I have written before on DGB about the immense amount of choice that exists in our industry now. Even for me, who actively works selling it all, I find it a minefield sometimes. So what chance does a homeowner have at understanding the enormous amount of choice out there and how it can be customised? For those familiar with mobile devices, apps is going to play a major role.

Education Through Technology

I believe that apps are going to be a key component in helping consumers choose and tailor our products to match their needs. Easy to download from Apple’s App Store or Google Play, anyone with a smartphone or tablet can now have instant access to a company’s product portfolio, history, profile and much more. And as a sales force, we absolutely should be embracing this and making it part of our wider sales demonstrations.

Imagine sitting down with a potential customer who is in the market for a new entrance door. They want it to be unique to them and for it to stand out from all the others doors on the street. But they have no idea where to start or what type of door they want. You could sit down with them a trawl through a range of brochures which are getting bigger by the quarter, with the customer flicking through page after page getting confused which door they like on which page. Or, you could whip your tablet out, open up the app your manufacturer has created and slickly show your potential customer a range of fancy front doors that you can customize to suit their tastes. Suddenly, it has helped narrow down the choice from a lot to a little, and helped educate that person that the product they are after can be tweaked to suit their own tastes and not the tastes of someone else. Pride in buying is a big thing.

Not Just Sales Tools

Whilst bright, colourful and interactive apps would serve as great sales tools, they can also be used to help explain and educate the customer.

If you ask me, not enough is known about our industry and how it works. Perhaps if the general public understood the mechanics of our industry, how we worked, the process from pellets to PVC to installation, maybe then the relationship between business and customer would become even closer and more mutually beneficial. Well, this is where I believe apps can help bridge that gap.

Take the new app from MACO. If you went to the FiT Show last month you probably spent a bit of time playing about with it. It’s a fantastic new app that lets you delve into one of their locking mechanisms via augmented reality to see every little nut and bolt that makes up the lock. In-built is also a series of videos which explain how the product is made and tested in Austria, and goes over some of the detail about the company itself. I’ll be doing a full review on the MACO app on DGB in future posts so keep an eye out for it. But an app like that is a great way to show a customer how much engineering actually goes on before it comes to market and becomes an integral part of their home. It’s a perfect way to show that a window or door isn’t just a window or door.

The trend for apps is growing. Solidor have their augmented reality app out now, as do MACO, and Eurocell also have their own home improvement app. I will be reviewing all of these so make sure to check them all out. But if you ask me, every manufacturer should be looking at developing their own apps. It’s a fantastic, interactive and inviting way to help sales people sell their product, and for homeowners to understand better exactly what it is they are buying.