Trex Company Case Study: What Can Deck Suppliers Learn from Its Success

Trex Company, a composite decking manufacturer founded in 1996, is known for its durable, eco-friendly outdoor building materials. To offer its customers a satisfying purchase experience, Trex leverages cutting-edge technologies and helps customers make informed decisions on choosing their ideal deck. With a focus on environmental responsibility and customer-centric services, Trex went public in 1999, 3 years after its foundation, and has reached a market cap of $9.79 billion from its original $41 million.

trex market cap history

Trex stands as an indisputable legend in the building materials sector. Yet, what precisely fuels its extraordinary success? This inquiry lingers as building materials manufacturers assess their prospects alongside industry titans like Trex. Nevertheless, despite the dominance of such giants, opportunities may persist. In our forthcoming article, we will conduct an in-depth analysis to unveil the drivers of Trex’s triumph and examine whether smaller manufacturers and suppliers still have room to flourish. If time is of the essence, feel free to skip to the key takeaway sector, where we outline actionable strategies for your consideration.

Part 1. Company Overview
Part 2. Trex’s Solid Foundation: Product QualityServicesDistribution
          1. Focus on Product Quality, Sustainability & Warranty
          2. Seamless Customer-Centric Service for Informed Decisions
          3. Digital-Enhanced Distribution Network
Part 3. Case Study: How Trex Grows 8x in Revenue with Facebook Ad
Part 4. Case Study: 56% Order Value Increase After Changing A Button
          1. The Link Options
          2. The Heatmap Data
          3. The Considerations
          4. The Changes
Part 5. How Trex Embraces Cutting-Edge 3D Technologies
          1. Photorealistic 3D Rendering
          2. 3D Animation Installation Guide
          3. Interactive 3D Design
          4. AR Deck Visualizer
Part 6. Seizing Opportunities Against Trex in the Decking Market
Key Takeaways: What Can Deck Suppliers Learn from Trex’s Success

Part 1. Company Overview

Trex Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of alternative wood decking and railing, is an eco-conscious company founded in 1996. Their composite products are made from 95% recycled materials, diverting hundreds of millions of pounds of waste from landfills every year. Trex boasts a wide range of outdoor building products, including deck boards, railings, lighting, fencing, furniture, pergolas, and drainage systems. Catering to both homeowners and professionals like contractors, builders, designers, and architects, Trex helps people build beautiful and functional outdoor spaces. They operate two manufacturing facilities located in Winchester, Virginia, and Fernley, Nevada, United States. With a 2023 revenue of $1.1 billion, Trex is a major player in the outdoor building industry.

trex business structure

 

Part 2. Trex’s Solid Foundation: Product Quality*Services*Distribution

1. Focus on Product Quality, Sustainability & Warranty

Trex’s advanced manufacturing processes and stringent quality control measures ensure it meets the highest durability standards, performance, and aesthetics. Trex’s commitment to producing eco-friendly decking and outdoor living products resonated with environmentally conscious consumers. Using recycled materials to reduce plastic waste, Trex has prevented 400 million pounds of plastic and scrap wood from entering landfills and incinerators.

trex composite deck product quality

Trex products are engineered to withstand harsh weather conditions, resist fading, staining, and scratching, and maintain their attractive appearance for years. However, Trex backs its products with industry-leading warranties, 25 to 50 years limited warranty, covering various aspects such as structural integrity, stain and fade resistance, and workmanship, providing customers with peace of mind and confidence in their investment.

 

2. Seamless Customer-Centric Service for Informed Decisions

Trex offers value-added services to enhance the customer experience, including installation support, and dedicated customer service teams to assist homeowners and professionals throughout the buying journey. The company also provided additional resources and tools to help customers make informed purchase decisions and streamline the buying process:

For homeowners, Trex’s website featured a user-friendly interface with clear navigation menus and product catalogs, enabling customers to explore different decking and outdoor living options. The website also incorporated a visualizer tool, allowing homeowners to experiment with different product colors and styles to find the perfect match for their outdoor space and estimate cost along with the shopping list.

trex 3d deck designer
trex deck ar visualizer

Professionals, such as architects and builders, benefited from Trex’s dedicated pro resources section, which provided access to technical documentation, installation resources, care & cleaning guides, technical documents, and product specs. This website also provides a lead generation program, connecting professionals with potential customers in their local area, and helping professionals gain exposure and grow their businesses.

 

3. Digital-Enhanced Distribution Network

Trex’s extensive distribution network, which involved strategic partnerships with leading home improvement retailers, lumberyards, and contractors helped it achieve a strong market presence, making its products readily accessible to consumers nationwide. Through carefully cultivated relationships with major national chains. In addition to partnering with large retailers.

Also, Trex established strategic partnerships with online retailers and dealers who actively promoted and showcased Trex products on their websites, blogs, and social media. Furthermore, the online reviews, testimonials, and project showcases hosted by these dealers and builders served as powerful social proof, influencing purchasing decisions and building trust in the Trex brand.

trex distribution network blog ugc

This omnichannel approach provided convenient online purchasing options for customers and leveraged partners’ online presence and content marketing efforts to increase brand awareness and product visibility.

 

Part 3. Case Study: How Trex Grows 8x in Revenue with Facebook Ad

To increase awareness of their brand name, Trex launched a social media marketing campaign that leveraged Facebook carousel ads to highlight their low maintenance, high-quality, and unbeatable 25-50 years warranty.

trex facebook

Through various rounds of copy testing and optimizing, Trex was able to reach new audiences and reengage existing ones currently looking for a house renovation. As a result, the campaign brought an 8x increase in revenue and a huge 256% increase in ROAS (return over ad spend). That’s definitely a big win.

 

Part 4. Case Study: 56% Order Value Increase After Changing A Button

Besides their social media efforts to gain more impressions, Trex also valued the importance of optimizing their website to improve their conversion rates.

 

1. The Link Options

To cater to the different demands of customers in different categories and buying stages, Trex offers several options on the primary menu for quick navigation:

  • For customers who are looking for inspiration on designing their plan, they offer a “Design & Price” button;
  • For customers wanting to feel the colors, textures, and quality of the products, they offer an “Order Samples” option;
  • For customers looking for nearby dealers and builders for the order and installation, they offer a “Where to Buy” button allowing customers to choose nearby local stores.

 

2. The Heatmap Data

However, when looking at the heatmap data, it is surprising that most visitors clicked on the small “Where to buy” link in the upper left corner. Instead, the conspicuous “Design & Price” button only got a few clicks. The design of the navigation wasn’t aligned with what the users needed.

trex case study approach 1

 

3. The Considerations

To ensure customers a comprehensive understanding of product colors, materials, and quality before placing an order, and to minimize after-sale support challenges, Trex prefers to encourage customers to order samples first.

 

4. The Changes

Even though the “where to buy” link may receive higher click-through rates, Trex is interested in testing whether highlighting the “order sample” button could lead to more conversions or conversion value.

trex campaign cta button wording

After changing the CTA of the primary button from “DESIGN & PRICE” to “SHOP TREX”, direct customers to Trex E-commerce store to order samples and test for 4 weeks. The simple adjustment revealed a surprisingly 268% higher click-through rate when compared to the original ones, and customers who purchased after clicking this CTA had a 56% higher average order value.

 

Part 5. How Trex Embraces Cutting-Edge 3D Technologies

Trex’s remarkable success is intricately woven with its proactive adoption of cutting-edge 3D technology for its decking, railing, fencing, pergola, lighting, and furniture, 3D visualization becomes the cornerstone of its online presence.

 

1. Photorealistic 3D Rendering

Captivating 3D rendering banners exquisitely showcases the elegance and superior quality of Trex materials. From the rich texture of the wood-grain patterns to the subtle interplay of light and shadow, these 3D renderings elevate the marketing experience to new heights. They become more than just advertisements; they are windows into the essence of Trex’s craftsmanship and innovation, leaving a lasting impression on visitors and inspiring confidence in the brand’s commitment to excellence.

trex company deck scene 3d rendering

 

2. 3D Animation Installation Guide

Trex’s innovative 3D animated installation guide provides an unparalleled visual experience that simplifies the installation process and ensures a seamless journey for users of all skill levels. The 3D animation installation guide transcends the limitations of traditional instruction manuals, allowing Trex Company to showcase the intricate details of products with unrivaled clarity and precision. Every component, every step, and every nuance is meticulously rendered in stunning 3D, creating a fully immersive and engaging environment that leaves no room for ambiguity or confusion. By showcasing their products in such a visually striking and informative 3D animation, TrexCompany Inc. demonstrates their commitment to innovation, customer satisfaction, and a seamless user experience from the very first interaction.


3. Interactive 3D Design

Trex recognized the importance of empowering customers to have a hands-on role in designing their dream outdoor spaces. They provide users with an interactive 3D deck design tool users can experiment with a vast array of decking materials, colors, and textures, enabling them to explore countless possibilities until they find the perfect aesthetic for their outdoor oasis. The tool seamlessly integrates various deck components, such as decks, railings, and staircases, simulating different lighting conditions and outdoor furniture, allowing for a truly immersive and comprehensive planning experience. With advanced spatial mapping and measurement features, users can input their exact deck dimensions, ensuring a precise and tailored design.


It is a true testament to the company’s commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction. By co-creating homeowners’ dream outdoor spaces, Trex has fostered a deeper connection with its audience and has set a new standard for customer-centric design experiences in the industry. This revolutionary tool empowers users to unleash their creativity, offering plenty of customization options and allowing them to visualize their dream deck in vibrant 3D realism. With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, the deck design tool redefines the outdoor living experience, enabling users to bring their visions to life with unparalleled ease and precision.

 

4. AR Deck Visualizer

Trex also provides its customers with a powerful AR deck visualizer they can download to their devices from Google Play or Apple App Store. This AR deck visualizer seamlessly blends virtual and physical environments to enable users to virtually place Trex decking within their backyard environments by simply pointing their phone/pad camera at their deck space. They can explore different decking options, colors, and designs in real time, test configurations and layouts providing them an immersive and comprehensive preview of the final result. This deck visualizer app enhances customer engagements, increases the likelihood of conversion, and empowers customers to make informed decisions, positioning Trex as an industry leader that distinguishes itself from competitors.

  • Product Innovation and Differentiation
    Trex differentiated itself from traditional wood decking and was dedicated to developing durable, low-maintenance, and eco-friendly composite decking products. Deck manufacturers, suppliers, and dealers can learn from this by investigating the buyer journey to spot untapped customer pain points and seeking innovative solutions to meet evolving customer needs.

  • Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility
    Trex uses recycled materials in its products promotes sustainable practices and prevents hundreds of millions of pounds of waste from being piled up in the landfills each year. This resonates with eco-conscious consumers, positioning Trex as a company with strong environmental responsibility. As ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) gets popular, deck manufacturers should go green with the material and production process, treat workers well, and be upfront about the impact.

  • Investing in Stunning Visual Appeal
    Trex has demonstrated the power of visually captivating designs and aesthetics in attracting customers. By offering a wide range of visually appealing decking scenes, Trex has set itself apart from competitors. Deck suppliers can refer to this approach by prioritizing the design and aesthetics of their decking products. This may involve using attractive finishes, investing in innovative designs that enhance the visual appeal of their decks, and leveraging 3D visualization to showcase their products in compelling ways. By offering diverse visually stunning scenes for website banners, social media marketing collateral, and more, manufacturers, suppliers, and dealers can cater to different preferences and tastes among consumers and help them envision how the deck would look in their outdoor spaces.

  • Offer Customer-Centric Buying Experience with 3D Interactives & AR
    Trex guides its customers through choosing the perfect decking solution they need when they enter Trex’s website from selecting the shape and size of the outdoor space to picking the deck type and color, estimating deck cost to build the deck to your outdoor spaces virtually. Trex has enhanced the customer experience with its deck plan designer and AR deck visualizer. After all is set, you can order a sample, find a nearby dealer, or contact a deck builder for the installation. It is a hassle-free process for newbies. Deck suppliers can adopt a customer-centric approach by offering interactive 3D models and AR visualizers with expert-tier customer services to offer personalized solutions tailored to clients’ needs.

Imagist3ds is an experienced 3D visualization studio offering realistic 3D product rendering, 3D product animation, AR/VR, and 3D interactive models for the past 13 years. Catering to the visualizing demand of customers from different niches, building materials, electronic consumers, furniture, beauty & cosmetics, apparel & footwear, toys & baby stuff, automotive & vehicles, machinery & industrial products, we are confident with our expertise in bringing your ideal to reality. Need your products transformed into 3D visuals? Contact us with your detailed demand to try our service.

  • Keep Testing & Evolving
    Brand building and marketing are essential components of Trex’s success, they incorporate digital marketing, active social media engagement and advertising, and forming collaboration with influencers, builders, and 3D visualization companies. However, there’s no once-and-for-all technique when it comes to marketing, even those advertising campaigns that proved to be successful come from meticulous analysis and testing. Deck businesses can draw valuable lessons from this approach by emphasizing the significance of testing not only for advertising copies, but also for product development, marketing visuals, and wording. Through continuous testing and optimization, deck suppliers can ensure that their marketing efforts resonate with their audience and drive meaningful results.

  • Staying Ahead of the Latest Trends & Technologies
    Recognizing the ever-evolving nature of technology and consumer expectations, Trex remains committed to continuously enhancing its digital capabilities. The company’s dedicated team of researchers and developers consistently explores emerging technologies, seeking new ways to elevate the user experience and push the boundaries of what’s possible in the outdoor living space.

 

Key Takeaways: What Can Deck Suppliers Learn from Trex’s Success

As the decking industry continues to evolve and grow more saturated with players vying for market dominance, businesses that wish to establish a formidable presence and maintain a competitive advantage must proactively embrace a mindset of innovation and adaptability, constantly seeking out and implementing cutting-edge strategies that will enable them to differentiate themselves from rivals and meet the ever-changing demands of consumers.

  • Businesses can offer sustainable and eco-friendly decking materials to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.
  • Providing specialized designs, finishes, or customization caters to niche markets with specific preferences.
  • Authentic branding and storytelling help build emotional connections with customers.
  • Targeted marketing campaigns tailored to ideal customer segments can maximize engagement and conversions.
  • Leveraging cutting-edge technologies like 3D visualization can enable companies to provide immersive product experiences and streamline the design and customization process for customers.
  • Personalized customer service and assistance throughout the journey enhance the overall experience.
  • Geographic expansion into growth markets, adapting to local preferences, and establishing strong distribution networks open new opportunities.

 

Conclusion

Trex’s remarkable success can be attributed to its strategic investment in 3D visualization, for example, photorealistic 3D renderings. It sets it apart in the outdoor living industry. While traditional photographs effectively showcase outdoor spaces, they often fall short in product details demonstration, particularly in low-light scenarios or during overcast weather conditions, leading to dark and blurry images.

outdoor living photography 2

Capturing high-quality photographs necessitates coordinating schedules with photographers and securing suitable shooting locations repeatedly, an inefficient and costly endeavor. In contrast, photorealistic 3D rendering offers precise control over lighting, angles, and other variables, ensuring consistently outstanding visuals without the logistical challenges of photoshoots. This approach empowers companies to efficiently produce stunning product imagery on demand, facilitating more effective marketing strategies and circumventing the limitations of traditional photography, allowing potential customers to visualize the final product with exceptional clarity, enhancing customer engagement, and facilitating informed purchasing decisions.

To capitalize on these advantages 3D visualization brings to outdoor living lifestyle companies, and building material manufacturers, outdoor living companies can consider outsourcing 3D visualization services to specialized firms, ensuring high-quality visuals and staying ahead of the competition in an increasingly digitalized market. By implementing these strategies, companies can differentiate themselves, capture market share, and drive long-term success in the competitive decking industry.

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