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The future of the Flooring industry is in digital transformation.

This year has been interesting and unexpected for businesses and Brexit in January is set to bring its own unique challenges and opportunities.

Our retail customers across NI, ROI and Scotland have all faced lockdowns and the challenge that comes with them - Finding new ways to reach customers and deliver the same stellar services while keeping everyone safe. A difficult task when floor surfaces require a tactile approach for sales. But all have risen to the challenge and prospered throughout 2020 despite many setbacks.

Luckily the flooring industry as a whole has seen a boom in 2020. With supply working hard to keep up with the demand of customers looking to renovate their houses as the wear of lockdown accumulates. The challenge has been time. Our retail customers have been racing against the clock, checking on stocks, waiting to place orders, being unsure of product details, all which can lead to a lost sale.

We saw these issues and we took action to address them quickly, firstly hiring new staff, creating more jobs in the sector and ensure our customers could quickly order and check stock over the phone. Secondly preparing for an uncertain future through digital advancements. Investing in both has allowed us to stay on top of demand and meet our customer's expectations.

On average in 2020 most adults in the UK spent at least 4 hours a day on their mobiles, computers or tablets*. It's hard to underestimate the power those tiny screens have over us and the level of convenience they can offer in our day to day lives. We shifted our focus this year to digital growth on those tiny screens to see how and where we could start offering our customers more from our service.

We launched our digital ordering platforms to give our retail customers the ability to order 24/7 and check stock online when they need to, when they are with their customers, so they can give answers with confidence. This service was rolled out across our website, mobile phones and tablets via an app, empowering our customers with knowledge to help them sell.

We also launched a new digital proof of delivery service for customers to make it easier to track and record deliveries while maintaining social distancing. This service will speed up invoicing and make it far easier for our customers to track where their deliveries are at any given time, giving them the power to inform their customers of orders and where they are at each stage of the process. Giving them the advantage in service.

We also added a successful customer area to our website this year to support our customers with education pieces, insights into products, selling points, and access to imagery for their own websites and social media platforms. Arming them with the tools and knowledge they need to stay ahead and get an edge for that sale.

By growing our digital presence, we feel confident heading into 2021 that we are prepared to meet the needs of our customers and support them with whatever challenges they may face next year.



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