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Feeling inspired by tile

tiles ART(Floor Covering Weekly) Tile continues to see an increase in sales each year. What is inspiring the consumer to purchase tile? FCW spoke with MSI and retailer Tampa Tile to see how they are positioning product to attract today's consumer.

Merchandising Matters
When it comes to inspiring consumers to purchase tile, functional displays in the showroom can make all the difference.

“MSI inspires consumers by equipping retailers and dealers with the right products, merchandising displays and tools,” said MSI sales director, Christopher Santaiti. “Retailers inspire consumers to buy tile products by using our large assortment of merchandising tools, which highlight MSI’s breadth of assortment.”

MSI’s merchandising includes more than 25 different tools used to sell product. These tools include Floor & Wall display collections, a mosaic spinner display and a loose tile waterfall display, among others. MSI also offers retailers a custom board program to target trends.

And for retailer Tampa Tile, having the right layout is key. “We totally remodeled our showroom this year and updated our product lines,” shared Jerry DiFabrizio, president of Tampa Tile. “We updated how we market ourselves. We did it with the assumption that consumers need to have a good experience.”

As for changing the store's overall aesthetic, “We just invested a huge amount of money in lighting,” shared DiFabrizio. He added this helps with customer satisfaction in the end, as consumers know exactly what they are purchasing and there are no surprises come delivery time.

On Trend
While many retailers position products based on brands or color, retailers are beginning to create setups that work specifically for them. For example, at trade shows, MSI displays products not by collection, but by trend. These trends include Pattern Palooza, Off-the-Wall Dimension and more. This way, consumers can follow a preferred trend easily throughout the home.

Tampa Tile also looks to trends when placing products in store. Instead of highlighting individual looks, such as wood or marble, the retailer has grouped its tile based on design. Now, sections of the store are dividied and organized by looks such as vintage, casual, coastal and more.

“We’ve taken [tiles] and sorted them into groups of style so when a customer is in a section of our showroom, they have the tools they need for an area of the house,” DiFabrizio told FCW. Practices like this keep consumers from feeling overwhelmed in-store, along with what DiFabrizio calls the “Goldilocks” practice.

“Not too much in stock, but not too little,” he explained. “Just enough for the customer.”

Tech Delivers
“In addition to our great merchandising options, retailers really love working with our web-based inspiration tools,” MSI’s Santaiti said. “Our visualizers (bathroom, kitchen, stacked stone) can really take design to the next level. Our tools allow you to visualize our products installed in an actual setting, and you can change out different backsplashes and cabinets, and get really creative.”

Having been used more than 30 million times, MSI sees the value of utilizing tech to inspire consumers.

“Our latest technology is the new AR (augmented reality) Tool,” Santaiti explained. “This is a huge advancement in our industry, and it’s extremely easy to use from your mobile device or desktop. Simply take a photo or upload a picture to see our floor tiles in your actual room/home in real time.”

And, at TISE 2019, MSI told FCW that its AR tool will have wall capabilities in the months to come.

Tampa Tile is also utilizing digital technology to grow its business. In fact, users will soon be able to get a 360-degree view of the retailer on Google in the upcoming months.

“It’s all about consumer experience,” DiFabrizio insisted. “Anything to make it easier, faster and simpler for the consumer.”

Source: https://www.floorcoveringweekly.com/main/features/feeling-inspired-by-tile-25627