It’s Time to Embrace a Home Furnishings CRM5 min read
Increased leads are great, but it’s what a home furnishing store does with those leads that improves profit and brand management. That’s where a home furnishings CRM can make a big difference.
Artificial intelligence and interactive websites allow home furnishing retailers to attract more online leads than ever before. Digital strategies like AI may help independent retailers clear one major hurdle (lead generation), but often slams them into another major obstacle: how to track and successfully follow up with all of those newly generated leads.
“Follow-up with leads in the furniture industry is a pain point,” says Brad Eaton, co-founder of Who’s Up, a mobile and web-based retail-up system and customer relationship management (CRM) software that focuses on lead management. “They don’t have a process for efficiently following up on leads and measuring the performance of that over time.”
A furniture CRM serves as a digital database that collects and catalogs new lead information from a retailer’s website and multiple other touchpoints, such as social media and in the store. It tracks every interaction with a consumer and gives stores a centralized way to retain pertinent personal data about that shopper.
“We’re surprised most furniture and mattress stores don’t have a CRM product to manage leads and prospects like most other industries,” says PERQ co-founder Scott Hill, adding how it makes the sales process more efficient and organized.
Home Furnishing Retailers Lag Behind Other CRM Users
Popular in a variety of retail industries, a quality CRM allows a store to tap into customer data to make sales, build relationships and target future marketing campaigns. Stores can leverage that data to better track lead to sale conversions and more effectively manage the sales process.
Who’s Up dedicates its CRM to the home furnishingsindustry. “We felt like the need was greatest there,” Eaton says. “Even before new leads are introduced, one of the big problems home furnishing retailers have is they’ve never really embraced technology or the tools other industries migrated to years ago.”
A CRM system works great for home furnishing retailers because they often interact with the same customers multiple times, through more than one channel. Repeat customers also make up a big portion of profit for established furniture stores. “The CRM model applies to any company that’s high ticket and high touch,” Eaton says.
Furniture Retailer CRM Helps Leverage Data
Big Sandy Superstore recently implemented the Who’s Up CRM platform to help its sales staff better track and follow up on the increased leads it gets through PERQ’s Online Guided Shopping Solution. The Midwest retail chain sells appliances, furniture, TVs and mattresses at its superstore locations in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.
“For the month of April, our benchmark web traffic to registration — those customers we actually collected information from — we were 1,200% above our benchmark goal, which is an incredible number,” says Big Sandy Superstore President Bryan P. Scott.
Scott says the home furnishings CRM combined with PERQ means the store can better leverage customer data to tie online leads to in-store sales. “That’s the most powerful thing, in my opinion,” says Bryan Scott. “We are spending so much money to drive customers to our website, so now we can quantify that investment and know how many of those customers are actually making a purchase in our stores.”
Use a Home Furnishings CRM to Collect, Organize Customer Info
Information collected about online shoppers who visit Big Sandy’s website automatically populate the home furnishings CRM so the on-site sales staff can see which interactive assessments they engaged with and what product pages they looked at, along with detailed demographic and contact information.
“We know what they’re looking at online, we even know how far along they are in the sales process in most instances, so we can label those leads coming in,” Bryan Scott says. “Is it a hot lead, where they’re interested in buying now? Or, is it just somebody starting on the journey and they’re probably not going to purchase for months down the road?”
While Big Sandy has a built-in CRM feature in its POS (point of sale) system, Bryan Scott says it doesn’t have near the follow-up, tracking and reporting capabilities that Who’s Up and PERQ offer. “It’s just a very basic CRM tool, and Who’s Up just takes it to a whole other level for us. Some of the automated features they have built into it are very powerful tools for our sales professionals.”