Winning Website Tip #7 From PERQ: Is Your Home Furnishings Website Generating Quality Leads?
Without the interactive sofa style assessment on Quality Furniture’s website, the Texas home furnishings store wouldn’t know that 33% of people who took the online quiz want a couch that seats four or more people. It also wouldn’t have received the website leads generated from 100% of visitors who took advantage of the store’s free online shopping tools.
“Now I know I have a market for 100-inch sofas,” says Jordan Barrick, Vice President of Quality Furniture. While the retailer sells large sectionals and lists them on the store website, it doesn’t feature them inside the store showroom. “We don’t have any on the floor. That’s a valuable insight.”
Don’t Miss Out on Website Leads
Without engaging website experiences, online shoppers who spent several minutes clicking answers in a style quiz and typing short responses about themselves would have likely skimmed the website quickly to see if anything caught their eye before moving on to other home furnishing websites — without Quality Furniture ever knowing who they were, what they were looking for or why they exited the site.
Between January and August 2018, Quality Furniture received nearly 2,000 website leads from consumers who registered their contact information while using website conversion tools from PERQ. Embedded on the home furnishings website, the interactive software generated leads from approximately 6% of visitors who visited the website. Before adding the interactive software, their website traffic to lead benchmark was less than 2%.
Collect Quality Information for Lead Nurturing
Not only do interactive quizzes and planning tools give the store a way to identify trends and popular products in demand, the smart software also generates detailed leads. Every website visitor who takes the sofa style assessment or interacts with any of the website experiences on Quality Furniture’s website — like a design style assessment or scratch-and-save promotional offer — reveals personal details that help the sales team nurture and convert leads into sales.
Other digital lead-generation sources Barrick utilizes, such as paid ads on Facebook and Google, deliver only basic information on a potential customer. “Once they come to my site from those sources and engage with an experience, I can find out so much more,” Barrick says. “How far down they are in the sales funnel. What style of furniture they like. It helps us establish common ground really quickly.”
Use AI to Keep Consumers Engaged
By collecting lead information and tracking an individual shopper’s journey on the website, home furnishings stores can provide those consumers with a personalized, helpful shopping experience tailored to their interests, either on the store website, through email or even a direct mail lead nurturing campaign.
Artificial intelligence solutions automate the lead follow-up process, so even a small sales staff can successfully manage an increase in website leads. Quality Furniture uses an automated email drip campaign to send personalized, scheduled emails to all website registrants for up to three months after they visit the site. The emails contain helpful content, such as explaining different types of sofas, or offering incentives to motivate the consumer to visit the showroom or reach out to a specific salesperson with questions.
“It’s worth it to stay top of mind with your customer,” Barrick says. “Sending AI-type emails where it sounds like we’re reading their minds makes it a custom experience. It goes beyond serving the customer. It’s almost precognitive: tell me what I need before I need it.”
Stores can implement the same selling technique through AI technology on the website, helping visitors figure out exactly what they want and guiding them to the next best step in their specific shopping process. By combining website lead generation with email nurturing, retailers keep shoppers interested during the long buying cycle for furniture.
“It’s engaging consumers, getting us about 300 to 400 email addresses a month,” says Dave Maxwell, President of La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries of Ottawa & Kingston, about the store’s online guided shopping solution, which automatically feeds leads into their email nurturing program with PERQ. “That approach is driving a lot of sales and leads.”
Increase Website Lead-to-Sale Conversions
Ultimately, increasing in-store sales and profit drives any digital effort. While it’s still important to work on increasing website traffic and analyzing overarching data to help attract new customers and keep return customers satisfied, those goals don’t directly convert sales.
By investing in technology that captures individual website leads and provides an engaging shopping experience through marketing automation, home furnishings stores can take a more targeted approach and better nurture those leads until they decide they’re ready to buy. Recent marketing studies prove that approach improves a retailer’s bottom line.
Quality Furniture converts more than 10% of its website leads to in-store sales since launching the interactive website features that collect lead information. Barrick, who used to run a digital marketing firm before getting into the family furniture business, says he was once a naysayer of this kind of website technology but the results speak for themselves.
“I’m seeing $70,000 in ROI,” Barrick says. “I know, some of the numbers seem fanciful, but if you have doubts go talk to other businesses that utilize it and are successful. I don’t believe my business would be near as successful without these tools.”
For store owners who doubt customers will actually engage with interactive tools in exchange for providing contact and other personal information, take a quick scroll through Facebook or popular pop culture sites. It’s apparent our digitized society loves self-discovery quizzes and instant, online results tailored to us.
“People are filling out Rocket Mortgage applications left and right, handing over secure information. There are so many online tests out there now, like Which Harry Potter Character Are You?,” Barrick says. “People want to know more about themselves and your product, and which one is right for them. You have to be willing to try new things.”
This article was originally published on Furniture World.