Houzz integrates social media for home enthusiasts and professionals

Cami Beaulieu    December 4, 2018

Houzz is the ultimate social media platform for home renovation, interior design, house building and decorator enthusiasts. It’s an award-winning app and website that connects homeowners with designers, contractors, vendors, etc. to help streamline home renovations and decorating projects. Their platforms are a wealth of design ideas and inspiration through millions of pictures and images from professionals to homeowners and DIYers. I have been using it for year myself to browse and save beautiful photos to – someday – use for my dream home, or in the meantime to plan my semi-detached house renovations.

“Houzz […] offers the chance to connect with users who are actively looking for content on home refurbishment, and has a number of ways to engage. Users can create ideabooks with images that you and other professionals might have uploaded to the platform, and these will link back to your profile or to the profile of the professional who uploaded them. You can share your expertise by joining discussion boards and commenting on content on the site.” (Source: Houzz) The company is made of five interrelated areas: pictures for inspiration, products to sell, “ideabooks” (editorial content) and community forum. Those sections are interconnected, but users can search, use, read, and browse everything at once or one piece at a time. Since its word-of-mouth beginnings in 2009, Houzz has grown rapidly and so is their integration of social media within the company, for example:

  • Customer Engagement

Houzz is conducting the largest online annual survey on residential renovations, building and decorating. “Our large and engaged user community is able to provide unprecedented insights on the latest market trends based on users’ home improvement activity. We aggregate and share these insights with the community to give people greater confidence in the choices they make for their homes, and to give home professionals greater insights into their clients’ wants and needs.” (Source: Houzz)

  • Product Development & Design

Houzz is first a technology-based company and as such, is constantly evolving and developing tools for end users. In 2013, they launched Real Cost Finder, an “interactive tool on the site that helps you plan home renovations and figure out total costs, before you begin. The data is based on the feedback of over 100,000 real homeowners.” (Source: Huffington Post)

One year later, Houzz created Site Designer, a service “that allows home professionals like interior designers, architects, contractors and others to set up free websites for their businesses. These sites are connected to their Houzz profiles, which allow them to easily pull in their images, reviews and other information from their existing profiles.” (Source: Tech Crunch) In 2015, Houzz presented a new feature: Sketch. This tool “lets users upload their own photos or choose any from the platform to add products from the Houzz Marketplace. Users can also draw on photos or add stickers and text, as well as collaborate with others on their ideas simultaneously.” This function is also used to communicate with the home professionals involved in the house remodel project. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Visual Match is a tool that was launched in 2016, to analyse more than 11 million of pictures with Artificial Intelligence to point out similar objects for sale on Houzz. « People come to Houzz because they want to get everything they need to improve their homes in one place, from inspiration to execution, said Alon Cohen, Houzz co-founder and president. Visual Match makes it even easier for people to take action on inspiration, enabling them to view a photo in the Houzz app, tap a product in the photo that they love and use View in My Room [another function created my Houzz in 2016, more on this tool below, CB note] to see the product in their own space before purchasing.” (Source: Digital Trends)

  • Supply Chain Management

This past February, Houzz acquired IvyMark, which show a step towards using Social Media in supply chain management, thanks to its function that tracks furniture delivery, scheduling, etc. (Source: Inman)

  • Social Media Metrics

Another interesting aspect of Houzz is the ability for professional users to access metrics to enhance their marketing plans. The metrics dashboard “give professionals additional visibility in their local area and allows them to highlight their work to attract new customers. [It also give more] insight into  how their photos are doing on the site and includes real-time data about the total number of photo impressions, the number of clicks on them, click-through rates and add rates (how many people saved a photo to their Houzz ‘ideabooks’”. (Source: Tech Crunch)

  • Social Media Marketing Plan

Houzz defines social media marketing “as the process of increasing the visibility of your firm by using social media channels.” (Source: Houzz) The company is the most useful social media platform for designers and builders. It connects 40+ millions of single users monthly and 1,5+ millions of professionals. The Pro+ account allows professionals to use Houzz as a more complete advertising platform with ads, promotion in the newsletter, sponsored articles and much more.

  • Future of Social Media

Being such an innovative company, Houzz is investing in Augmented Reality (AR). Their tool View in My Room 3D is using AR to allow users see more than 1 million products in their own space.  It as easy as seeing pictures and adding and moving furniture and décor in your room, through the app, to get the desired look and feel. One click later and the specific objects can be added to the online shopping cart. Alon Cohen states that “50% of users who have made purchases in the Houzz app used this feature to give themselves a little preview of what their purchase would look like in their homes.” (Source: Design Trends) Houzz seems to have made their technology very user-friendly and that helps to increase the sales.

Lessons for Others

With some many functions, tools and app that Houzz has created over the years, it is not surprising to see this company thriving on social media. They truly breathe their company culture based on innovation and it’s easy to notice through their online presence and history. Their social media strategy is well integrated in different aspect of this company.

Organization: Houzz
Industry: Online home decorating
Name of Organization Contact: Alon Cohen, co-founder and president

Authored by: Cami Beaulieu

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.


References

O’SHEA, Dan (June 12, 2018) At Houzz, mobile augmented reality is fueling sales, Retrieved from https://www.retaildive.com/news/at-houzz-mobile-augmented-reality-is-fueling-sales/525276/

ANDERS, George (October 15, 2014) Houzz’s Founders Have Become Tech’s Newest Power Couple, Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeanders/2014/10/15/houzzs-founders-have-become-techs-newest-power-couple/#5acecb6818f2

DAVIS, Don (June 7, 2018) Houzz.com grows through international expansion and mobile technology, Retrieved from https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2018/06/07/houzz-com-grows-through-international-expansion-and-mobile-technology/

CNBC.com (June 8, 2018) Houzz’s 3D tool makes users 11 times more likely to buy products on the platform, CEO says Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/08/houzz-ceo-our-3d-app-makes-users-11-times-more-likely-to-buy-products.html

ABRAMYK, Heidi (October 26, 2016, updated December 3, 2018) How to conquer Houzz marketing like a boss, Retrieved from https://www.vendasta.com/blog/how-to-conquer-houzz-marketing

MARENTIS, Chris (March 14, 2014) Is Houzz part of your social media marketing plan? Retrieved from https://marketingland.com/houzz-part-social-media-marketing-plan-76535

CHANG, Lulu (September 14, 2016) Find furniture that suits your style with Houzz’s new visual match tool, Retrieved from https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/houzz-visual-match/

Houzz (August 4, 2017) Social Media Marketing Guide Part 1 – Getting Started, Retrieved from https://www.houzz.co.uk/ideabooks/88959248/list/social-media-marketing-guide-part-1-getting-started

LARDINOIS, Frédéric (December 3, 2013) Houzz expands its Pro+ service for remodeling and design professionals to 425 markets, launches new analytic tool https://techcrunch.com/2013/03/12/houzz-launches-new-analytics-tool/

LARDINOIS, Frédéric (December 10, 2015) Houzz brings new collaboration tools to its iOS apps https://techcrunch.com/2015/12/10/houzz-brings-new-collaboration-tools-to-its-ios-apps/

LARDINOIS, Frédéric (February 5, 2014) Houzz launches site designer, offers new websites for home professionals https://techcrunch.com/2014/02/05/houzz-launches-site-designer-offers-free-websites-for-home-professionals/

ECKER, Shana (July 8, 2013 – updated December 6, 2017) Houzz’s real cost finder helps you figure out how much that renovation will set you back https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/houzz-real-cost-finder_us_3563189

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