Consumers desire tools that can make it easy for them to design their homes. This is especially true when it comes to flooring. Selecting the type of flooring you want to update your home can be a daunting process given the wide variety of options, until now. 

Flooring America recently launched the My Design Finder tool to help the consumer easily identify flooring options in rooms that match their style and desired look.

The consumer only has to answer four simple questions based around room type, style, floor type and color palette to be provided with a variety of inspiring room scenes to visualize how the flooring will look based on their specific design style. Consumers can choose from styles such as modern and contemporary, rustic farmhouse, transitional and coastal beach house.

The consumer’s preferences are saved to their account to reference when they’re in-store working with a design consultant, making the buying process stress free.

According to a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Flooring America in May 2018, 60% of Americans consider themselves amateur designers when it comes to interior design skills, however, nearly three quarters (72%) say they would seek professional design advice if they were embarking on a home renovation. Over two-thirds (69%) of Americans wish they had flooring in their home that better fit their lifestyle, such as durable and easy to clean. 

“When the typical shopper visits most flooring websites today and views product, she is presented with a sea of swatches—it’s like standing in the cereal aisle at the supermarket, it’s overwhelming,” said Andrew Valeriani, vice president of digital marketing. “So how do we make it easy for her to find the flooring she wants via a website? We really liked the shopping process presented by for finding a wedding dress. There is a simple, defined path and it’s very visual and that’s the main differentiator with My Design Finder.”

The co-op worked with Jen Bertrand, an interior designer who is a past HGTV Design Star winner, to understand the questions she asks her clients when designing a room. Bertrand helped the team boil the process down to four easy questions that were then incorporated into the tool. After the consumer answers the questions, she is presented with selection of room scene images that meet her design style, room type, desired color and floor style. Then she can save and send those choices to her local Flooring America/Canada retailer. The sales professional will work with the customer to present product options that meet her design criteria. 

“Compared to the sea of swatches in the cereal aisle, this process is much easier for her to narrow down her selection and give the sales professional help too,” Valeriani said. 

My Design Finder is accessible to shoppers from each of the Flooring America/Canada websites. The group is promoting it through social media, advertising and—most importantly—through organic search results. Along with the 5,000 room scene images included in My Design Finder, each page includes unique content specific to the room-style-color-combination being shown. 

This means hundreds of pages of unique, keyword-rich content that is being indexed by Google and served up on page one to shoppers searching online for “wood flooring for an eclectic bathroom design,” as an example.

While consumers can use the tool in the comfort of their home or on the go, retailers can also use the tool in the showroom by displaying it on a large screen, computer or tablet. 

“This is a great area where the sales professional can start with the customer and walk her through answering the four questions to start narrowing down her design style,” Valeriani said. “It’s going to help her visualize what the flooring style will look like in the room she wants to design.”

The co-op tested the tool for about a year and collected feedback from multiple user groups to perfect the technology. 

“Little things, like when we ask the customer what her design style is, we were showing her room scenes of different style rooms,” Valeriani said. “If the customer was looking for a coastal themed bathroom but the option for picking a coastal theme only showed a bedroom, it was confusing. Little things like that helped us fine tune the process and make it simple and intuitive.”

Today, the tool allows the customer to create and account and save her room scenes and design style ideas to a project in that account. To help her gain access to the project from anywhere, the team created a mobile app called My Project Planner that allows her easy access to that project information right from her phone. The project planner app also has other useful tools for managing projects like a budget tracker, to-do list and contact list. 

“In the future, we plan to add location-based messaging to the My Project Planner app,” Valeriani said. “We are testing it right now and we see a lot of value in this. For example, if a customer who has used My Design Finder and has installed the My Project Planner app on her phone drives by one of our showrooms, we can message her about promotions or events occurring at that specific location. We plan to release this in late 2019.”