How would selling three standard, non-white colors, with a minimal upcharge, affect your sales?

John G. Swanson
June 6, 2007
THE TALK...

 

The Talk, Page 2...

Survey Results for 06/06/2007:

How would selling three standard, non-white colors, with a minimal upcharge, affect your sales?

We already do, and color sells.

 

 

30%

 

Sales would stay the same—people want white.

 

 

20%

 

Sales wouldn't increase much—less than 5 percent.

 

 

18%

 

Sales would increase somewhat—between 5 percent to 15 percent.

 

 

18%

 

Sales would increase significantly—more than 15 percent.

 

 

8%

 

We've done that or are doing it, and color doesn't sell.

 

 

6%

 

 Vinyl industry suppliers are looking to expand color options for vinyl windows and doors, and I know there are many vinyl window makers out there that are enthusiastic about the idea of offering customers more options. Many are already doing it of course, but I know other companies out there don’t want to be bothered with it. Sure, they may offer a tan or beige, but they see color or finish options creating more hassles than potential sales.

While our unscientific poll question of the week confirmed that to some extent, it also makes clear that color has proven itself worthwhile to some companies. About 30 percent of our respondents say they already offer color options and the options sell. Another 25 percent may not be selling color yet, but they see pretty good potential for it. Sixteen percent said adding a few color options would increase sales 5 percent to 15 percent, and about 9 percent say it could increase their sales more than 15 percent. Others see a little bit of growth potential, but about a quarter of respondents don’t see much benefit. Twenty percent reported their customers want white and about five percent said they’ve tried and color doesn’t sell.

In addition to those polled, one manufacturer contacted me noting that his company has been selling exterior colors on vinyl windows for three years. “It is an important and growing part of our business. We use the custom spray paint process and have great success with it.” He adds, however, that color isn’t for everyone. “I know a few companies that have embraced the color option and others have gone into it and exited the process. I also know of two other companies that are about to withdraw from that business soon.”

Evidently, it’s not for everybody. And you know what, that may be healthy. Sometimes I think a lot of us in the window and door business try to be all things to all people. We see our competitors adding an option, so we race to do it too. We try to differentiate ourselves with a new feature, only to see everyone else add the same feature within the next year.

I think it’s terrific that some companies are expanding the spectrum of their window offerings. But, I also like the fact that other companies are saying, “Hey, we do certain things well, so let’s focus on that.”

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