Welcome to future signIn part 1, we summarized the first section of Michael Werner’s State of the Industry Address from KBIS 2012, including data points and some of what we can look forward to.  Part 2 digs deeper into the intended message.

“As times change, so do consumer preferences”

Werner reviewed with us how things are no longer how they were in the past.  The things people want have changed, and lifestyles have changed as well.  Some key quotes Werner spoke about during the address, reminding us of where we’re headed are, “As form follows function, lifestyle will follow technology,” “New technology makes life easier, more productive and more fun…people are going to embrace it and eventually they’ll depend upon it.”

Not only will technology impact consumer decisions, but also businesses.  A prediction was revealed that “one day soon, very soon, technology will radically change how your showroom and design centers look and operate.  The winning showrooms and designers of the future will be those who learn how to successfully integrate technology into their daily businesses.”  We no longer live in a day where we can be slow.  Consumers want instant gratification, so we need to fulfill their needs by altering the ways in which we do business.

Digital Omnivores

The visual term “digital omnivores” was used to describe people today.  With access to technology more now than ever before, we are able to do so much research before even stepping foot in a showroom.  Customers utilize technology to research home products as we do with any other product.  Customers care about convenience and have made technology part of their everyday lives.

During the address, we were also introduced to the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) which is where people make buying decisions based on information they first find on the internet.  They use everything from reviews to websites, ads, social media and online data to learn everything they want to know about products.  “For designers and showrooms, this zero moment of truth represents a unique opportunity to reach out and to touch consumers while they’re in the act of gathering information.” This is what we like to call the Greenhouse Phase.

In a quick survey of the room, Werner asked people to please raise their hands if their business currently does not have a comprehensive internet strategy… one third of the room raised their hand, although I’d be willing to bet there were a lot more who were embarrassed to raise theirs.  If we want to grow our business, we must be willing to adapt to change.  The internet is phenomenal at generating traffic.  You just need to make sure you know how to use it to your advantage.

In closing, Werner left us with this thought, “If we leverage the power of technology and the internet, the future of the kitchen and bath industry will be very, very bright.  And yes it’s in our hands to connect with more people and build more business.  All we have to do is link up and work together.”

If you need help leveraging the internet and your online presence to generate more business for your kitchen operation, we have solutions.