How We Helped Crescent Baths & Kitchens Develop a Dynamic Online Storefront
In the age of ecommerce, how can plumbing showrooms compete with mega-retailers?
Large ecommerce sites allocate big money and resources into obtaining, enriching, and uploading good product data for millions of SKUs in order to sell them on their sites. Today’s consumer expects to be able to shop online, and local showrooms without products will lose out to the big guys. While many small-to-mid-sized showrooms have opened online storefronts, they struggle to provide current and complete product data information from their lines, a critical piece of being able to compete in the online marketplace. Here’s how one showroom approached these challenges and got results.
With 3 locations and 24 employees on staff in western and central Pennsylvania, Crescent Baths & Kitchens has been serving its customers for over 65 years. One of its owners, Emil Neufeld, says “over the years we’ve changed from a plumbing supply business to 100% kitchen and bath showrooms.”
The evolution of Crescent Baths & Kitchens’ online presence started with a home-built website, fondly called the “bookcase,” essentially an online brochure of their essential who/what/where, with links to manufacturer catalogs of the lines they carried. In a rapidly changing retail environment, they found this helpful but insufficient in improving sales.
Then, they took a leap and signed up for an entry-level online catalog website with a company that provided the basics for Crescent Baths & Kitchens’ lines and individual products. However, they found it didn’t give them access to the whole catalog and the product data was limited. Emil says, “I had to do all the pricing myself, which was labor intensive, and the result was low quality. Pricing changes more frequently than ever now, so I was performing this task often.” With his former platform, customers still needed the pile of catalogs to make their selections in the showrooms, and they couldn’t save items to a shopping or wish list. The end result was less than ideal, so Emil began looking for an alternative.
- Insufficient coverage of product lines
- Limited product data
- Manual and time-consuming updates to pricing data
- No way to save a wish list
- Labor intensive quote process
Crescent Baths & Kitchens opted for the MyPlumbingShowroom.com online catalog platform and SPEX Builder product selection and presentation tool, built by Bravo Business Media.
- Short ramp-up time for site development
- Improved efficiency for customers and salespeople
- Better and current product line data
- Complete coverage of nearly all lines they sell
- Access to full lines encourages salespeople to be creative in their quotes
- Professional and modern presentation of quotes
- Wish list save feature creates a connection with the customer
Like most showroom owners, Emil is busy and says he appreciated Bravo’s “expertise and friendly professionalism.” He is “extremely pleased” with his MyPlumbingShowroom.com site, and notes that the ramp-up process was fast and efficient. “We were up and running in about a month,” he says. The look and navigation were just what Crescent Baths & Kitchens wanted.
The beauty of Crescent Baths & Kitchens’ new website wasn’t just skin deep. Behind the scenes, the expansive product line database gives the Crescent Baths & Kitchens team access to close to 1 million products at the click of a mouse. Salespeople use the platform to sell, in addition to having it serve as an online catalog for remote shoppers. Either on the phone or in the showroom, creating a quote is easy and fast, he notes. And, he adds, “It’s no extra work to put a non-stock item on a quote.”
Emil says there were unexpected benefits to this broadened database of products. “The expanded catalog of products within the brands we carry helps our salespeople expand their knowledge and what they suggest to customers. Instead of building a quote with 1-2 lines, I see a lot more quotes with 6-8 lines. It empowers salespeople to become more creative.”
Another unanticipated benefit of having access to so many products with MyPlumbingShowroom.com: by designing quotes with more lines, it’s less likely that customers will take a Crescent Baths & Kitchens quote and shop around. They have done the hard work already and they are happy with their choices. “Competitors don’t carry all the same lines as we do, so they will come back here to purchase it all,” he says.
MyPlumbingShowroom.com’s wish list save feature eliminates cutting customers out of their sales ecosystem as soon as they walked out the showroom door. “Now there is a digital connection to us,” Emil says.
Impact on his business has been greatest in sales process acceleration and in efficiency for both salespeople and the customers, thanks to “the beautiful and comprehensive quote presentation,” Emil says. Because there are fewer questions to be asked with a comprehensive quote, there is more opportunity to close and the sales cycle shortens. He adds, “I have seen more sales closing quicker since we moved onto the MyPlumbingShowroom.com platform.” It’s easy to email to customers, and they have everything they need to consult with their builder and make a purchase decision.
Emil says, “At the end of the day, we want to be able to compete in a changing marketplace. MyPlumbingShowroom.com helps us create a comfortable, efficient, and pleasant shopping experience for our customers. It helps us provide a better customer service and showroom experience. They really experience the value of doing business with us, vs. just clicking and buying. We have seen definite improvement in our business since bringing MyPlumbingShowroom.com on board.”
Bravo Business Media wishes to thank Emil Neufeld and the team at Crescent Baths & Kitchens for sharing their story. Learn more by visiting crescent-supply.com.