In my first Developing Your Ecommerce Strategy for Today’s Omnichannel World post, I talked about how to engage with furniture shoppers by using your inherent resources and advantages. But what happens after shoppers discover your brand? The Understanding phase is critical in the furniture shopping journey towards a high value purchase that will be part of your home for years to come.
Create a Path-to-Purchase That’s Easy for Shoppers to Travel
As mentioned in my last post about the Discovery phase, shopping hasn’t changed over the years, but the best way to shop and sell furniture has. Online shopping presents a daunting number of ways for furniture retailers to connect, communicate and convert shoppers, but with the right technology and great in-store experiences, furniture retailers can surge ahead.
The key to converting shoppers is to sync your online and offline channels with consistent information so that shoppers can easily understand and feel confident in what they are purchasing. And as a furniture retailer, you have the advantage of established brands and brick-and-mortar locations to strengthen your offerings throughout the shopping journey. Successful retailers must strategize the best way to help shoppers understand your offerings both on your website and in your stores.
Understand the role of your website in coordination with your stores
At Blueport, we believe that your website is your flagship store and a gateway into your physical stores. In order to build a strong flagship store online, you must:
- Ensure your products will translate online with search and filtering tools, robust product content and configurators so that you can provide shoppers with everything they need to purchase on your website or decide to visit your store.
- Answer practical questions to avoid shopper confusion. Retailers can do this by providing product cost, delivery dates and expectations, financing and more so shoppers know what they should expect from your website.
- Promote store visits plus online sales – your website and stores should work as a one and not as separate entities
Strengthen your in-store experiences and sync each with your website
After engaging online, many shoppers will still want to visit your store to experience your products in person. To sync your online to offline experiences, be sure to:
- Offer in-store experiences worth travelling for. Furniture retailers, this is your native advantage! Use your showrooms, sales associates and products to provide shoppers with meaningful in-person experiences that push them down funnel.
- Maintain a consistent journey to purchase in your stores with the same promotions, product selection and pricing as your website. It’s wrong to assume that a store visit is the whole journey, rather than a waypoint on a cross-channel journey.
- Provide personalized expertise for your shoppers by empowering your sales associates with customer data. Blueport’s furniture retail clients utilize Store Sync to connect online to in-store in the customer journey, or vice versa.
A shopper’s Understanding phase is a critical time for conversion – if there are disjointed experiences that impede the shopper’s progress, they won’t purchase from you. Furniture retailers must provide as much consistent information between online and offline channels to convert shoppers. In our next post, we will cover how to effectively fulfill the promises you make to your shoppers when they become your customers.