Your furniture store associates are critical to your business; they represent your brand, help customers, and generate revenue for your organization. Similarly, your furniture website is also crucial to the sales process — showcasing your brand, educating consumers, and moving prospects through the buyer's journey.
An optimal furniture ecommerce platform not only powers your website; it also supports in-store sales teams and bridges the gap between online and in-store shopping.
Creating a comprehensive end-to-end shopping experience is more than having all the products from all your stores shoppable online — it’s also about translating the advantages of your local stores, such as your salespeople, distribution capabilities, and more to differentiate your brand and drive sales.
With 63% of shopping journeys starting online, the right platform can also help brick-and-mortar staff increase in-store sales.
5 Reasons Your Furniture Ecommerce Platform Can Be a Great Salesperson
An omnichannel-focused furniture ecommerce platform can unify your digital and in-store efforts with tools designed to deliver the personal touch of your showroom and drive real results across both online and offline channels.
It’s not a question of ecommerce vs brick-and-mortar; instead, it’s ecommerce and brick-and-mortar.
An ecommerce solution can be a great salesperson for online sales and a powerful sales tool for your in-store staff:
1. It Enables Exploration and Drives Store Visits
Before making a trip to a store, shoppers want to be sure you have furniture they like. A comprehensive online catalog allows shoppers to explore your offerings on their own time and terms. Building a robust online catalog can be challenging, but with the right ERP integration, your product data can be automatically generated for your online store and augmented with native merchant tools.
A complete online catalog, coupled with easy-to-use and powerful search features, enables shoppers to browse your store for inspiration or focus their search on exactly what they want.
Additionally, a solution built for unified commerce ensures the information a shopper finds online matches what’s in their local store, ensuring your customers won’t be disappointed by any inconsistencies. Using geolocation, your website can identify the locations of online shoppers and align the availability, pricing, inventory, and delivery information between the store and your website.
As a great salesperson, your ecommerce platform can work in tandem with your sales associates to deliver a great — and consistent — customer experience.
2. It Can Provide a Personalized Experience
Just as a salesperson would tailor the store experience to a customer’s preferences, your website should also create a personalized experience.
As a great salesperson, the best ecommerce solutions will do just that. Geolocation combined with segmentation and machine learning allows the platform to identify the different types of shoppers and deliver personalized content.
Website visitors engaged in the upper funnel of the ecommerce shopping journey can be shown style-focused graphics to capture their interest, while those segmented as closer to purchase see conversion-driving images such as deals, warranties, or delivery highlights.
The result is unprecedented flexibility in offering your shoppers the best content for them and their stage in the shopping process.
3. It Can Offer Smart Product Recommendations
Every furniture shopper that walks into your local stores is unique and has different tastes. In-store sales associates assess style preferences and make complementary product recommendations such as rugs, occasional tables, lamps, and other accessories for a stylish accent.
In the same way, online shoppers also have preferences. Today’s technology makes it easy to deliver an individualized experience with personalized recommendations for each website visitor.
Platforms that utilize machine learning algorithms can provide smart recommendations by utilizing shopper behavior and sales trends.
The right furniture ecommerce platform will do the same, improving the shopping experience and increasing revenue.
4. It Can Answer Product Questions
Furniture is a high-consideration purchase that often comes with many customer questions. What are the dimensions? Is this available? When can I get it?
Online shoppers are no different. You need to provide a shopping experience that showcases key information. The best furniture ecommerce platform should include powerful catalog management tools designed for the complexity of furniture. For example, it should be able to include well-crafted product descriptions, multiple images showing products from a variety of angles and in different variations, availability, delivery information, and more.
Like a great salesperson, your furniture ecommerce platform can answer most questions visitors may have.
5. It Can Be a Tool to Help Your Salespeople
Today’s furniture shoppers typically research online and purchase offline, but may also explore products in your local stores and then make their purchase from home. Either way, your ecommerce platform and in-store associates need to work together.
At Blueport, we’re at the forefront of the industry with features connecting the online and in-store experience. We’ve created two unique omnichannel tools to align shopping experiences, drive more revenue, and support your sales team.
Salesperson Commission Attribution
For any retailer, salespeople are the organization's lifeblood and key participants in the selling process. At the same time, retail furniture websites are critical sales and marketing tools to reach new shoppers, and ecommerce is a convenience that furniture shoppers expect.
Blueport includes a native salesperson commission attribution, allowing shoppers to credit salespeople for their part in the process, even if the sale closes online. With an easy “type ahead” interface, customers can search for and select the sales associate who helped them by name so they receive applicable commissions.
Blueport offers Oneview technology, allowing shoppers to seamlessly move shopping carts back and forth between online and in-store shopping. If desired, shoppers can have the products they browsed online saved and sent to the nearest store location to facilitate fast and easy in-store viewing and purchase.
Power Your Sales With the Right Furniture Ecommerce Platform
Your store team is a significant component in driving sales for your brand, providing furniture insights, and adding a personal touch to each shopper’s experience. The right furniture ecommerce platform delivers the personalized experience with a combination of store team expertise and online features to boost your sales — both online and in your local stores.
Say goodbye to the ecommerce vs brick-and-mortar mentality and learn how to create an omnichannel experience that empowers your customers and sales associates.
Read Develop Your Strategy for Today's Omnichannel Ecommerce World now for tips on omnichannel strategy creation.