You can’t prove what you can’t measure. Many retailers lack an integrated system to track, analyze and engage online shoppers on a meaningful level — let alone attach real revenue dollars to digital advertising.
“One of the challenges the furniture industry faces is tracking online marketing to in-store sales,” says Barb Davids, Digital Marketing Manager at Walker Furniture in Las Vegas and owner of a digital marketing agency.
You can’t make solid marketing decisions without enough data to fully analyze your online traffic, lead conversions, and digital advertising performance. You can’t collect enough data and gain that transparency without a way to engage with online shoppers and collect their information across multiple channels.
“Right now, business owners try to make digital advertising decisions and get frustrated,” says Scott Hill, PERQ Executive Chairman and Co-Founder. “They spend tens of thousands of dollars in digital advertising a month, and they can’t tell from the store if anything’s different, or who came in as a result of the digital advertising or how it’s performing.”
Top 5 Digital Advertising Problems
Solve these 5 common digital advertising problems and you’ll gain actionable insights into where your digital advertising dollars make the most impact.
1. Low Website Conversion
Digital advertising efforts may increase website traffic, but that doesn’t mean your store suddenly converts more online visitors. If your home furnishings website acts simply as a static brochure with nothing noteworthy to offer consumers, you’re likely missing out on a chance to engage with customers and encourage an in-store visit.
Personalize their online experience, give helpful guidance, and entice them with relevant incentives. Walker Furniture’s website guides online shoppers with integrated software that turns anonymous website traffic into detailed consumer profiles, delivering Walker Furniture with valuable information like why a consumer is in the market for a mattress, how they plan to use their new sofa or what they like to do in their spare time.
“We can see a customer is engaged with us when they take a style quiz, ask about a product or schedule a design consultation,” says Davids. “It gives us a way to drive in-store sales, but even better than that, a way to track our online efforts to in-store sales.”
Converting website leads to in-store sales requires an integrated approach. By linking every digital advertising account to the store website, a retailer can run a cohesive advertising campaign across platforms to give online shoppers a streamlined experience. At the same time, the store gets a comprehensive view of what’s driving the most traffic and sales.
2. Lack of Data Transparency
Home furnishing stores must look at every aspect when examining how individual digital advertising campaigns perform, including the cost of administering and managing those campaigns. Demand transparency when evaluating your digital advertising spending and consumer data.
To calculate true ROI for different digital advertising avenues, invest in AI technology that takes into account all of the various touchpoints along a consumer’s journey and factors in any hidden costs or maintenance fees. It’s far too complicated for a human to evaluate and report results with such detail, or at least in a timely manner, and that makes all of the difference. Digital advertising requires you to be quick and nimble, and without sufficient transparency you can’t confidently make decisions based on data.
3. Poor Reporting on Digital Advertising Performance
Website traffic totals don’t directly correlate to sales performance. You don’t care how many potential customers your salesperson talked to in a month. You care about how much merchandise they sold and total profit they produced. Why should your home furnishings store website be any different?
Don’t settle for generic overviews that fail to break down exactly where your marketing money was spent and the performance of each individual digital advertising campaign. Exactly which digital ads converted leads to sales, and what path did those consumers take before purchasing? Know how many website visitors actually converted into customers and which online experiences influenced that in-store sale.
This is where popular analytics tools typically fall short. They can’t accurately track a consumer who uses several different electronic devices to view the website or digital advertising and returns multiple times to do research. They count a single customer as multiple visitors, failing to see the shopper’s entire journey or get accurate reporting.
4. One-Size-Fits-All Products
It takes sophisticated software to collect all of this consumer profile and sales data, then process it and automatically respond to the real-time insights it delivers. Until recently, no such product existed for the home furnishings industry. Advances in AI-based cloud technology have made it a feasible solution for independent stores seeking a more transparent way to centralize and utilize their data.
A marketing cloud developed specifically for furniture, appliance and mattress retailers makes all of the difference when trying to track digital advertising dollars and learn how to grow the business in an effective, efficient way. Powered by AI, a marketing cloud also gives stores a way to automatically adjust digital advertising spends based on data and performance.
5. Insufficient Digital Marketing Data
Centralized marketing cloud data resolves a small local store’s conundrum of insufficient data. The AI technology not only collects and analyzes a retailer’s own sales and lead data, it then compares that information to millions of other consumer data points collected across the industry. With those big-data insights, the cloud formulates an ideal customer profile the store can use to target new customers through digital advertising as well as re-target existing leads.
“That gives us the ability to improve and decide which consumer profiles are most likely to convert,” Hill says. “You can then target them specifically with digital marketing, know which channels are most likely to get you in front of those type of shoppers, as well as which offers, products and services are helping to convert the best.”
Additional Home Furnishings Resources
- Find out how to transform your home furnishings team with digital sales training.
- When considering your digital sales process, here are 5 tips to keep in mind.
- Learn a quick, easy way to engage with and nurture leads.
- Turn your website visitors into in-store traffic with PERQ’s marketing cloud for home furnishings stores.