Radical innovation case study: Quote Countertops
Frank Sciarrino, COO of Quote Countertops, radically changed his marketing and sales strategy by integrating an online app.
Frank Sciarrino — part of the next generation of family leadership — recognized that one facet of the business had stagnated: marketing and sales. Countertops, and home remodeling more generally, were stuck in brick-and-mortar showrooms, while other customer-facing industries had already moved sales online. The company needed radical innovation. “Our customers couldn’t do this basic thing: shop online, preview a product, and see what it was going to cost,” says Sciarrino. “I wanted to solve that problem.”
When his software development partner approached him with an in-store countertop quoting tool, the solution became clear. Together, they launched Quote Countertops, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) app that allows customers to preview countertop materials in virtual interiors and get a price quote in 90 seconds. “Consumers have changed. They want instant gratification. They’re on their phones. They want to know how much it’s going to cost, what it’s going to look like and why they’re going to choose you,” explains Sciarrino, a Vistage member since 2015.
The need Sciarrino identified proved to be real and widespread throughout the home-remodeling industry. After launching Quote Countertops, the team discovered demand far exceeded their expectations, and they have responded by expanding the scope of their software and business. Quote Countertops now showcases a wide variety of home-interior products with plans to add more. It has been adopted by everyone from big-box stores to mom-and-pop home interiors firms, who can deploy the app without having either computing knowledge or equipment.
Sciarrino says he’s especially proud that the app is getting adopted by “old school” retailers who’d resisted online sales. “The Quote team aren’t just software developers. We’re coming from the business community we’re serving. This isn’t innovation for innovation’s sake — we’re solving a real problem.” He adds that they’ve discovered that web-based shopping serves a much more diverse audience than they’d originally thought. “We leveraged the best practice of calling our end users to learn their story. On one call, the customer informed me he was in his 90s! This completely changed how we define our demographic.”
Retailers and wholesalers who’ve adopted the software are seeing substantial increases in sales volume and spending per customer. Brick-and-mortar stores are now able to convert traffic from social media and organic search directly into sales. Customers who shop with the app spend approximately $1,000 more than customers who only visit the showroom, as they are exposed to a greater variety of high-quality materials options and can better align these options with their budget.