What the Pandemic of 2020 Taught Us about Online Shopping
Are you one of those people who wants to look at things up close and touch them before you make a purchase? Then 2020—the year of quarantine—was probably a challenge for you.
We get it. Not being able to shop in person was rough. It did open our eyes to new possibilities though. We found ways to bring traditionally hands-on shopping experiences into our homes. We did our grocery shopping, even car shopping, online. Supermarket delivery skyrocketed. Car dealerships brought cars to be test driven to our homes. E-commerce blossomed in ways we had never even conceived of previously.
There is some e-commerce that will shift back to brick and mortar as pandemic restrictions are lifted. But there are other things that will stay virtual permanently. The pandemic changed the way people shop. We’re happy to say that shopping for and purchasing cabinets is one of them.
If you’re still uncomfortable with getting things you need for your kitchen remodel online, we have a few tips for buying cabinets online that will make it smooth sailing.
Tip #1 Look for Brick and Mortar Perks
A successful online shopping experience should have many of the same creature comforts as shopping in a brick and mortar. You can rest assured you’re dealing with a trustworthy company with quality products if you see programs and offers like you would see at any local store. When it comes to cabinets, be on the lookout for these:
- Warranties and guarantees on the products
- Loyalty and rewards programs
- Low price or price match guarantees
- Financing through a reputable source
- Samples, both full doors and quarter doors
- Seasonal sales (Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc.)
Tip #2 Collect the Kudos
Great companies from which to buy online cabinets gain well-earned recognition.
- Good reviews
- Appearances on TV
- Memberships with reputable companies (like NAHB and NKBA)
- Houzz mentions
The cabinet company’s website will toot their own horn about the great things they’ve done. But don’t take their word for it. Be sure to look for accolades elsewhere on the internet. Houzz is a great place to find out about customers’ interactions with a cabinet company and their products. YouTube can supply you with TV segments highlighting products installed by professionals who will vouch for the company.
Tip #3 Find Convenient Returns and Claims Processes
Hopefully you’ll never have to use it, but knowing a company’s returns and claims policies ahead of time can be telling. If they’ve made it easy to find on the website and easy to use, you can expect a positive experience with buying cabinets online.
- Clear explanation of the return policy and other policies
- Simple claims process
- Easy-to-find on the website (often at the bottom of the home page)
It doesn’t hurt to look around for privacy notices and conditions of use documents either. Stand-out cabinet companies cover all the bases.
Tip #4 Go for No Nonsense Shipping
Where the good gets separated from the great is in shipping and delivery. Most cabinets take weeks, or even months, to ship out. Part of the convenience of buying cabinets online is having them delivered to your door in a timely manner. Look for:
- Cabinets that ship out in less than a week
- 100% of your order ships out together
- Refunds should your order be delayed
Currently, RTA Cabinet Store is the only place to buy cabinets online with a guarantee that they’ll leave the warehouse in 3 days or fewer. It’s the only cabinet company that ensures your whole order gets to you at the same time. It is the only company that pays you if there is a delay (exclusions apply).
Tip #5 Talk to Them
It should be easy to communicate with your cabinet company. They should provide many ways to talk to them. Ensure they have:
- Easy to reach customer service with call center and chat
- Social media that they respond to
- Email that receives a timely response
Don’t be afraid to test out communications with a cabinet company. Ask questions, interact on social, and try out chat. Some cabinet companies may even have locations you can visit or call directly.
Tip #6 Get Samples
Touch and feel is super important to you so always order samples. Look for samples that help you have the experience you miss when you don’t go in person:
- Full size samples
- Smaller samples for checking finish or color
- Refundable samples (toward your purchase)
- Quick shipping samples
Samples offer you a benefit that you can’t get any other way. You get to take a piece of the cabinets home with you. You get to see how it looks in your environment, in your lighting, in your existing design and layout. Samples help you coordinate other materials for your remodel: fabrics, paint, backsplash, floors, and more.
Though you love going into the store to shop, technology and smart thinking make it possible, even preferred, to shop for your kitchen remodel 100% online. Try it out for yourself. It might surprise you how much you love it. Get started today!
Learn more about shopping for cabinets online.