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Is the Home Building Industry Ready for a True E-Commerce Experience?

In today’s world, consumers are used to getting exactly what they want, when they want it. With the advent of the internet they are now more informed than they have ever been. In 1995 it was unheard of to buy a book, let alone anything else online. Now, you can buy anything you want from Amazon and have it delivered to your doorstep the same day. This revolution in retail has been shifting over into every other industry for years. People now build their grocery lists online and pick them up curbside, design their cars on a website and have them delivered to a dealership, and with the advent of iBuyers, 40% of homes are now bought site unseen. We have yet to see this trend make its way into the new home building industry, but this is one of the slowest industries to adopt technological changes. Now that nearly every other industry has embraced E-commerce, home builders are finally warming up to the idea that this is their future. 

Are builders on the cusp of just adding a “Buy Now” button to their website? In the near future, probably not. That being said, the industry is on the verge of adopting their own version of E-commerce. Look at what Tesla has done for the car buying experience. Tesla buyers are able to go to the website, design their dream car and lock-in a price. However, they are still required to go into a dealership to finalize and pick up that purchase. This is the direction the building industry is headed. One of the hottest topics among builders is “The Digital Customer Experience”. This is the final stage in the transition for builders to implement a 100% E-commerce solution. The builders that design and implement the perfect digital customer experience now, will be the builders that are still around in 10 years.

The builders that emerge victorious a decade from now, will be those who have crafted the most enjoyable buying experience. Now that nearly 100% of buyers begin their journeys online, that means the digital customer experience is KING. What makes a great buying experience? According to Bokka Group it’s these three things: it should meet buyers needs, be easy, and be fun (enjoyable). This chart explains it perfectly:

So how does a builder ensure that their digital customer journey fulfills all three of these categories?

New home building technology companies, such as Roomored, have made it incredibly easy for builders to do this. The Roomored platform is designed to touch on each of these categories. With the Roomored online experience, builders are able to engage their customers in new exciting ways. Customers can view models, customize homes, and play games that incentivize the process. The fact that buyers can do this all from the comfort of their own homes makes this incredibly easy. Gone are the days of having to drive around for hours looking at countless model homes. If somebody knows where they want to live, they can do all the rest from home. Another huge pain point for buyers is the design process. Design center consultants often refer to themselves as marriage counselors. Now with the Roomored design tool, couples can sit back with a glass of wine, and take the time to design their home in comfort. Finally, this process allows builders to truly meet their buyers needs. By putting every single finish option they offer online, builders can allow their customers to build their dream home on their website. With the level of detail that goes into the models generated on the Roomored platform, buyers can be assured that when they are ready to build, the will end up getting the exact house they designed.

In today’s market, the builders that are able to engage and excite their buyers online, are the ones that get them into their model homes, and then onto contract. By adopting a Tesla style E-commerce solution a builder can now allow their customers to shop for and purchase their new home the way that they want. We are not yet to the point of purchasing new construction homes online, but we are getting close. The dawn of E-commerce for home builders is upon us!

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