Many online furniture customers will sift through pictures on Google and Pinterest for design inspiration. Once they pick a style, they’ll eventually want to know what furniture fits in their space, if they’re getting the best value, and where they can go to buy the furniture when they’re finally ready to purchase.
Given all the steps consumers take prior to making a purchase, it’s in the furniture store’s best interest to capitalize on these four shopping micro-moments, detailed in Google’s recent study How Home Furnishing Brands Can Turn Browsers Into Buyers.
For your furniture store, try one or all of these marketing strategies to capitalize on these moments and help guide your online furniture customers down the sales funnel and convert those leads into more showroom sales.
Engaging Website to Welcome Online Furniture Customers
To stand out among the big e-commerce retailers and local competition, furniture retailers first need a website that reflects the showroom experience. The furniture store marketing companies we talked to all say a well-done website is just as important as your physical showroom.
“Brick-and-mortar retailers have to try and represent what their showroom experience is like through the website, and vice versa,” Furniture Branding CEO Jason Pires says.
Pires suggests furniture stores integrate interactive technology on their website by adding tools that help consumers decide to spend in a showroom, such as financing calculators, virtual tours, planning software and quizzes that assist online furniture customers in their research.
Online Furniture Customers Search on Mobile Devices
When consumers shop in a furniture store, it’s often mobile that gets them there. Google data shows smartphone searches related to furniture “near me” have grown 85 percent year over year. It’s imperative a furniture retailer not only support a functional and helpful website, but also one with a responsive web design that works well on any size tablet or smartphone. That means the content and data on your mobile site should be the same as it is on your full website.
No design features are lost when people view it on a smaller screen. A responsive website improves SEO efforts and gives retailers a greater likelihood of ranking high in the search engine results. Your website content should also contain the best keywords to attract web visitors, along with helpful content like detailed furniture descriptions and blogs.
Keywords help you gain search engine rankings and boost organic website traffic, as well as assist online furniture shoppers in their quest to find the right furniture.
Interactive Websites to Convert Online Furniture Customers
By educating and engaging with online furniture customers as they conduct research online, you’re bringing them one step closer to buying in your store. Our research shows increased engagement and time on a website correlates with an increase in website inquiries and overall sales.
Smart Calls to Action (CTAs) that include purchase incentives and personalized design assessments allow online visitors to tell a furniture retailer more about themselves and what kind of furniture they’re seeking. It’s about building rapport between you and the consumer.
“Having an engaged website experience is like walking into a showroom and having that one salesperson who you have a personal relationship with,” says Justin Vandagriff, Vice President of Client Services at R&A Marketing. “The stronger relationship you have with that salesperson, the more comfortable you are during your buying experience.
“On the flip side, by having that engagement on their website, the retailer is growing a more qualified lead that now has a purpose — converting their online engagement to an in-store visit.”
Entice Online Furniture Customers with Promos
Online consumers do an enormous amount of internet research to make sure they get the best deal on whatever piece of furniture they’re interested in. According to the Google study, half of home furnishing mobile researchers say retail promotions and discounts had an impact on their purchase decision.
In fact, 57 percent of smartphone shoppers buying items for their home or garden like it when retailers recognize they’re near a store and send them in-store deals, coupons or other incentives. Want your website visitors to act on their research? Offer personalized promotions. By utilizing the customer information gathered during interactive experiences and tracking visitor IP addresses and cookies, your furniture company can personalize the offer to make the customer feel special and motivate them to take action.
The better the deal and the more time-sensitive it is, the more likely an online furniture customer is to pay your showroom a visit. “We strongly believe that people still want to purchase furniture in the showroom,” Vandagriff says.
“The furniture industry is a lot like the automotive and home industry — both products have a longer buying cycle and are bigger ticket items.” Just like people prefer to test drive and see a vehicle in person, online furniture shoppers still want to see and touch the furniture before they buy. You just have to give them a good reason to shop in your store.