Like most products, flooring evolves—in colour, texture, technology, and style—to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers. And when those consumers are shopping for carpet in the store, they want to feel it for themselves.
“[Samples] are great to have, especially from a visual standpoint,” says Marc Martorano, VP of residential and commercial carpet at Avalon Flooring in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA. “It really helps when going out to customers’ homes to match the colour with their lighting.”
He also says that regularly refreshing samples in store is a worthwhile investment because it’s important for customers to be able to touch the product. And when viewing patterns, it’s vital for customers to see a larger piece.
“Refreshing our [carpet] samples keeps it exciting,” says Martorano. “Fresh samples keep our sales personnel wanting to sell.”
Pami Bhullar, director of retail development at STAINMASTER® brand and an industry expert in the USA, helps stores make more money, be more organised, and stay ahead of the curve. He explains why up-to-date samples are critical for a sales person’s success.
“To sell, you must be excited,” says Bhullar. “You can’t get excited with outdated products. You must have the new arrivals.” Like Martorano, Bhullar suggests that new styles help sales personnel genuinely feel excited, which customers can sense on the floor.
Bhullar continues: “There’s nothing to lose. The faster they make the sale, the faster they cover their investment and make more money.”
Bhullar says that almost 90 percent of consumers shop online, find a style, and go to a retailer that has it. They’ve already researched what they want, so it’s up to retailers to have it readily available. “This is the No. 1 reason to invest in these products,” says Bhullar. The sales person may ultimately guide the customer to a better choice, but having the product available puts the relationship on firm footing.
Plus, carpet isn’t something you can sell with a picture. For sales personnel to be successful, they need samples that customers can take home and check out within their environment. When that happens, Bhullar says, it’s a win-win because—usually—that means the sale is close to being finalised. In-store samples are particularly important, with the arrival of new technology enabling subtle variations in colour for the latest carpet styles.