Have you ever stood at a service desk with a helpful salesperson smiling patiently at you—waiting for you to decide on the specific color, style, or size of a product you’re considering purchasing? The clock ticks loudly. You don’t have all day. And you’re pretty sure the salesperson doesn’t either. But the looming pressure of the clock, clerk, and a perfect purchase make a final decision nearly impossible. 

Finch, a poly-lumber outdoor furniture company based in Pennsylvania, has a phenomenal number of color and style options for their furniture. They can two-tone any combination of 26 poly colors and over 200 fabrics. 

Originally, a Finch customer would make a buying decision based on a furniture photo or furniture on the showroom floor. They also spent time looking at swatches on a screen or color samples in the showroom—imagining various color combinations on the furniture that interested them. 

Customers loved Finch’s color options, but the number of possibilities sometimes overwhelmed them, resulting in  a salesperson needing to spend more time with them. In worst case scenarios, customers would walk away with no purchase at all. If only they could have seen the furniture in their chosen colors.

Vision Is Born

Merv, the owner of Finch furniture, wanted to tackle this problem. As he and the Rosewood team brainstormed efficient ways to present furniture color options to shoppers, the color visualizer idea came to life. A visualizer allows the shopper to choose a color on a screen, and see a picture of the product in that color. Adrian, who led the project, remembered an online furniture dealer saying, “If the shopper can see all the color options, I can sell twice as much.” That quote stuck. The challenge was on. 

Merv and Adrian had two main goals as they worked to create a visualizer:

  • To make it possible for dealers to embed the Finch visualizer into their own websites.
  • To design a fast, offline-enabled color visualizer that could be used in kiosks on dealers’ showroom floors. 

They chose a photo-realistic type of visualizer over a 3D configurator, because photographic quality was important. In 2019, they released a visualizer showing the Adirondack chair in its 26 primary times 26 secondary poly color combinations. In 2020, they added two more furniture scenes, including one with over 200 fabric options. Explore the visualizer for yourself at visualizer.finch.us.com.

Ladies using visualizer

Challenges faced:

  • Thousands of Color Combinations: The Adirondack chair visualizer already offered 676 color combinations. Adding fabrics meant that a product could have over 170,000 color possibilities! 
  • Offline Usage: Going offline without the hassle of putting an app on the app store was a fun challenge. By using new progressive web app technology, they were able to achieve full-screen web app use offline. Offering the offline option allows dealers to use it without a permanent internet connection at shows or in their showroom. 
  • Scalability: Since the visualizer is used in many websites and showroom kiosks, it must be fast and reliable no matter how many people are using it at once.

Finch dealers were especially excited to be able to visualize the fabric colors.. Adrian said, “I was thrilled to hear the ‘oohs’ go through the crowd of dealers at Finch Dealer Day 2020 when Merv mentioned that they would soon be able to visualize fabrics.” 

Customers, both young and old, have enjoyed using the visualizers. Finch’s largest dealer has a design center where customers can sit down, drink coffee, and experiment with the visualizer. Not only does the visualizer help customers make confident buying decisions, it also contributes to the welcoming, interactive feel of the business.

Outdoor furniture companies aren’t the only industry facing the challenge of offering many colors and configurations in a customer-friendly way. Shed and pole barn builders, indoor furniture makers, and paint businesses are all familiar with the struggle. 

Would a product visualizer make your customer’s visits faster, easier, and more enjoyable? Are you looking for an attractive way to display color and style options? We’d be delighted to research options with you. Give Rosewood Marketing a call today. 

“We love the new visualizer! Had a huge weekend and the new visualizer helped!!! GREAT JOB.” -Scott, President of SunRay Patio

About the Author: Sharla Plett is a copywriter at Rosewood Marketing. She enjoys interaction with clients and learning about many varying subjects as she writes about them. Contact Sharla at sharla@rosewood.us.com