Knight Furniture & Mattress devotes much of its marketing budget to improving technology resources and perfecting its online lead conversion strategies, despite being in business in North Central Texas for more than a century.
As early adopters of innovative technologies in an industry traditionally slow to adapt, the progressive management team at Knight Furniture generated some initial success from their digital marketing efforts; however, they struggled to attribute the store’s growth to specific marketing channels or tie in-store revenue to leads generated online.
Increases in their digital advertising spending often correlated with an increase in website and foot traffic, but it wasn’t entirely clear what motivated customers to come into the store and buy. Basic Google Analytics reports lumped together anonymous leads collected from “social media” and “digital advertising” to deliver generic results with poor insights into ROI and channel performance.
“It was the question of, ‘How do I track this?’ I would increase my spending on Google Ads and the sales in our store would increase, but it wasn’t consistent and we couldn’t be sure they were related,” says Joey Gunn, Vice President of Knight Furniture & Mattress and the fourth generation to help run the family business.
With a degree in advertising and decades of onsite job experience starting as a young teenager, Gunn knew there must be a better way to track digital advertising results down to the dollar. They also wanted to source the store’s growing number of leads that turned into showroom sales, which averaged 6.34% the first four months of 2019 and equaled $91,503.31.
Now that we have the right technology to analyze our data, it’s clear just how much business we can attribute to the website and other online sources.
Joey Gunn, Vice President of Knight Furniture & Mattress
“We’re still struggling to figure out the exact right mix of advertising,” Gunn says. “There are all of these new advertising products constantly being introduced. It seems like they come up with something new for digital every week. We can’t afford them all.”
To gain visibility into how well the store’s various digital advertising platforms perform and which ads drive the most actual revenue, Knight Furniture invested in an AI-powered marketing cloud that centralizes all of the retailer’s online lead and traffic data — from the website and digital advertising campaigns, along with in-store appointments and sales transactions. They now track a shopper’s entire consumer journey and, most importantly, get accurate ROI reporting on every digital marketing spend.
“Now that we have the right technology to analyze our data, it’s clear just how much business we can attribute to the website and other online sources,” Gunn says. “We can actually see who landed at the front counter and bought something in our stores. I think that’s the ultimate metric that matters.”
Knight Furniture & Mattress utilizes AI-driven web conversion software, first added to the store website in 2017, to collect lead information while guiding online shoppers down the sales funnel with interactive quizzes. From the start of 2019 to April, Knight captured 1,026 online leads on the store website.
The product specialists working the showroom and phones at Knight’s two Texas locations in Gainesville and Sherman use the detailed consumer profile information from the website and other online sources to personalize their sales approach. They’re able to close those online leads when the shopper calls, emails or visits in person after looking at the website. They can also prioritize leads who indicate they’re ready to make a purchase right away.
Watch: Joey Gunn talks about the increase in leads and sales from partnering with PERQ.
To keep website visitors engaged who aren’t quite ready to buy or talk to someone inside the store, Knight Furniture sends a series of targeted, personalized emails through the marketing cloud’s automated lead nurturing system that uses AI technology linked back to the website.
“We’ve been able to close at a higher rate, because the information that we send back to the customer, either out of our mouths or via email nurture or whatever method, is more relevant,” Gunn says. “Now, we’re taking it to the next level by integrating the website conversion solution into our digital advertising.”
Knight Furniture gathers valuable marketing intelligence by linking the store’s digital advertising accounts and website data to the marketing cloud, where the store’s data is then compared to millions of other relevant industry data points. With those in-depth insights, their team can create better-targeted ads and confidently streamline the store’s advertising channels to focus on those that perform the best.
So, which of our messages is working? Because, not all ads are created equal.
Joey Gunn, Vice President of Knight Furniture & Mattress
From all of that data, Gunn can identify his ideal customer and predict their most likely path to conversion, then tweak his digital marketing strategy to target those types of shoppers where they’re most likely to be looking online. “So, which of our messages is working?” Gunn says of what he looks for in the cloud reporting. “Because, not all ads are created equal.”
Knight Furniture paid, on average, $2.11 per click with a median bounce rate of 32.83% for all of the store’s digital ads before applying the marketing cloud’s analytics and automated technology. In the four months after Gunn implemented the cloud, the store’s average cost per click dropped to $0.79 and average bounce rate decreased to 27.44%. They grew their number of website visitors almost 18% and website leads increased by 33% during that time.
Although it’s a daily battle to stay relevant and one step ahead of the competition, Gunn says, he’ll continue to be a front-runner when it comes to keeping up in the digital world. “The world keeps turning and technologies keep advancing,” he adds.
Knight Furniture won the prestigious “Retailer of the Year” title from the Home Furnishings Association in 2016 for being an innovator and leader in the industry. Gunn, alongside his dad and surrounded by a team of talented employees, continue to propel Knight Furniture and other retailers into the future.
By constantly searching for new, innovative technologies, they’ve discovered successful solutions to solve the everyday challenges of brick-and-mortar stores that see more web traffic than foot traffic these days. “We try to stay cutting edge, at least in our local area,” Gunn says. “We’re continuing to challenge and push the industry forward, and introduce new technologies that could help retailers, help my store specifically, and ultimately help the end customer.”
Knight Furniture has attracted more website and store traffic the past few years than ever before and converted more online leads into sales by adding AI to several layers of their digital advertising strategy. Being able to match online leads back to in-store purchases gives Gunn actionable insights into the store’s digital marketing performance he didn’t have before.