Many of FLOORS in Africa magazine’s clients have already launched mobi sites, e-commerce sites and online tools that let consumers customise the flooring products that they want. But what are the next steps to making these online innovations more useful to retailers?

Flair Rugs recently launched an e-commerce website that allows its trade partners to order rugs, access stock availability and monitor deliveries 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company’s Sales & Marketing Director, Gareth Davies, says that the company did their homework and market research before launching the site for retailers.

“We realised that if consumers were able to purchase products any time of the day or night, why shouldn’t retailers, and so we set about building an online platform to fulfil the requirements of our loyal customer base,” says Gareth.

Roxanne Mancini, Editor of FLOORS in Africa magazine, says that local companies may be interested in launching similar initiatives, but this will depend on the resources that they currently have available in their businesses, as well as the distribution strategies these companies adopt.

“If a company already has a fleet of delivery vehicles and online stock management tools, then it’s possible to integrate these systems and digitise the communication that they provide online, giving retailers a holistic view of what products are available, when they can be delivered, and where they are in the transport route. The Internet of Things is changing the way people purchase and the opportunities that are presented, providing many possibilities for the local flooring sector,” comments Roxanne.

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