Although the residential replacement business has been slower for many flooring retailers this year, now is the time to invest in technologies that will help you make the most of every sales opportunity. Will 2023 be the year you make your flooring business more efficient and more profitable? Read our roundup of the latest flooring technologies that will level up your business.


1. Flooring-Specific Business Systems

There are an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 flooring store owners who are not using a flooring-specific business system—they are using general accounting software like QuickBooks or a spreadsheet software like Excel, according to QFloors President Chad Ogden. While many of these retailers report about $1 million to $2 million in annual sales, some have sales as high as $4 million. 

“It blows me away that that they're losing so many efficiencies and so much money by doing that,” Ogden said. “The bigger you get, the bigger the hit if you don't have a floor covering-specific business system.”

A flooring-specific business system will give you the right tool to perform each task. It does things that are going to save you time, like digital connections with suppliers for product catalogs and being able to easily calculate the profitability of the job before you sell the job.

“We've done a study recently basing it on a $1 million floor covering store, and if you don't use floor covering-specific software, it will actually cost the dealer $40,000,” Ogden said. “ Most of it is in extra time for people. They're having to hire more people instead of using technology to solve their problems.”

 Listen: 5 Ways Technology Can Improve Your Retail Business


2. QR Codes

QR codes have been around for nearly 30 years, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that their usefulness was rediscovered. Retailers can benefit from these small but mighty technology tools. The biggest move? Showroom pricing. 

“People have just gotten sick of trying to keep up with pricing their showrooms,” Ogden said. “QR codes are a very inexpensive way of showing the changing prices.”

Before QR codes, some retailers used electronic price tags to automatically update showroom prices. In the past, those technologies have been very cost-prohibitive to the majority of flooring dealers. The prices have come down quite a bit with those technologies, so electronic price tags and QR codes are very similar in the problem that they're trying to solve.

“I think QR codes are less expensive and probably going to be more available to the masses than the electronic price tags, but either one is going to solve the same problem,” Ogden added.

Listen: How to Level Up Your Sales Strategy with QR Codes


3. Digital Marketing Software

If you haven’t already invested in digital marketing, now is the time. People used to spend hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars on TV ads, but today, digital advertising is a must.

Today, the most basic part of digital marketing is your store website. It should incorporate a room visualizer to help consumers to envision their finished project. 

“You need to have your website be unique and differentiating,” Ogden said. “If your website looks just like everybody else's, you're not differentiating yourself. It needs to be professional. I would spend a good chunk of money on website technology and making sure it’s getting done correctly.”

Your digital marketing strategy should also encompass email campaigns, search engine marketing ads, such as through Google, and social media campaigns.  

On the back end, your team should also have a visual estimator where you can get a broad diagram of a floor plan of a house or a business that allows you to place flooring products in that diagram. The software can tell you how much you're going to need for that specific product. 

“The whole idea is, you have this diagram, you put a product in there, and then you figure out how much you're going to need,” Ogden said. 

Lastly, don’t forget software for customer communication and reputation management. Messaging and review software, such as Podium and Swell, will help to organize messages that are coming in from customers through cell phone technology. 

“Let’s say a customer goes to your site and they want to ask you a question. They put their cell phone number in and that cell phone message goes to a message center, then somebody can manage that and respond to the customer,” Ogden explained.

Listen: Software to Boost Leads, Store Traffic and Sales


4. Credit Cards

Most flooring dealers have been burned in the past with the costs of credit card processing, but there are ways to save thousands of dollars on transactions sold using credit cards. 

Some floor covering retailers are beginning to add surcharges to cover the cost of credit card fees, but these fees are highly regulated— retailers could get into trouble if they aren’t careful. 

“A lot of dealers out there are just adding 3% onto their ticket to help charge for the credit card fees, but we have to notify partners in the industry,” Ogden said. “When you are doing surcharges, we have to change your account to be a surcharging account.”

One of the regulations is a dealer cannot make any money on the surge—it’s like a sales tax. When you charge sales tax to a customer, you have to remit the charge back to the state. It works the same way with credit card surcharges. When you charge a surcharge, you have to remit the entire surcharge that you charge that customer back to the company.

“If you don't set it up correctly, that dealer is actually making money on the surcharge. They might get charged 2.5% on a flat rate, or whatever it is, or on the on the cost plus rate that we're just talking about. Then they are charging the customer 3%,, and that you cannot do. They could actually get their merchant account taken away.”

Ogden also notes that you cannot charge surcharge on debit cards. You also cannot charge more than 3%, as of April 1, 2023. 

“One of our customers—a dealer that is fairly sizable—is saving $10,000 a month in credit card fees. Now think of what he can do with that $100,000, right? There is a huge savings you can put that back into your pocket instead of paying all these credit card fees for your customer.”

Listen: The Secret of Surcharging Savings

5. Labor Scheduling Software

While many smaller retailers have historically used a notebook to manage labor scheduling, software today can help streamline the process. Today’s software options go beyond the Google Calendar. 

For QFloors customers, Ogden said QSched connects with retailers’ Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and runs on your computer on the retail premises. 

For retailers who want a simple cloud-based system, Skedit will work on mobile phones and tablets from the field. It’s web-based and affordable. Team Up is another affordable, web-based tool that offers external features for installers. There is also a free version for smaller companies. Lastly, for higher level technology, Service Titan offers more advanced features.

Listen: Streamline Your Installations with Labor Scheduling Software