Big Australian appliance retailers are capitalising on a new popular platform to connect with consumers while others are missing out.
Rather than flipping through a lifestyle magazine would-be renovators are more and more opening up an app or website to find design inspiration, which in turn affects their selection of appliances and where they buy them.
The dominant player in this market is Houzz, a website and app which launched in the US in 2009. It is an end-to-end service for renovators, providing them with design ideas and renovation advice, as well as allowing users to source products and hire home professionals.
Houzz launched in Australia in August 2014 and attracts more than 1 million unique Australian users each month and more than 10,000 Australian professionals are on the platform, says Jason Chuck, managing director of Houzz Australia. Globally the site has over 25 million unique users and more than 500,000 professionals using the service.
With stories like “10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Any Kitchen Appliance” and “How to Make Coloured Appliances Work in your Kitchen” Houzz provides engaging content which is supported by a search tools that direct consumers to complete the transaction with certain online retailers.
A quick browse through the kitchen appliances featured on Houzz shows Harvey Norman, Appliances Online, The Good Guys, JB Hi-Fi Home, Myer.com.au, and Bing Lee are all using the platform to direct consumers to their online storefronts.
Some suppliers also have profiles on the site for their products, however are not retailing direct to consumers but using it as a platform to direct shoppers to their dealers.
A retailer can setup a profile on Houzz for free, upload product photos and information. If using lifestyle photos, retailers can tag products located in the photos as a new way for consumers to discover products in addition to the separate products section, Chuck explained. “If a user is searching for a specific product, they’ll be shown the item that is most relevant to what they are searching for. Retailers may also advertise on the platform for increased exposure, in addition to using their organic profiles,” he said.
Houzz provides suppliers and retailers an opportunity to engage with a receptive audience.
“We know that 80 per cent of homeowners on the site are planning a major renovation or redesign of their homes in the next 12 to 24 months. This makes Houzz a powerful platform for professionals in the industry; architects, interior designers, builders and the like are able to showcase their work and market their services to a very targeted and receptive audience,” Chuck said.