Threekit’s Custom Door Online Buying Experience Survey
    The Great Door Sales Transformation

    7 Critical Takeaways from Threekit’s Custom Door Online Buying Experience Survey

    Today’s Custom Door Market: Give Buyers the Seamless Sale They Want 

    For custom doors sales, it’s not a zero-sum game of enabling purchase online or conducting all sales via dealers, distributors and showrooms.  Buyers want the ability to engage with the product in an immersive way online, while also receiving the expert support they need to feel confident in a high-stakes purchase. The big learning from Threekit’s Custom Online Buying Experience Survey? The tighter, more seamless a brand can make the interplay between the two, the higher the likelihood of success.* 

    *Research Methodology: Threekit teamed up with independent shopping research company, Sinclair Customer Metrics, to uncover buying experience insights for ten of the industry’s top door companies: JELD-WEN, Pella, Andersen, Masonite, Therma-Tru, Marvin, Simpson, Tru-Stile, Kolbe and Weather Shield. Several participants were tasked with visiting all ten companies’ websites and rating their digital experience, including finding the product, exploring its features, configuring it and getting assistance to complete the purchase.


    A Seamless Buying Experience FTW



    When it comes to online-to-offline custom door sales, buyers want an intuitive experience and obvious next steps at every stage. 

    While the majority of door sales start online, buyers understand that they can’t do it on their own (and for such a considered purchase, most don’t want to.) 

    As long as they’re given information, supported and can make progress starting with the web experience, they are satisfied. This is especially important because there are several stages in the process where they can “fall through the cracks.”  The golden reminder: Never leave a buyer hanging. 

    I finally clicked on support to ask about a quote on the specific door I wanted, because the Door Designer (online tool) included on the website was not accomplishing anything or displaying an image or price.”

    The system allowed you to customize a door. It even provided a price before asking to finalize the quote. It was very intuitive.”

    69 %

    of shoppers said they were “unlikely” to continue the buying process by visiting the showroom based on the brand’s website experience.

     Likelihood of visiting showroom to purchase based on the total web experience:

    Very Likely13% 
    Very Unlikely15% 

    Looks Are Consideration #1



    To achieve success online, brands must find a way to convey both the technical aspects of their product but more importantly, its beauty and visual quality.

    A custom front door is a statement piece. Of all the doors in one’s home, look and feel are the most important when it comes to the front of the home. No small shock that it tops the list of key buying factors for homeowners. Functionality and performance are fast followers, however, brands can speak to those factors with specifications and technical. The look of a door requires visuals, and the look of a custom door becomes all the more difficult to convey. 

    Somewhat Important or Very Important Buying Factors

    Entry & Interior Doors

    Lowest total cost32% 
    Contractor recommended21% 
    HOA or code requirement11% 

    Windows & Patio Doors

    Lowest total cost32% 
    Contractor recommended39% 
    HOA or code requirement13% 

    Ready or Not…Your End-Users are Shopping Your Site



    Even for complex products that typically require expert assistance, end-users expect a digital experience that mimics eCommerce. They want to do as much research and self-service as possible.

    In addition to our survey, JD Power’s 2022 US Windows and Doors Satisfaction Survey found that shoppers want a more well-rounded experience: “Manufacturers and retailers that personalize the experience will see higher overall satisfaction scores. Driving an engaging environment that brings awareness to how customers can customize their windows, as well as proactive communications to set realistic expectations and educate customers will go far in this industry. Customers will be willing to invest more when they have this type of experience.”


    25 %

    of leading brands are providing an end-user configuration experience today.  


    Provide Tools with the Beginner in Mind



    Yes, buyers want to help themselves before talking to sales–but the experience needs to empower, not frustrate.

    The gold standard for online self-service in custom doors is a configurator and it is a great tool for engaging buyers. But the experience needs to be well-considered and meet customer expectations. A bad configuration experience can be worse than none at all. 


    40 %

    of shoppers who could configure a custom door characterized the experience as ‘easy to use’.

    “It showed options available, but did not offer the ability to build the door. I clicked on ‘3D image’ and it just gave me PDFs to download.”


    (Lack of) Speed Kills (Sales)



    Shoppers understand that they need the help of sales to facilitate purchases, but they grow easily frustrated if follow-up takes too long. Consider it a race to talk to them with the first responder getting a breakaway advantage.

    77 %

    of customers who submitted online forms did NOT receive a personal follow-up within 24 hours.

    The lack of response to my online form would make me less likely to select <brand> compared to whatever vendor I ultimately go with.

    Even though I could not go through a customization process on the website, which would have been ideal, I did receive two email responses within 24 hours of submitting my ticket. This made me much more likely to do business with Pella even if it took extra steps to do so.”

    night view of windows

    The Basics Matter (Even for Custom Doors)



    Buyers want to know pricing and timing as soon as possible. Either provide it or help them understand why it takes a little time.


    25 %

    of leading brands are providing an end-user configuration experience today.  

    The site did not point me toward where I could find a price.”


    Brand is King and Buying Experience Helps Win the Throne



    There is a massive opportunity for any brand that invests in its digital product experience. It provides the best, most scalable method for differentiating your brand and driving preference in a category of perceived parity.


    4.5 out of 10

    Shoppers’ overall average rating for digital buying experience was 4.5 out of 10 – signaling significant room for improvement across the industry. 

    This website is not direct-to-consumer friendly. Customizing the doors is not easy and the images are difficult to decipher. The chat function was working but no one answered my chat and I was #1 in the queue. I’m not sure I’d buy from this company.”

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