For businesses in the furniture and fabrics industries, image matters. That’s why having a top-quality website with a focus on highlighting the luxurious nature of your products and brand is vital for success.
It’s not until fairly recently that selling relatively big ticket items such as items of furniture has become viable and almost normal. Back in 2007 when ecommerce really took off, the recession hit, and furniture sales were hit badly. Furniture seemed to be one of those things you needed to witness in the flesh to purchase – but this has been proven wrong over the years.
Consider the following statistics from Google:
- 66% of in-store purchasers accessed the internet while looking for information on furniture
- 63% of purchasers visited multiple brand sites and over half purchased within one week of researching
- 49% of online furniture purchases followed a non-branded query
In a store, salespeople will help ensure customers get the information they need, and ultimately make a purchase. But online, there is none of this. Your website is your sales person, and needs to give all the information it can in order to help a potential customer convert on the website. Your website needs to generate actionable leads, or ecommerce sales. You need to ensure potential customers find exactly what they need and purchase it from you – without going to the competition.
Lifestyle and demographic changes are also playing a big role in purchasing preferences and habits. Home office furniture demand is on the up due to home working, and small households means smaller pieces of furniture are in demand.
The growth of renting rather than buying homes also impacts how people furnish their houses, with shorter periods spent in the same property meaning they are less willing to invest in high value products. When it comes to luxury furniture, Europe is the largest market, which gives businesses a great opportunity to offer high value items.
However, the purchasing journey has changed significantly over the past few years, and this has left certain businesses behind. Mixing online research with shop visits means it’s difficult for businesses to discover the true source of sales, and struggle to see the ROI of online marketing activities. Retailers must adapt to offer flexible shopping experiences through online and in-store channels.
Your business needs to find prospects at the right time, which is when they are making a decision. This could be within the search results, or perhaps on a different digital channel that is more relevant to your industry. Awareness of your brand is also essential. PR and social media can play a big role in getting your brand mentioned online, and creating a sense of what you are about.
So what do you need for your furniture and fabrics business to succeed online?
A Comprehensive Digital Strategy
You will need to put together a digital strategy that outlines how you will develop your online business, and generate revenue through your website. Whether your website is ecommerce or aims to generate leads, you should have this in place.
Research your competitors thoroughly, to see how you can stay ahead of the competition within your niche.
A Stylish, Responsive Web Design
Consumers browse and shop on multiple devices, so you need to ensure you give them the shopping or browsing experience they expect – whether they are on their phone or a desktop PC. You have 3 seconds in order to make an impression, according to a study from Google.
If you’re looking to boost your sales through an improved online presence, get in touch below and we will get back to you shortly.
When people are looking for furniture, they are looking for a particular style, or researching what sort of style they should be going for. Even if your products are incredibly stylish, if your website looks awful and dated, that is going to impact the impression your potential customers have.
Create a great shopping experience
Coming back to convincing customers to shop online with you – many people still want to shop in-store for furniture or fabrics. Which is perfectly understandable.
So how do you get around this hurdle? By making sure your online shopping experience best reflects reality. Give customers lots of information on your products, give them high quality imagery, and perhaps a 3D option to view certain items in a 360 degree fashion or otherwise. Videos can be helpful, too. And that leads into…
Create content that your customers are looking for
What questions or concerns does your target audience have regarding your product? What types of searches will they use in order to find the relevant answers?
You should be generating content, whether it’s on your site or through your blog, that answers any common queries your customers ask. Educate your customers on key issues that your products solve, and you will stand a good chance of finding a new audience and gaining more sales.
Content will help your business get around online in the search results. And this will help your sales in the long-run.
Once you have a customer on the site, do you know exactly what path you want them to take? Are your product pages not performing as well as you had hoped?
If you are getting traffic but your conversion rate is poor, then optimising the conversion rate of your product pages in particular is critical to your success. But keeping potential customers engaged and clicking across the site to lead them down a sales funnel is equally as important, and is something many retailers forget to consider.
We have experience in helping a number of furniture and fabric retailers grow their businesses through bespoke ecommerce web development and implementation of digital strategies. Coach House, the biggest trade-only furniture retailer in the UK, is one of our clients who have seen a 36% online sales increase after the launch of a new ecommerce website built by Xanthos
If you’re looking to boost your sales through an improved online presence, get in touch with the team at Xanthos who will be more than happy to help.