If you’re renovating your home or embarking on a new project, it is likely you’ll be changing the appearance of the floor within the property.
At one time this typically involved a trip to your local showroom to deliberate over an often-limited selection. However, the recent surge in online shopping as well as its relative ease has radically changed the way we shop for commodities such as flooring.
Of course there are still a number of distinct advantages to choosing your floor on the high street as opposed to shopping online.
This article aims to weigh up the pros and cons of each and ultimately help you decide where you can get your hands on that dream floor.
Once you’ve picked out a particular floor, an often-lengthy process to say the least, a face-to-face interaction is sometimes preferred, especially for one-off purchases such as in this instance.
Face-to-face dealings are often favoured if it’s your first purchase from a particular company or you if you have come across a negative review.
Being able to physically see the product on a larger or full-scale is considered the main advantage of choosing your flooring on the high street.
Flooring is often deemed a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, and being able to obtain precise measurements and specifications in store are viewed as imperative in relation to the success of your project.
If you do opt to visit the high street the likelihood is that the showroom is nearby. This is extremely beneficial when you consider the size and weight of flooring in relation to other purchasable items on the high street. Additionally, if you have any issues with your flooring you’re just a stone’s through away.
When it comes to delivery, one of the advantages of physical retail is you can take your flooring away with you, provided you have a suitable vehicle to do so, meaning you can crack on with the task of laying your new floor.
However, unless you have a big enough car or van, you may not be able to fit your complete order in, meaning multiple trips, or having to pay an additional charge to hire a vehicle, or getting the store to deliver to your address.
Should you have any issues with your purchase, a retailer with a high street presence is more convenient in order to return your goods, in comparison with returning to an online retailer, due to having to arrange a collection or sending back your item.
In-store, refunds are processed there and then, as soon as you return the items, whereas online companies will often wait until they have received the unwanted items until returning any money to you.
Online is of course the preferred method of prior research, with data from Google’s Consumer Barometer survey revealing that 70% of people first learn of the product online, which they then go on to purchase.
With this in mind, it also comes as no surprise that online is the preferred place of purchase, albeit marginally.
Online shopping in general is very accommodating, with the ability to hop from shop to shop at the touch of a button without leaving the comforts of your own home. This is no different when it comes to shopping for flooring online.
Many flooring companies now offer a free sample service which lets you to order a number of different samples at one time.
This gives you the ability to narrow down the options from an early stage, as well as observe potential issues such as natural variation, just as you would in a retail showroom.
Of course, every consumer goes in search of the best possible price for their chosen goods, whatever they may be. In the past, this either involved traipsing around the shops or making countless phone calls.
Nowadays each company’s prices are visible on the Internet making it easier and quicker to compare along with specific measurements and product specifications.
When it comes to delivery with online stores, the vast majority of online flooring companies use a courier service that will deliver to your door, allowing you to arrange a delivery date and even time that suits you.
The final benefit to shopping online is that despite not being able to physically speak with someone, around the clock assistance is available with most e-tailers, with many offering online live support features.
This means that the complete buying cycle is becoming more personal, and there’s no waiting in line with advice readily available.
In summary, there are obviously advantages and disadvantages to both forms of retail.
However, it’s clear that consumers are increasingly buying goods online, and flooring is no exception, with some e-tailers reporting as much as a 60% increase in transactions year-on-year.