Home furnishing stores are feeling the pressure and are working hard to turn website visitors into store traffic, both virtually and in-store (safely, of course).
Marketing furniture has to start with empowering your digital marketing and getting clear visibility into what’s driving the most sales while nurturing your home furnishings shoppers and improving lead management. A marketing strategy for home furnishers needs to focus on:
- Increasing web engagement and conversions
- Nurturing home furnishings shoppers
- Growing your website traffic
- Owning and understanding your data
- Managing leads better
In today’s online commerce world, whether or not they end up in your showroom (virtual or otherwise) and purchase depends entirely on your website. It’s not a matter of if they visited your Home Furnishings website, in nearly all cases, they did. It’s a matter of how the customer engages with your site and educates themselves as they travel on the purchase journey. The online experience shopping determines if you got the sale or your competitor did.
Today’s furniture shopper starts with initial research by comparing products, pricing and deal options online. They may spend minutes to months browsing home furnishing websites researching that perfect mattress, piece of furniture, or appliance.
Understanding what is important to consumers who are shopping for furniture, mattresses or appliances, keeping them engaged with your store’s brand and recognizing when they’re ready to buy not only provides you with valuable information, it saves time and resources. Along with those benefits, your store gains invaluable consumer data to influence future marketing and operational decisions while also building relationships.
“We had a very typical website, with products and a banner running across the top. The PERQ experience adds animation and movement, and things to attract the customer to interact with the site, to ask for information, and so it adds value,” says Justin Allen, Owner of the Mattress Store with four locations in Utah. “It also allows us to contact the customer and bring the experience into the store.”
Furniture Selling Techniques
Knowledge is power and with information more readily available via technology, your furniture customer requires a different retail experience. Leveraging different furniture selling techniques is now more important than ever because consumers do ample research before visiting a furniture store. Good salespeople understand each customer walks into the showroom with a different amount of knowledge, and therefore a different purpose for their visit.
Today, more than ever, the salesperson and customer interaction requires relationship building, trust and the art of listening. Higher ticket items are an emotional purchase and 84% of shoppers still prefer to visit showrooms to physically see products prior to making a decision.
With information so accessible to consumers, brands and salespeople need to understand where the customer is in the decision-making process and need to better adjust their furniture selling techniques. “I think the consumer is going to expect more and more from the shopping experience,” says Jon Greenbaum, Advertising Manager at Greenbaum Home Furnishings. “Regardless of if they are shopping from home or in the store.”
The salesperson’s relationship with the customer begins well before they meet face to face. Technology provides consumers the ability to learn more about products and options, while also giving a sales team data-driven insight into the customer’s wants and needs.
Collect valuable online data and generate consumer insights with the right software and CRM. Furniture sales techniques begin by providing digital sales training so the team understands how to utilize the technology. The salesperson can use a specific shopper’s data to personalize the follow-up and nurture the lead, creating more engagement and potentially brand loyalty.
Listen to the Bridge Podcast to learn how Knight Furniture continued to successfully serve their customers digitally.
Furniture Website Strategies
If someone asked why you think you’re the better furniture store compared to the competition, you’d probably talk about your well-trained, friendly sales staff and fully stocked showroom. But what about the store website?
With 90% of home furnishing shoppers looking online before making a purchase, your website must give consumers all the feels, just like you aim to do inside the physical showroom. Your team immediately greets shoppers walking in the door, offers assistance and directs them to the section best suited for what they say they need, while also learning as much as they can about those consumers.
AI-powered technology can give your store the edge by delivering personalized, helpful guidance to shoppers on the website, and gathering valuable consumer data your store can use to nurture those shoppers with customized incentives and experiences.
“Modern tools have made it easy to not only develop an online presence, but also to showcase merchandise, handle fulfillment, and meet consumers where they are to draw them into the store,” says Steve Davidson, VP of Fortegra’s Warranty Product Group, in his article The future of furniture retail recently featured on Retail Customer Experience.
“Traditional retailers are struggling in the face of challenges — specifically from their online competitors … Those furniture retailers who have faced the challenge head on are finding that today’s technology provides a low barrier to entry for the uninitiated.”
What are some great furniture website strategies to drive engagement?
Make Website Visitors Feel Welcomed
Acknowledge online visitors the moment they land on your furniture store’s website, and personalize their entire interaction based on their behavior as they move along. Welcome them with a personalized message in a pop-up window, banner or chat bubble, and check-in as they browse to see if they have any questions or point out some helpful tools you offer on the site to get them started.
Offer to show them around the website or offer them a virtual consultation, ask them qualifying questions to learn more about their lifestyle, and serve up pages, products or assessments that make the most sense based on what they’re searching.
Make them feel like they’ve found a place that’s helpful, easy to navigate and a pleasure to do business with — just like you do in person.
Give Consumers the Information They Seek
Consumers prefer to gather as much information as possible before they ever enter a store showroom. Make it easy to find all of the details about the items they’re most interested in buying, and help them narrow down their selection by providing helpful assessments and tools.
Just by being helpful, your website can build trust with consumers and they’ll think of you when they’re ready to buy. That makes converting online leads into sales a much more feasible task for your in-store team when they follow up or meet them in person.
Educated consumers will appreciate the access to information at their fingertips so they can confidently make a decision. While you may think withholding details like pricing will make them call or come into the store, it’s actually more likely to send them searching on competitors’ websites for the answer. Effectively move leads down the sales funnel and closer to a purchase by giving them all of the information they seek online.
The Better Furniture Store Guides Online Leads
While shoppers prefer to self-service when it comes to gathering information online, they do appreciate it when a website guides them along in the process. Use AI website conversion software to intuitively lead consumers along in their journey and serve up the next best step in the process to help them.
Direct online furniture shoppers to the products that best suit their taste, and set up your store website so it shows them information related to the data you’ve already collected on them as they click around. Do they seem torn on the best type of mattress, jumping around between all of the options? Offer them a mattress assessment that explains in the results why a particular kind of mattress may work better for their specific sleep needs.
Learn all 5 ways you can use technology on your furniture store website to prove you are indeed the better furniture store.