Kevin Morgan, Group Commercial Director The Crystal Group is BMBI’s Expert for PVC-U Windows & Doors.
If there was one lesson we learned in the last few months, it’s that to survive (and then thrive) you need to be online. Over the last few months people of all ages and circumstances, from technophiles to technophobes, had to get to grips with searching, sourcing, buying, and communicating online. And to many people’s surprise, they found they liked it! There’s no going back to how things were.
In our sector, the increase in the use of digital and online tools isn’t new. It’s been building momentum for years, but it is an increasingly successful driver that generates strong growth and opportunity when wholeheartedly adopted by merchants.
All the tools that merchants need are available to help customers visualise, plan, and compare prices as they investigate supplier options for new doors and windows. Integrating those online tools and techniques with professional, up-to-date, bricks and mortar showrooms is vital to make it easy (or easier) for customers to buy your products.
The good news is that if you haven’t already got fully on board with offering online options, Crystal has a range of tools and the experience to support you and help you set up. The online pricing and comparison tool that all merchants can link to, immediately increases their visibility to the end customer.
Other positive opportunities for the windows and doors sector include the Government’s announcement of the Green Homes Grant Scheme. Announced on the 8th July, up to £10,000 could be available to homeowners, depending on their income level, to make their homes more energy efficient. It’s been confirmed that double-glazing products are included, where they represent an upgrade from single glazed units. This initiative gives the sector another boost – more reason to be prepared with promotions to let homeowners know about your range of windows and doors.
Secondly in the area of recruitment and skills shortage, which is an ongoing issue for construction, it’s very encouraging to see the launch of the Construction Talent Retention Scheme. It brings together a number of industry organisations. We support this initiative to find the skilled people we so greatly need in construction.