It sounds counter-intuitive to hear a rug company say “not a rug,” doesn’t it? But, think about it . . . you wouldn’t sell a suit without suggesting a shirt and tie – so, why would you sell furniture without suggesting an area rug to pull an entire look together?
Over and again, home furnishings and home décor retailers look for better ways to increase sales tickets with less effort. That’s why we suggest, rather than positioning the rug as a stand-alone item, incorporate it into the entire offering and sell the complete feeling of “right at home” instead.
Yes, there are rug retailers absolutely crushing it when it comes to individual rug sales. But, these professionals have mastered their niche – rug sales – by building a business and the resulting relationships that makes them the go-to for one rug purchases. You, furniture retailer, have a vastly different offering that requires a different approach.
When furniture and home décor retailers place rugs in their showroom vignettes, their sales reps enjoy increased commissions because it makes it easy for the customer to “see” the end result. After all, the number one obstacle to rug sales is fear. That’s right. Good old-fashioned fear.
People are afraid to make the wrong choice when it comes to buying an area rug. Consider it from their point of view – an area rug is a big, heavy, cumbersome mistake if it doesn’t “work” with the home’s furnishings or paint colors. That’s why we’ve enjoyed watching our retailers increase sales again and again by taking the “entire room” approach. Not to mention the added benefit of reduced returns! That’s right, when consumers can see the rug with the furniture prior to a purchase commitment, consumer confidence improves, customer satisfaction increases and returns reduce.
Additionally, when an area rug is positioned with furniture, it’s easy to speak to the way an area rug completes the room. This conversation is one of the training elements our reps offer to our retailers. Teach your clients and customers how the rug draws all of the room’s beautiful elements together to give it a complete and grounded feel. And, if the customer doesn’t enjoy a particular style or design, it’s easy enough to recommend a substitute design in a similar color palette.
To help one of our retailers get a feel for how much of an impact a rug can have in a showroom setting, we photoshopped a selection or two into place for this retailer. You can see the dramatic difference a rug makes in the room scene. And when they placed the rugs in real life, which vignette do you think customers gravitated toward when the retailer took our suggestion and placed the rug in the room? You bet! The one with the area rug.
Of course, area rug sizing also matters when it comes to customer satisfaction. It’s one thing to throw a huge 12×15 in a warehouse-sized furniture showroom. But, some of your customers won’t be able to accommodate that at home. That’s why it’s important to understand how to help your clients choose the appropriate rug size and then order accordingly.
With the popularity of open floorplans we have noticed a marked upswing in the size of our top-performing area rugs. Over the last few years, our numbers prove that homeowners continue to shift their preference from the 5×8 to the 8×10 and, in some instances, even the 9×13. But, if your clients have a small loft, apartment or home, the 5×8 may be their best choice.
At the end of the day, adding an area rug to every sales ticket boosts your business without additional effort. You’re already selling the furniture – by adding an area rug you’re simply showing how the right floor covering pulls the entire room together. Higher ticket sales and improved customer satisfaction should be proof enough for the ensemble approach to furniture and home décor sales. Especially if you work for a company that offers higher commissions on home décor products!