What about Room Planners? Are they really useful for the furniture industry?

I recently stumbled upon an article which literally said “room planners suck”. The author emphasized that a room planner does not bring business results to the companies employing them. Although I respect the author’s opinion, I see things differently.

 

So, do room planners really suck? The short answer would be, room planners don’t suck, but what it can suck is the way they are employed.

 

And now the long answer.

 

Ten years ago, when the first room planners appeared, they were a hype. It was something new and everybody in the furniture industry had to have one, although few really understood how they can be actually useful. But also, few tried to explore them in depth and maximize the benefits it can bring them.

 

I have to also emphasize that is the duty of the company which provides the room planner to give advice about the usage, just selling a room planner isn’t enough, not then, not now, not ever. So, there was somewhere a gap and that’s why some companies which used a room planner didn’t see many results and I’ll give you some reasons for that.

  • Poor advertising – they embedded the room planner into the website’s footer, forgot about it and expected miracles. They did not advertise it, they did not display it in their showrooms, they did not make presentation videos for the users to introduce the tool to them, etc.

don't-embed-room-planner-in-footer

  • Don’t measure the planner’s traffic alone but in comparison with the website’s traffic. Because if your website does not have a large audience, you can’t expect to have a huge traffic on the planner since the users arrive in the planner from the website.

 

  • Generic instead of personalized – in my opinion this is the worst. I saw many companies which are using a free generic planner, with a generic logo, with a generic catalog of products. If you want the planner to be relevant for your potential customers, you need to customize it to answer to your needs.

plan-your-room-online

 

  • One usage scenario – the planners were only embedded on the website. But there are other ways to employ a room planner,  for example, many of our customers are successfully using the planner internally as a support tool in their sales process. Get creative and explore it.

 

  • The myth that you have to have a tech degree – or similar in order to use a room planner. Well, that’s not quite right. And I am talking about almost all room planners I know – PlanningWiz and its competitors. I would say that room planners are pretty user-friendly and easy to use, you’ll need some basic internet usage skills and some attention. And within minutes you can create interactive plans. See here your YouTube video.

So I am clear, I am talking about room planners, not about technical planning tools used by architects to create complex designs, which indeed are difficult to use. But those are not room planners and they are employed by specific people which their job is to do complex architectural designs.

 

I emphasized in the beginning that SOME of the companies that integrated room planners didn’t see results and I believe it’s a mistake to generalize it. Indeed, there are companies for which a room planner just didn’t fit and it’s ok, it’s a mistake to think it’s for everybody. At PlanningWiz, we want our planner to be a solution for the company which uses it, not just a nice thing to have.

 

To wrap this up, we do have successful stories of companies which are using the planner and they’re satisfied with the results, using the planner for several years now.