This month, we interview Kara Norris, CMO, Carpet Court, to discuss the Style Visualiser Tool and so much more…

Please tell our readers – in some detail – about Carpet Court’s new Style Visualiser tool on its new-look website. How does it work, who can use it and how it came about?

Flooring is one of the biggest purchases a would-be renovator will make. It’s also a decision that can have a very long lead time, and the time taken from deciding to change your floor and actually buying it can be months apart. During this time, our customers will usually do their research and seek inspiration online before they walk into a store.

This is the moment we really focused our attention on when conceptualising the Style Visualiser tool, so that we can be part of their renovation and style journey from the beginning. Often buying flooring online can be difficult because it’s hard to imagine how it will look in your home, and swatches certainly don’t do the products justice! We wanted to bring this to life for our customers during this phase to help them with their research, inspire their design decisions and to make it as easier to connect with their local store; all of which the Style Visualiser does.

The tool itself was developed with the help of a development agency. They had already developed pilot visualiser software which we then worked closely to customise based on the wants and needs of our customers. Anyone can use the Style Visualiser tool by simply visiting Carpet Court’s website, or for an enhanced experience, using virtual reality goggle mode on mobile devices.

Essentially, the Style Visualiser tool works by allowing site visitors to trial different flooring options in a styled, virtual space, offering customers a more immersive way to view their chosen products. Users have the ability to compare carpet, vinyl, laminate, timber and hybrid flooring options by seeing how each would look like installed in a room, enabling them to make more informed decisions when it comes to selecting the product best suited to their project’s needs.

Carpet Court are flooring leaders throughout Australia, without a doubt, and the company has many high-profile celebrity ambassadors, tell us a bit about Carpet Court please…..How it all began and what makes Carpet Court such a market leader.
It all started in 1973 when various groups of likeminded retailers got together and formed co-ops around Australia. These successful co-ops eventually united under one national Brand which is now known as Carpet Court Australia.

Carpet Court has a growing network of 200 stores in every state and territory. All stores are proudly Australian, as well as locally owned and operated. In fact, in many cases the people that own the store actually work in the store. This means that our people work hard to give you exactly what you want at the best possible price.

As Australia’s largest retail floor covering specialist, Carpet Court has long had a reputation for expertise and advice based on superior product knowledge. Our specialised staff know how to help you find your floor by asking all the right questions. What suits your lifestyle? How much foot traffic is there? Which styles and colours would complement your décor? How much care will the flooring need?

With the new VR Tool, you have tapped into many consumers’ digital habits. How was this conducted and what were your customers reaching out for? What were they specifically looking for when it came to choosing a floor covering?

A lot of research went into our VR Style Visualiser tool on a number of levels. Whilst there are a number of visualisers available across various industries, we found them to be limited in what they offer and how customers can interact with them.

Flooring is a major purchase and one that has a very long lead time before the actual transaction takes place. Therefore, it becomes imperative for a business to help make the decision-making process for customers as easy as possible. A tool such as the Style Visualiser helps to achieve this by showcasing the most relevant products for customers to “try before they buy”, something that is not easily achieved in the flooring space. Being able to visualise a new floor goes a long way to promote customer confidence in a business.

How will The Style Visualiser Tool help customers to make informed – often very important decisions – which can dictate the style of their home?

The new Style Visualiser tool allows online customers to trial different flooring options in a styled, virtual space transporting them to their new-look space in the click of a few buttons. By experiencing their individual flooring options in a virtual room, it gives customers more clarity and context around their flooring decision and provides an added layer of confidence when it comes to making their purchase.

We all know that home renovation can be expensive. Will the Style Visualiser assist the consumer and loyal Carpet Court customer to cut costs when it comes to flooring options?

To further inspire customers with their renovation decisions, and in addition to the Style Visualiser tool, we’ve also created the Start your Style Journey function on the Carpet Court website which guides customers through five simple questions. Based on what they’ve selected, customers will immediately be recommended a list of products that match their selection, and to make the decision easier.
This function can be applied across all rooms in the home including stairs to help assist the customers in finding what flooring would fit their style and need. By doing this, our customers can simply and easily request quotes for their preferred flooring selections and receive a response within 24 hours. It’s a great way for them to compare prices and ensure they’re selecting a product that within their budget in the first instance – which is really important.

Lastly, Kara, tell us a bit about your role there at the company, and are there any exciting new developments that you can share with our readers here at the magazine?

In the last 18 months, we’ve launched a brand-new website with sophisticated capability, opened a number of new stores across the country, launched new, industry-first products, increased our social presence and engagement and most importantly, continued to put our customers first.

We have some very exciting plans in the pipeline that we look forward to revealing in the coming months. Watch this space!