Enhancing Engagement and Conversion by Marketing Furniture to Prospective Website Leads

Enhancing Engagement and Conversion by Marketing Furniture to Prospective Website Leads

In order to increase customer engagement, there are several steps in the conversion chain that furniture retailers must hone in order to pull a website visitor to an in-store sale. Calls to Action (CTAs), interactive experiences, and offers are all examples of steps that can be improved to create more showroom sales.

 

Testing and improving your consumer experiences to increase customer engagement is a continuous process. Unlike before, where you basically had to guess at what changes made a difference on your website, interactive experiences on your website give you the control to experiment with changes that can improve your leading indicators of engagement and ultimately improve your web traffic to sales numbers.

 

Once you have all of the experiences in place, you’ll want to determine their impact on generating more clicks, more inquiries, and more sales by slowly using simple A/B tests and changing one thing at a time to understand their significance.

 

The driving force behind increasing customer engagement is the goal of getting more people to step up and voluntarily give up personal information in return for receiving something desired from your website. Throughout this post, whenever we say “something desired” take that to mean an incentive that can be anything from an offer to assessment results.

 

We’ve found there are six elements that you need to focus on to increase website traffic and conversion by turning website visitors into leads for your furniture sales team:

 

1. Unique Pattern Interrupt

This concept is simple — the more creative you can get on the CTA experience that communicates something desired, the higher your results will be.

 

Do you want something that breaks a visitor out of her normal pattern of browsing and goes, “What’s this?” Then you need to brainstorm ways you can achieve this by tying in your brand and the unique value you offer!

 

2. CTAs

Your Calls-to-Action are critical to test and measure as they are the catalyst to everything else that follows in generating more inquiries and sales. A few things you should review and look to improve in order to increase consumer engagement are:

 

  • Traffic to Clicks Percentages on Each CTA: As yourself, which CTAs are working and which are not? Adjust accordingly.
  • Dynamic Design: Don’t settle for static and plain CTAs! Include animation on your banners, buttons and sidebars.
  • Language: Experiment with different ways to communicate the desired offer so that you can test directly on your CTA to see if it leads to more clicks and inquiries.
  • Colors: Colors have a huge impact on whether or not a CTA will be noticed. While staying within your brand is important, your website’s purpose is to increase customer engagement. Find CTAs that fit within your brand, but also stand-out and get noticed.
  • Options: The ideal website will attract visitors at each stage of the purchasing funnel, whether that’s browsing, researching or buying.

 

3. Experiences

Once you have looked to improve CTAs, the next step is to improve how you get a visitor to complete the steps of converting into an inquiry. A completed experience means that a consumer has exchanged their information with you for something desired.

 

Keep in mind stats like Clicks to Inquiries Percentages when enhancing consumer experiences. This stat lets you know how effective you are at getting someone to complete the experience once they click the CTA.

 

Where drop-offs occur is another key indicator of the success of your experiences. It will show where your conversion is breaking and allow you to adjust. This can even happen at the beginning of experiences. The load time it takes for experiences to open can have an impact on conversion. If you are losing consumers early after they click a CTA, this is something to review.

 

“Where drop-offs occur is another key indicator of the success of your experiences.”

 

Another quick tip? Do NOT try to get a consumer to fill in a bunch of information on just one or two pages! Make sure your experiences are multi-page and broken up into simple and small steps that smoothly flow together.

 

For example, the initial page of the experience should clearly state what the consumer is getting out of the experience and how easy it will be to receive that something desired. The initial page should be compelling enough that visitors want to keep going with the experience.

 

Subsequently, the following pages should feature only one or two questions per page. If you put a bunch of questions in front of a visitor, your drop-off rate will explode!

 

Other tips for utilizing your website to turn visitors into leads for your sales team include making sure that visitors can answer with just a tap of a button rather than typing something in; the aesthetics of your design and user experiences look and feel professional; and you collect contact info in a way that gives the consumer a choice on how they prefer to be contacted, how frequently, and ensuring that they do not get asked for the same information multiple times.auto pricing illustration | PERQ AI Leasing Assistant

4. CTAs and Experiences for ALL Stages of the Purchase Funnel

By having CTAs and experiences that apply to all types of website traffic and not just those ready to make a purchase, your conversion and engagement will be higher. Try the following on your site:

 

  • Browsing (Promotion)
  • Instant-Win Games
  • Register-to-Win
  • Scratch-Off Offers
  • Research (Assessments)
  • Buy (Offer/Price Unlock/Appointment/Credit App)

 

5. Data Accuracy and Language Incentive

While this actually falls under the improving the “Experience” section, we thought it was important to call out separately. When a visitor goes to put their contact information into a contact form, they know it will be used for marketing.

 

That’s why you have to make sure you pass the “Should I give my real info or fake info?” test.

 

“Transparency is important if you want to increase customer engagement.”

 

The majority of the time, your something desired should be strong enough to make sure they’re incentivized to give their real information. You should also make it abundantly clear how their information will be used. Don’t plan to sell their data? State that!

 

Transparency is important if you want to increase customer engagement. Inform consumers how you will use their information to email them something desired.

 

6. Mobile

We guarantee that over half of your website traffic comes from mobile visitors. That’s why you need to make sure your experiences are mobile friendly to increase customer engagement.

 

After putting so much effort and money into driving traffic to your site and creating great experiences, the last thing you’d want is for the visitor to feel frustrated and turned off.

 

It’s easy to create a mobile friendly site, and it’s an important part of the user design for both CTAs and experiences. A mobile responsive site should be a high priority for you!

 

As you can see, there are a lot ways to fine-tune your website CTAs, experiences and offers so that you increase customer engagement and enhance your online experience so that consumers will come into the showroom.

 

Be conscious of these different elements that can be tweaked as you work to connect the different steps in the conversion chain in order to convert a website visitor into an in-store sale.

Furniture Website Personalization Best Practices: Behavior Targeting, Smart Pathing, and Databases

Furniture Website Personalization Best Practices: Behavior Targeting, Smart Pathing, and Databases

Would you ever ask an in-store shopper their name several times? Or give them a special offer on a mattress when they already said they want a sofa? Of course not. To keep visitors engaged, retailers need to use furniture website personalization best practices that leverage behavior targeting, smart pathing, and database building.

 

Follow below to learn about these three furniture website personalization best practices.

 

Behavior Targeting

Behavior targeting with your calls to action, or CTAs, is a great way to track what a website user has looked at, what products they have engaged with and what interactive experiences they’ve completed. This is more commonly known as leveraging “cookies,” which helps retailers understand how to adjust their offerings to a website visitor’s interests to effectively personalize the online experience.

 

Remember how we mentioned that you wouldn’t give someone who said they were looking to buy a sofa a coupon for a mattress? Thanks to behavior targeting, if someone engages with sofas on your website, your CTAs will adjust to offer promotions on sofas.

 

Taking it one step further, if a visitor engages with one of the promotions for a sofa, the next CTA may be to schedule a time to come into the store for a consultation. With behavior targeting, your website remembers what a consumer has already done and how they’ve engaged with your website and is trying to predict what their next steps will be.

 

Smart Pathing

Another one of the furniture website personalization best practices is Smart Pathing. Smart pathing, also know as dynamic pathing, is having the ability for all your experiences to keep track of what information your visitor has already provided and to not re-ask them for the same information. It allows you to ask something different to help move the consumer onto the next buying step and continue to build out their consumer profile (more on that in a second).

 

As we mentioned earlier, you wouldn’t keep asking a consumer their name once they get into the showroom! In the same vein, you wouldn’t keep collecting the same information on each experience the consumer goes through.

 

“Smart pathing is having the ability for all your experiences to keep track of what information your visitor has already provided.”

 

For example, if you already have the consumer’s zip code, on the next experience, ask them if they plan to finance with you. If they answer “Yes” then ask for their email to send them a credit application. See how smart pathing is an intuitive way to understand the consumer’s journey and apply it to your website?

 

As its name suggests, when you path out experiences on your website, you are increasing the personalization of your furniture website based on the buyer’s behavior.

 

Building Online Databases

In the showroom, you gather the information of each buyer after they have made a purchase so that you can follow up with direct mail. Wouldn’t it make sense to do the same on your website? In fact, wouldn’t it be even better to collect a consumer’s information on the website even if they did NOT make a purchase?

 

“Wouldn’t it be even better to collect a consumer’s information on the website even if they did NOT make a purchase?”

 

Chances are good that your website is seeing more traffic than your showroom, so it’s strategic to begin your data collection at the beginning of the buyer’s journey.

 

Furniture retailers can set up their business for success farther down the line and begin opening channels of communication between your brand and the consumer.

furniture_pricing_graphicBegin by building your online database of information about your consumers from their very first interaction with your website. Collect data on your website for immediate follow up after a shopper’s initial visit. The data makes for less expensive and more effective marketing down the road.

 

Furthermore, the best part about continuously gathering data is that you are building out a full consumer profile, instead of just capturing a name and email address over and over.

 

Based on our customers’ success since implementing an interactive website strategy, we’ve found that websites should be generating at least 3% of inquiries to website traffic. If you’re not at 3%, you do not have good conversion — and most of the furniture store owners or marketers we have talked with are at less than 1%.

 

To put this in perspective, after only a year, you’d have thousands more people who you could affordably contact by email to inform them about new promotions or encourage them to visit your showroom. That’s why building an online databases is so critical with the information you capture online.

 

When you combine behavior targeting, smart pathing and building online databases, your website becomes intelligent and dynamic. It means you’re better personalizing your website for furniture visitors and understanding their needs so that ultimately you can get them into your showroom. Understanding these furniture website personalization best practices is key to building trust.

How the Landscape of Car Advertising is Evolving for Dealers

How the Landscape of Car Advertising is Evolving for Dealers

In a Saturday Night Live skit, Jim Carrey couldn’t resist poking fun at a Lincoln commercial featuring actor Matthew McConaughey. Maybe it was because the commercial seemed too much like a throwback to commercials from decades ago — when a good-looking man or woman seemed to be the standard formula to get people to line up to buy cars.

 

HOW THE LANDSCAPE OF CAR ADVERTISING IS EVOLVING FOR DEALERS

 

As with everything else, car advertising has been evolving to meet consumers’ interests. Back in the ’50s and ’60s, car advertising was a bit more basic — offering informative details like mileage, engine displacement, and speed. And the decadence of the 1980s led to those McConaughey-style ads: The car you drove had a lot to do with your personality. Luxury cars were associated with your accomplishments, while ads for sporty cars might feature a catchy slogan or a joke or two.

 

And, of course, in recent years, technology is the centerpiece of many TV ads. But maybe there’s an occasional throwback to those luxurious lifestyle commercials. Here’s how the landscape of car advertising is evolving:

 

Mixing It Up

Today, car dealerships are scaling back on traditional advertising, according to a report from Borrell Associates. The report, “2016 Auto Outlook: The Thinning of the Media Pack,” notes that per-vehicle advertising costs fell 22 percent from 2009 to 2016.

 

The number of car dealerships has also declined — between 2011 and 2016, the average midsize market lost 16 dealerships, many of them smaller car lots that merged with large dealers.

 

So, there are fewer car dealerships advertising, and that’s driving down the cost of ads. Plus, dealerships are shifting the majority of their budget to digital media. Dealers that want to stay relevant are abandoning the business-as-usual mindset, realizing that traditional advertising may not be the best way to connect with modern consumers.blog separator multi tri | PERQ AI Leasing Assistant

Innovation Is Essential

In 2014, Ian Robertson, board member and overseer of sales and marketing for BMW, told Forbes contributor Carmine Gallo, “The old model of dealerships are, in my opinion, under extreme risk for the future if we don’t change.”

 

At the time, BMW was rolling out its concept for “product geniuses” – experts on BMW products that work at dealerships and explain car details to shoppers, but are not involved in sales.

 

BMW first tested the product genius concept in Europe in 2012, and by 2014, it reported a 10 to 15 percent increase in the purchase of high-end options.blog separator multi tri | PERQ AI Leasing Assistant

Rethinking The Dealership Experience

Alain Visser, senior vice president of the new car brand Lynk & Co., says young people are uninterested in visiting a traditional car dealership. Dealerships must become something more than they are currently, whether that means adding amenities or building their reputation within their communities. These three dealerships have embraced that challenge:

 

Big Two Toyota in Chandler, Ariz., would be a destination, even if it had no cars to sell. The dealership houses a café, barbershop, nail salon and an enormous play area for kids, complete with an arcade. While customers wait, they can get a 15-minute chair massage.

 

Barton Chevrolet-Cadillac, in Newburgh, N.Y., has earned the respect of the community by housing the local fire department, as the firehouse undergoes remodeling.

 

According to Auto News, dealership owner Ron Barton saved local taxpayers $100,000 by allowing the fire department to occupy a vacant space on his property – all of the other temporary options would have cost the fire department $8,000 to $10,000 per month.

 

Kunes County Auto Group, in Delavan, Wis., is shifting its focus from promoting its cars to promoting its people. The dealership encourages sales staff to have an active social media presence, and the marketing department helps employees set up and format their personal Facebook pages.

 

When customers do visit a dealer location, it’s likely they already know who works there and have some connection to a salesperson there. The Kunes group also engages in volunteerism and charitable giving.

blog separator multi tri | PERQ AI Leasing Assistant

Traditional Car Advertising Not Dead Yet

While there seems to be scaling back on traditional car advertising, there is still evidence that it is still working as part of a mix of marketing approaches.

 

Gordon Borrell of Borrell Associates had this to say about the trend: “Even after 20 years of plowing more and more money into Internet advertising, dealers haven’t finished their scale-back of traditional media.

 

 

“To be clear, I don’t think the scale-back is wholesale,” he added. “The cuts are more directed to inferior media companies. Dealers are simply shutting the door on companies that keep sending reps who see digital media as a competitor, not a complement.”

 

 

The report revealed that car dealers consider different avenues of advertising as evening out — with “online ads” being rated as just as important or effective as TV advertising in generating leads. Also, social media was rated as a top tier source of leads.

 

 

Borrell, describing this trend as a “thinning of the pack,” said companies that embrace a comprehensive solution will be the most competitive. On the other hand, those resistant to changes in the industry will view them as negative — and, as a result, will be susceptible to falling behind.

Tips on How to Generate Leads for Sales at Your Dealership

Tips on How to Generate Leads for Sales at Your Dealership

Looking for more strategies on how to generate leads for sales at your dealership? A handful of strategies can help you do that — but one thing to note is that some of those strategies don’t work overnight. Some of the most effective strategies out there have more of a long-term impact.

1. Become a Resource

J.D. Power reported in 2015 that 83 percent of new car buyers visit at least one car dealership website, as they research types of cars. If shoppers land on your website, you may be able to instill confidence in your dealership by offering the kind of useful content they’re searching for.

 

Write blog posts about topics that matter to car buyers, such as fuel economy, crash test ratings and insurance costs. Include a chat client, so that shoppers have an opportunity to ask you questions online and engage further with your dealership.

 

Just make sure you ask for an email address. Even if a consumer is in the beginning stages of a car-buying journey, your helpfulness may inspire them to return to your dealership when it’s time to buy a car.

 

If you have the resources, consider offering an email blog digest or newsletter that consumers can sign up for. When you can track the kind of content people are reading and sharing, you’ll have a better idea of how to market to them.blog separator multi tri | PERQ AI Leasing Assistant

2. Encourage Referrals

Turn your existing customers into brand ambassadors with a simple referral program. You could consider offering a free oil change for customers who refer a friend that visits your car lot, or some other type of perk for customers who share your blog content on social media.

 

Ask your satisfied customers to write reviews on websites like Yelp and Google+. According to Edmunds, 90 percent of car buyers say positive dealership reviews influence their purchasing decisions.

Winning Hearts, Minds, and Dollars with Intent Dealer Marketing

Winning Hearts, Minds, and Dollars with Intent Dealer Marketing

Over the years, dealer marketing experts have relied heavily on demographic data to help target potential customers. However, today’s ever-changing digital landscape calls for a mix of data in order to understand the consumer. According to a 2015 study by Millward Brown, “Marketers that try to reach their audience solely on demographics risk missing more than 70 percent of potential mobile shoppers.” (more…)