Is friction killing your bathroom sales?

In 1909 Henry Ford famously decreed ‘A customer can have a car painted any colour he wants as long as it’s black.’ Although it’s often thought this quote implies customers didn’t know what they wanted, in reality by limiting choice Ford was able to expand car ownership to the working classes and triple his productivity. Quite a shrewd business move.  

Model T

Fast forward to 2017 and black is back as the most popular new car colour. So perhaps Ford was ahead of his time and did actually know what his customer’s wanted. However, today best practice would be giving customers as many options as possible but also making the decision of what to buy as easy as possible. Quite the conundrum for retailers, but allowing your customers to decide for themselves means they’re more bought in and builds brand loyalty.

A famous example is the Walkers Choose me or Lose Me campaign, which allowed the public to vote on whether three classic flavours would continue in production or be replaced by the likes of Lime & Black Pepper or Bacon & Cheddar. A clever marketing campaign no doubt, but allowing people to vote gave them a sense of ownership and sales of their classic crisps went through the roof. Thank goodness you can still get a packet of Walkers Prawn Cocktail!

On an individual level, though, decision making can be exhausting as we’re bombarded with multiple thousands of decisions on a daily basis. From whether to hit snooze on your alarm, to what side of the bed to get out of and whether to take a shower and that’s all before breakfast! Steve Jobs understood the power of reserving your decision-making ability and notoriously opted to wear the same outfit everyday. Making the decision to buy as easy and frictionless as possible, whether it’s a car, crisp or coat is incredibly important to the success of a retailer.

Pink bathroom tiles

When we apply this thinking to the bathroom industry, it seems slightly mad that the journey to bathing in your new space is so archaic. You might see items you like online or in-store, but perhaps have to sit with a professional or book an appointment before you’re really bought into the process. Then there’s the myriad of decisions to be made even with a fairly basic new bathroom, from tiling to paint, sink units to storage and lighting. Each of these decisions creates an extra layer of friction that slows your customer down. No wonder it takes the average consumer 6 months to buy a new bathroom!

Combine this with the fact that given the right tools and guidance customers are better able to design a product that meets their needs, an online tool that puts the power of guided design into their hands has been a long time coming. Our aim is to kick-start your customer’s journey to a new bathroom and reduce buying friction throughout the journey. By minimising the options using smart auto-design and contextual filtering, retailers can be confident the complex decisions are taken care of, while customers can design a practical and beautiful new space in minutes.

To find out more about our bathroom planning and visualisation software email info@digitalbridge.com today.

Antonia Lock