Woman sitting on the floor, on her tablet

What Women Want: A Research Report on Female Consumers Considering a Flooring Purchase

The brand development and account planning team at KMT Creative Group — now a part of The Brandon Agency — recently conducted extensive market research with a special emphasis on female consumers. (Let’s hear it for girl power!) More specifically, the team hoped to better target and position CAP Carpet’s new retail flooring chain, The Floor Project. CAP Carpet, based out of Wichita, Kansas, wanted to provide a unique and fulfilling shopping experience for their female consumers. The research took place in five parts, each with strategy-oriented questions and the ultimate goal of a more clear, tactical brand position.

The research was conducted in order to:

1.) Collect strategic information from CAP stakeholders.

2.) Collect data that provide insight into consumer expectations, specifically what the targeted audience looks for in a shopping experience, as well as insight into how the targeted consumer selects a shopping destination and what type of research is conducted prior to shopping at a retail location.

3.) Identify potential advertising media and social networks that would most effectively reach the target audience when shopping for flooring.

To answer these questions, multiple methods of research were used.

  • Company stakeholders participated in an organizational strategy survey.
  • Stakeholders also participated in a SWOT analysis.
  • Qualitative research was executed in the form of focus group sessions with written questionnaires and face-to-face interviews.
  • Quantitative research was collected through telephone surveys with consumers who had purchased flooring products in the past 18 months.

For both the qualitative and quantitative approaches, the target audience included women aged 25–64. The results presented interesting insight into what these consumers really want.

For example, the majority of participants responded that they had done their own research before heading to the store, typically via a Google search. For the physical retail environment, the women responded that they desired to feel relaxed, inspired and acknowledged. Along these same lines, respondents replied that they liked to see many visible options with flooring samples. Unsurprisingly, respondents wanted to get their hands on the product and touch it in the store.

Respondents also answered favorably at the suggestion of digital representation of the flooring, perhaps in the form of a “projection room” that would help them visualize what the floor would look like in their own home. Overall, technological concepts and “cool factors” were positively received, as well as any inspirational material that might help them envision the floor in “their” room.

Interestingly, the respondents wanted a friendly greeting at the door but overall anonymity. In other words, they liked to know that the sales associate was available for help, but wanted to be free to browse at their own pace. Respondents also noted the convenient hours and benefit of a large in-stock supply of big-box retailers, and added that child entertainment areas would be a nice addition to the “ideal” floor retailer.

Responses for preferred promotional material included a reduced price for cash payments and colors, styles and designs not available anywhere else. Promotional offers negatively received included 50% off of certain items (the respondents felt that the product price would be initially inflated) and a free first cleaning (because who wants to think about having to get brand-new carpets cleaned?!).

Ultimately, there are several practical implications and takeaways from this research:

Consumers seeking new flooring want:

  • The latest colors and styles that cannot be seen at other retail locations, with value-oriented pricing
  • A relaxing, inspired shopping environment that promotes creativity through both the visual experience and the in-store technology
  • A knowledgeable sales force that doesn’t make them feel pressured

Based on these results, flooring companies should use a well-balanced media and communication approach that includes traditional outlets (such as radio and TV) as well as digital and social media outlets (like Facebook and Pinterest).

Based on this research, we have a better grasp on that age-old question: What do women want? And that puts us in the position to make the most impact for CAP Carpet.