If your furniture sales team still relies solely on manual visitor counts in your retail store — and foot traffic is down — it’s time to take a different approach. It’s not that fewer people are buying furniture, it’s just that they’ve changed the way they shop.
“Every retailer has an extra showroom they often forget about that gets at least 1,000-plus visits per month — their website!” says Justin Vandagriff, Vice President of Client Services at R&A Marketing, a furniture and mattress digital advertising agency. “Foot traffic is a dying metric.”
“The traffic you used to get hasn’t gone away, it’s just turned into an online showroom visit,” Vandagriff assures furniture companies. “Your advertising is working and driving traffic, but the customer is going to research online first before stepping foot into any type of store.”
Technology efficiencies that help you track online leads and sales conversions not only save your furniture store time, but they save you money too. By collecting as much actionable data as possible from your store’s website, you’re giving your furniture sales team and your store a better chance at closing the sale.
Offer an Engaging Website to Increase Furniture Sales Team Leads
People typically visit only two stores before making a furniture purchase. That means they’re using the online shopping experience to decide where to go. Online furniture customers can find a lot of stores that sell (and have pictures of) brown leather sofas, so they’re searching for the store that offers the best value and experience for them.
“There’s really a lack of research tools and accessibility on furniture retail websites,” says Doug Stump, PERQ furniture sales manager. “The ability to keep people on your web property and let them do the research on your site, before they get distracted by Google and other sites, is something that’s really important.”
“Turn your website into a pipeline of potential sales by facilitating consumer engagement.”
Turn your website into a pipeline of potential sales by facilitating consumer engagement. Don’t just host an online inventory.
Use technology solutions like the ones we offer to give online visitors design assistance, customized promos and planning tools that gently guide them down the sales funnel and inspire an in-store visit.
“Sales teams need to treat every form of action as a lead, whether it’s a website visit, Facebook comment, email click,” Vandagriff says. “The consumer made those actions because they are hungry for more knowledge of your product or brand.”
Furniture Sales Team Track and Convert Website Traffic with Quality Leads
Furniture companies that rely on static forms to gather website visitor information only get a name, email address or phone number. Sometimes there’s an area for comments, but unless the consumer provides specific information, it isn’t typically a lot to work with during follow-up. Implement interactive and engaging website software that encourages online furniture customers to give your company more detailed data, such as their preferred mattress firmness or style of dining room table.
“We want to give salespeople a much more comprehensive sales profile, which gives the staff and store a better opportunity to convert that lead in real time,” Stump says. “That first touch is much better than a generic outreach or cold call.”
Establish some website metrics, evaluate your current numbers and set goals for lead conversion. For smaller furniture stores or those with limited resources, that can be tricky without the help of a furniture marketing company or the right software.
“If a store is seeing an increase in website traffic, but not seeing as many people in the showroom, those are the exact retailers that need to examine what exactly that correlation should be, and ask how they can better measure that and convert those sales,” Stump says.
At PERQ, we break it all down for our clients, from the number of unique visitors to which features each visitor clicked on and engaged with. We can actually tie website leads to in-store purchases by pulling the store sales report and matching visitors to an in-store point of sale.
Build Long-Term, Targeted Ad Campaigns for Your Furniture Sales Team
For furniture sales managers who are in charge of making the most of the store website and collected data, you can use that data in a more long-tail marketing strategy that’s sure to boost the success of your furniture sales team.
Yes, detailed customer data helps with immediate conversion, but furniture stores can also slice and dice that information to build micro-campaigns that are super effective and more targeted.
“Furniture stores can also slice and dice that information to build micro-campaigns.”
Break out the data for each unique visitor and send them a relevant experience or promotion based on what they previously engaged with on your website.
“Stores need to understand that to do better on your website, you have to make it a true sales and marketing tool,” Stump says. “What does the website offer in terms of sales conversions and leads? If we don’t understand that, we’re missing out on a golden opportunity.”