Digital marketing has evolved, but the premise is still the same: a digital component of marketing that’s based online and utilizes digital technology — such as desktop computers, smartphones, and other internet-capable devices — to promote products, connect you with your customers, and more.
Furniture retailers should align their marketing strategies with their sales goals to target the right audience and increase online revenue. Understanding what online consumers want and delivering their wants conveniently, is the goal. Read on for the details on creating a strong, online marketing strategy.
What Is the Digital Marketing Funnel?
In a traditional marketing funnel, the customer gains awareness of the brand, then becomes interested in the products, and finally, develops a desire to purchase the product or service. In the past, the order of these stages was almost always chronological and in-store customers did not necessarily compare different options besides what was on the shelves.
The online marketing world has quickly developed into a competitive space where consumers have grown wise to “gimmicks” and flashy advertising. Due to the vast knowledge available online, consumers do their research and won’t necessarily pick the first product they see. This change in consumer behavior has led to the digital marketing funnel.
The digital marketing funnel centers on engaging your audience from your brand’s persona, educating potential customers, and adapting to the non-linear online customer experience.
Online interaction with potential customers may include messaging and posts through social media, targeted marketing campaigns, and more to spread the word about your business’s purpose and values online. Through the use of educational content, such as blogs, videos, and more, your brand can teach your audience about their options before, eventually, becoming a lead and then, a customer.
Digital Marketing Is Essential to Reach Your Audience
Online shopping is convenient for the customer, so it’s no surprise that online retail sales will increase over time. In fact, it’s predicted that by 2025, 24.5% of global retail sales will be conducted online.
Digital marketing is effective when it can reach the target audience and assist them throughout their shopping journey. Besides being more cost effective than traditional marketing, online marketing can also reach more of your audience when your online marketing strategy is in place.
Understanding Digital Marketing Channels
When consumers shop online, it’s important for your business to be where your customers are looking: at every stage of their shopping journey. Now that more than two-thirds of small businesses have an online presence, the competition can be stiff, and consumers could easily fall out of the digital marketing funnel if you aren’t there to support them.
Keep in mind, online consumers may not enter your marketing funnel at the top. Online marketing needs to be more diverse and adaptable to the consumer’s needs.
One way to ensure your online presence is felt is to consider all digital marketing channels and choose the ones that will work for your business and your customers.
The different types of digital marketing channels include:
This is a crucial piece of your digital marketing strategy. Your website should be on-brand, easy to navigate, and have the information your consumers need for their shopping journey.
Targeted email campaigns can help build a relationship with your consumers on their shopping journey and generate a high return on investment (ROI) through successful lead nurturing.
Word-of-mouth has always been a key factor in marketing. In fact, 86% of consumers trust word-of-mouth, making it the most trusted form of marketing. Now, consumers can share their experiences with your business across their social media channels. You can also share user-generated content (UGC) across your own social media pages to further your presence and drive traffic to your website.
While traffic to your business may gradually increase over time instead of more quickly with paid options, organic marketing is a great part of any well-rounded strategy because it contains useful content, such as blogs, to build brand awareness and brand trust.
Paid search is a way to advertise your brand by putting text within the sponsored section of search engine listings. Retailers bid on various keywords or queries and pay on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. This channel puts your brand and site in front of the shopper at each stage of the shopping process. For example, by running a text ad on furniture terms like “brown sofa” or “wood table,” you can target shoppers in the consideration and engagement stage of shopping.
By running “branded” paid search ads, or ads that are bidding on queries to your brand, you can drive bottom-of-funnel or “Ready-to-Buy” shoppers who are returning to your site to make a purchase or looking to see a product in your physical store.
Mobile commerce sales revenue multiplied over 3.5 times from 2016 to 2021. Without any signs of slowing down, considering mobile advertising as well as tailoring the furniture shopping experience to mobile users is necessary for growth. One successful strategy is location-based marketing since some consumers may be searching for your business on their mobile devices while they are actively shopping in a different store.
This form of graphic advertising can catch the attention of your target audience and encourage them to perform an action such as visiting your website. While there are several forms of display ads, retargeting is a method that re-displays your advertisement to any anonymous site visitor. This can be via pixel-based or list-based retargeting and is used to draw in your audience that may still be at the top of your digital marketing funnel.
A search ad only appears when a visitor has used a search engine like Google to search for your product. Search ads appear on the top of the page — above the search results — and are often the first link that search users click to get more information.
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance marketing where retailers promote products through a network of third-party sites. Affiliate marketing is an important channel for furniture retailers, especially those who are offering strong promotions on a regular basis because it broadens the scope of potential shoppers. This channel can help capture top-of-funnel home enthusiasts with an offer they might not have known about otherwise.
Retailers only have to pay when a customer makes a purchase using the third-party coupon code. This gives affiliate marketing a very high Return on Investment (ROI). Some of the major third-party companies include RetailMeNot, PriceGrabber, Rakuten, and Ibotta.
Video marketing is an effective way to increase the engagement level of your audience and can be a beneficial addition to any retail marketing strategy. Adding videos to your social media platforms such as TikTok or YouTube can help educate your audience even when they are browsing for entertainment or looking passively for more information.
Although marketing on TikTok is fairly new, TikTok has over 100 million monthly users, and according to Forbes, has changed the dynamics for social media marketing entirely.
Connect With Active Shoppers by Targeting the Right Marketing Channels
Consumers are everywhere, so how are you supposed to know where they’re shopping? A smart digital marketing strategy will help you target the right message to shoppers at each stage of the furniture shopping funnel, whether it’s helping them find your brand, narrowing down their selection, or ultimately leading them to make a purchase.
You also need to understand your customers’ mindsets at each stage of the furniture shopping funnel. Our retailers target shoppers at three different stages: awareness, consideration and engagement, and purchase.
We call top-of-funnel, awareness stage, shoppers home enthusiasts. These prospective customers are starting to look at furniture, but may not necessarily be considering a purchase anytime soon.
Active shoppers are the consumers in the mid-funnel tier, consideration, and engagement stage, and are looking to buy furniture and wish to narrow their options down to the perfect pieces.
Bottom-of-funnel shoppers are ready-to-buy customers. They know what they’re going to purchase because they have already done the research and made their selections.
Your Retail Marketing Strategy Needs To Focus on Your Customer
In furniture retail, the path-to-purchase is lengthy, as it often involves a combination of in-store and online channels. Identifying where shoppers are in the funnel enables you to target and personalize your digital marketing message.
Keep your message in front of shoppers to ensure brand awareness and create opportunities for engagement throughout your customer’s furniture shopping journey.