The evolution of the COVID consumer
2019 was probably a pretty good year. 2020 started off great and then, POW… the pandemic. Even though businesses were forced to shut their doors and millions of people sheltered at home, commerce continued. Customers simply spent their money differently.
Consumers who were unable to go to a brick and mortar store quickly changed their shopping habits. They turned to the convenience of online shopping. Just look at the online shopping giant Amazon. From July last year to July this year, they reported a 26% increase! Pretty nice, eh?
The shift to online shopping is likely to continue long after the pandemic is over. Why? Convenience. Consumers who traditionally shopped in-store (especially older consumers) have quickly embraced the convenience… not to mention the safety… of shopping online
Traditionally, furniture purchases have been experiential. Customers wanted to sit on the sofa or mattress and feel it. They wanted to open drawers, feel the textures, and measure the pieces. The question is, how do you take all that and create an online shopping experience to sell home furnishings? Here’s a few ideas to help you “up” your online sales game.
Make the online experience user friendly
Your site should be easy to navigate so customers can quickly find what they’re looking for. Offer filters that allow customers to shop by category, style, and price range. You may even offer a “My Collection” folder where customers can create a personal account and save the pieces they’re interested in. This also gives you the opportunity to capture their email address to continue the relationship.
The human touch
Have a chat feature manned by knowledgeable sales associates where online customers can have questions answered in real-time. The easiest way to capture customers at the top of the attribution funnel is to show them you genuinely care about them from the very beginning.
Make it visual
Shopping for furniture is a visual decision-making process. Your website should have multiple, beautiful images of everything… room shots, closeups of interesting details, the more the pictures the better. Remember, a picture is better than a thousand words of descriptive copy. You want to make it easy for the customer to visualize how the furniture will look in their home.
The more information you can provide a customer, the easier it is for them to make the decision to buy. Overlaying the dimensions of items like sofas, tables, and dressers is a very helpful tool that will help customers determine if a piece will fit in the desired space. Some companies have gone as far as investing in AR (augmented reality) technologies that allow customers to virtually overlay items into an existing space. This allows customers to actually “see” what things will look like in their home.
Customers use all types of devices. Make sure your site is easy to browse on mobile devices.
Make it easy
Give customers a quick and easy guest checkout option. The last thing you want is for them to leave your site with something in the shopping cart because they must create an account.
COVID has changed the way consumers shop. To stay in the game, you’re going to have to evolve, too. Hopefully, you already have.