where a consumer will first hear about a crisis; therefore, your response will be anticipated.

Expansive

Let’s be honest; social media is a p.o.w.e.r.f.u.l. tool. Almost everyone is on social media. The reach that social media can provide your message is astronomical.

With these facts in mind, it is important for your social media message to be a well-thought-out response. Since nothing can truly disappear from the internet, you want to be present, deliberate, and fast during the time of crises.

Social Media Image Sizes

Written by Amanda Marotta on . Posted in Social Media

In the social media realm, it is important to utilize the proper image sizes so that your photos do not look pixelated, grainy, or oversized. To help, we have listed the current social media image sizes for various platforms. Keep in mind that these sizes can change in the future, and it is important to stay up-to-date for the highest-quality posts.

Instagram

Instagram Post: 1080 pixels by 1080 pixels

Instagram Story: 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels

Profile Picture: 110 pixels by 110 pixels

Twitter

Profile Picture: 400 pixels by 400 pixels

Header Photo: 1500 pixels by 500 pixels

Facebook

Personal Profile Picture: 180 pixels by 180 pixels

Business Profile Picture: 180 pixels by 180 pixels

Cover Photo: 820 pixels by 312 pixels

Shared Photo: 1,200 pixels by 630 pixels

Event Image: 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels

YouTube

Channel Profile Image: 800 pixels by 800 pixels

Channel Cover Photo: 2,560 pixels by 1,440 pixels

Video Uploads: 1280 pixels by 720 pixels

LinkedIn

Personal Profile Picture: 400 pixels by 400 pixels

Personal Banner: 400 pixels by 400 pixels

Company Profile Picture: 300 pixels by 300 pixels

Company Cover Photo: 1536 pixels by 768 pixels

Shared Image or Shared Link: 1104 pixels by 736 pixels

Pinterest

Profile Picture: 165 pixels by 165 pixels

Pin: 236 pixels by 600 pixels (minimum)

*Sizes may change in the future.

Creating Your Space™ Launches Design Now AI Visualization

Written by shannonbilby on . Posted in Website

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Feb. 7, 2020 – Creating Your Space™ is pleased to announce its latest retail dealer and builder visualization technology marketing tool, Design Now.

Design Now utilizes artificial intelligence (AI), allowing consumers and salespeople to take a picture of their room and within seconds view the dealer’s flooring products in their space to help finalize the buying decision. What better way to engage a consumer than to help them visualize the products they want to purchase with their furniture, wall colors, and the home’s natural lighting.

Molyneaux Flooring in Pittsburg was the first client to introduce Design Now and has been using visualization to help close business since this summer. During a recent in-home appointment, one of their salespeople experienced the power of this tool. “I presented the job and pricing, and the customer said everything sounded good, but they wished they had bigger samples in order to make a decision. I then went to my Design Now visualization tool. I used the picture I had already taken of the living room and input the color of Patriotism the customer was interested in. Both the customer and his daughter were highly impressed and said that the picture gave them a good enough idea as to how the new carpet would look and decided to purchase right then and there. I’ve made it a habit of having the visualization tool already up and ready before each appointment, for this exact reason.”

Although there are other visualization tools in the flooring market today, Design Now is unique in multiple ways:

Comprehensive, Custom Product Catalog

  • Each dealer customizes their product catalog from the hundreds of flooring brands and hundreds of thousands of products available to visualize in Design Now. From the most durable wood flooring to peel-and-stick carpet tiles, the consumers are designing with products the dealers have in their showrooms!
  • Other flooring visualization tools are limited to one or a few brands with limited products to choose from

Marketing

  • Professional, custom videos in 15, 30 and 60-second versions to promote the program on TV, YouTube, Social Media, dealer’s website and elsewhere
  • Digital marketing campaigns designed and customized to drive consumer interactions
  • Dealer’s website customized to feature Design Now

Limited Distribution

  • Due to the marketing program accompanying Design Now, distribution will be limited by market area. 

Leads!

  • Design Now creates leads for dealers by capturing the consumer’s contact information

Why are these features important? Because Design Now is part of the selling and closing process, it is a tool to create leads with marketing, and it is a differentiator in the marketplace.

                                                                                                                          

Creating Your Space™ provides digital marketing solutions to their member companies. Founded by flooring industry veterans, the company creates dynamic custom websites as well as offers a full complement of technology solutions, including SEO platforms, social media campaigns, digital advertising, and other services. Creating Your Space™ is part of the Broadlume family of brands providing professional digital marketing services for the flooring and kitchen & bath industries.

Let’s Be Friends: Visit Us at Various Trade Shows

Written by Amanda Marotta on . Posted in Trade Shows

It is trade show season, and we would love to meet you!

Creating Your Space will be at the following trade shows this year:

Be sure to schedule an appointment with us to discuss your website and social media needs:

Also, our team of experts will be presenting at TISE and Domotex this year. The topics will range from websites to social media, and after our presentations, you will become an expert yourself.

To sign up for the TISE sessions, please click here.

To learn more about our speakers’ TISE sessions, please click here.

To make an appointment at the CYS booth, please click here.

To see when our team is speaking at Domotex, please visit the corresponding links:

To make an appointment at the CYS booth during Domotex, please click here.

Additionally, our very own, Shannon Vogel, will be speaking at Masterclass. Click here to learn more about the event, and to sign up, you can email Jerry from Flooring Dealers & More or PM him on Facebook.

Lastly, if you have any questions for us, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at info@creatingyourspace.com.