How top furniture retailers create stand out experiences for their customers
The buying cycle for furniture and home improvement is often long and complicated. Customers consider numerous variants, make multiple trips to the store, and spend extensive time comparing options with other vendors.
Top home furnishing retailers stand out because of the human connection they build with their customers during every phase of their shopping experience. Whether it’s a first-time e-comm shopper looking to get questions answered or a long-time customer finalizing a major purchase, the brand’s ability to guide the customer and forge a trusting relationship makes all the difference.
Here are three key elements of the modern shopping journey that furniture retailers need to consider in order to create stand out experiences for their customers.
Omnichannel experience is table stakes
Furniture is perhaps one of the most research-heavy sectors in the retail industry. Customers spend countless hours both in-store and online to find the perfect piece. They have specific questions and need on-demand guidance from people who are experts on products, not someone stuck in a call center that has never seen them. Retailers need to provide a combination of experiences that are fluid with the modern shopper’s omnichannel journey.
When customers are limited in how they find, interact with, and purchase the product, the less likely they want to stick with the retailer. Offering multiple avenues of connection like instant messaging, video chat, and appointments with design consultants ensure that customers feel supported by the brand every step of the way. While some customers may not use these features, those that do will realize when you don’t have them prompting them to reconsider shopping with you. The era of viewing omnichannel as a commodity is over, it is now a requirement.
Personalization isn’t optional
In an increasingly anonymous world, people want to be seen as an individual, rather than just a number in a demographic. This is especially true in the furniture industry. A majority of furniture shoppers expect customization, from fabrics that are best with pets to mattresses made for how you sleep. These highly personal details are imperative to connecting with the customer, and consultants should be able to recall them from the moment they walk in the door.
Consultants need to be able to digitally record all of a customer’s information and omnichannel communication history in one place for easy access across the brand. They also need to be able to display the same level of personalization at scale when reaching out and following up. Digital profiles make it easy for consultants to provide the highly personal experience customers expect. Being able to filter through profiles for specific information, such as side sleepers who run hot, gives consultants the opportunity to provide highly personal recommendations that don’t come off as generic spam. This helps the customer see the retailer as a trusted advisor, instead of just a vendor.
Data drives everything
Offering a personalized, omnichannel experience isn’t possible without the analytics to understand it. The emergence of omnichannel influenced sales is a leading key performance indicator for retailers looking to understand the customers decision-making process and strategize and make informed decisions for themselves.
For design consultants who live primarily off of commissions, this metric plays a critical role in productivity. It reflects how digital and physical retail have become completely intertwined, and highlights the consultant’s impact in sales across channels. Being credited for their role in sales, no matter what channel or step in the customer journey, is key to consistently providing high quality experiences to customers. The metric also offers a visualization of their productivity for a clear picture of where they can redirect their focus to drive sales.
Our webinar The new furniture shopping experience walks through how leading furniture brands are building authentic and scalable connections with their customers before, during, and after their visit to the store.