6 min read3 Common Problems Furniture Store Marketing Companies Solve
To succeed in the crowded home furnishings marketplace, furniture store marketing companies say retailers must develop a comprehensive marketing strategy and quality website experience to attract and cater to the needs of furniture shoppers.
Furniture retailers new to digital marketing know they need to do something different than traditional advertising, but aren’t sure how to compete online against giant e-commerce retailers and national brands.
“In the last 10 years, we’ve lost close to 40 percent of retail brick-and-mortar stores in the home furnishings market,” says Bill Napier, managing partner of Napier Marketing Group and author of an informational marketing website social4retail.com. In his 35-plus years in the marketing industry, he’s served as chief marketing officer at Ashley Furniture and multiple other furniture brands.
The good news? Napier says research shows more than 85 percent of shoppers prefer to shop and buy locally. Since the majority of furniture shoppers start their search online, retailers must implement digital marketing strategies and technology solutions that attract website traffic and convert those online leads into showroom sales.
Here are the top ways furniture store marketing companies help retailers do just that.
Furniture Store Marketing Companies Help Clients Understand Digital Advertising
Retailers that treat each type of advertising as a separate vertical miss out on opportunities to cross-promote on social, web and traditional platforms, which is a common mistake retailers new to digital advertising often make.
“Most furniture retailers struggle with designing a multi-channel marketing campaign that has a single universal message,” says Justin Vandagriff, Vice President of Client Services at R&A Marketing, a furniture and mattress digital advertising agency in Columbus, Ohio. “Another big problem we see is a lack of understanding from retailers when it comes to utilizing digital advertising.”
“The digital world is an ever-changing rainforest.”
— Justin Vandagriff, Vice President of Client Services, R&A Marketing
Vandagriff says retailers don’t really know how to create the best digital presence. Furniture marketing companies can help your store figure out how much to budget for digital advertising and where to spend that money.
“The digital world is an ever-changing rainforest,” Vandagriff says. “Retailers need a good path guide to keep them on track.”
Furniture Store Marketing Companies Provide Technology Solutions
Aside from helping clients master Facebook ads and Google Adwords, furniture marketing companies can also give advice on how to improve a retailer’s website and implement technological solutions to track visitors and sales, such as interactive website software thatalso helps to personalize the onlineexperience for visitors.
A quality website is fundamental to a furniture retailer’s marketing strategy, says Furniture Branding CEO Jason Pires. His Los Angeles firm emphasizes modern, digital solutions that engage and connect retailers with consumers.
“Your website is as important as your brick-and-mortar store,” Pires says. “Integrate a little bit more technology on the site itself. Add layers that customize the experience with the consumers. Not one single thing works for everybody — you’ve got to try many different things to see what works for your store.”
“Your website is as important as your brick-and-mortar store.”
— Jason Pires, CEO of Furniture Branding
Napier says furniture retailers often fail to invest adequately in their website, which is a short-sided approach. “They won’t spend the money to grow the business — always looking at the front-end costs and not the big picture,” he says.
He says furniture retailers make the mistake of not displaying enough merchandise on the site and not including enough detail on each furniture piece, which not only frustrates shoppers but also makes it harder to rank on website search engines. “They have bad content so they can’t even get found, and if they do get found and it’s a crappy website, why would people want to go into that store?” Napier asks.
Implement a Marketing Strategy with a Furniture Store Marketing Firm
Furniture store marketing companies help retailers get online, build out a branded presence on social media, and market their stores with content, advertising and targeted promotions. All tasks that are usually too much for an independent retailer to tackle.
With most consumers comparing prices online, furniture companies must give customers an incentive to step into their store. “I’ve got to have a compelling reason to buy from you as a retailer,” Pires says. “What’s the added value of doing business with you? What elements are you adding to really make me want to shop there and engage with your sales team?
Pires says social media engagement gives customers a way to interact with your brand and tout your services to other consumers. Ultimately, you just need to give people one good reason to visit your showroom, because furniture shoppers still prefer to see the products in person.
“Customers still want to touch and feel the product before they buy,” Vandagriff says. “However, what has changed is that once they touch and feel at your store, they’re price shopping and potentially buying online somewhere else. Your customer experience has to match the convenience of shopping online.”