May 12, 2009, 12:00 AM

Flooring America sweeps up sales with a new tool for displaying flooring

The Flooring Explorer shows a grid of products in a category, such as hardwood. Mousing over a product pops up a larger image with more detail and calls to action. Consumers using the feature are two and a half times more likely to make a purchase.

Flooring is a tough sell online because consumers want to see the grain of a hardwood or the texture of a ceramic tile, and want to be sure of the color, says Debi Binder, senior vice president of marketing at CCA Global Partners, parent company of Flooring America. A new feature on FlooringAmerica.com is driving higher conversion rates by providing more product detail and stronger calls to action.

The feature, called the Flooring Explorer, is a 5-by-3 display grid that pops up when a shopper chooses a category such as hardwood, carpet or ceramic tile. Mousing over an image within the grid brings up a larger image of the product, including detail such as price and installation cost. It also displays prominently three actions the consumer can take: order a sample, schedule a free in-home consultation and order online.

“It plumps the product up and brings out the call to action,” Binder says. And customers are responding. Those who use Flooring Explorer view five times as many products per session and are 30% more likely to add a product to a shopping cart, which leads to two and a half times better session conversion.

Binder says in-home consultation requests have especially gone up since the site introduced Flooring Explorer in February, although she would not disclose the exact increase. “If we can get into the home we’re happy, because our close rate goes up substantially,” she says.

Allurent, a specialist in design technology for e-commerce sites, created the Flooring Explorer widget, which is integrated into the retailer’s e-commerce platform from Blueport Commerce. Flooring America provides such services as e-commerce, marketing and training for more than 600 independent flooring retailers in the U.S. and Canada. Its e-commerce site went live last year.

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