Three reasons brick & mortar still rules
While 96% of Americans shop online, 65% of their shopping budget is spent in the store. So, while it’s important to bolster your furniture store’s website, it’s just as important not to do so at the expense of your brick-and-mortar store.
Rain software offers several reminders why your customers’ experiences in the store matter just as much as online.
While your shopper may have more options online, she can’t really get a sense of that sofa until she kicks off her shoes and falls into it. This is especially true of furniture (86% of people prefer to buy furniture in person).
Less is More
While in theory, having as many options as possible is a good thing, it can cause analysis paralysis. Too many options for a product category online can overwhelm a shopper and result in her not buying anything at all. In your store, there will be a limited selection. And that’s a good thing!
Offline Enhanced by Online
While there will be some obvious differences between what a customer experiences shopping in-store versus online, there should be consistency. While the in-store experience offers more benefits and enhancements, it’s made all the richer because of the online experience.
Online reviews: Ask and ye shall receive
When was the last time you looked up customer reviews for a store or restaurant you were thinking about visiting? About 72% of consumers rely on positive user-submitted reviews before making any purchasing decisions.
From a furniture retailer’s perspective, though, getting reviews can be difficult. Only 23% of consumers have ever written an online review. Prospective customers love seeing reviews that include specific details and photos, but how can you get those?
Retail technology solutions provider Nova suggests the most obvious solution is to just ask. Whether you put up a sign next to your checkout area or add a message to the bottom of your receipts, reminding customers that they can leave a review is sometimes the only nudge they need. If your business has a Facebook or Twitter account, sharing a quick call for reviews there can also be an easy way to remind your fans and followers.
Is your customer experience S.U.P.E.R.?
Doug Stephens, the self-proclaimed Retail Prophet and author of Reengineering Retail, lists the five S.U.P.E.R. attributes of the top retail experiences based on real-world examples:
SURPRISE Customers. There are too few genuine surprises, yet the retailers Stephens found managed to delight their customers unexpectedly. To boost social media engagement, Lord & Taylor asked customers to post items they were #obsessed with on Twitter. The customers were shocked to find the items delivered to them, free of charge, a few weeks after the campaign.
UNIQUE Experiences. Nordstrom has always been lauded for its customer service, but its new store concept is a hot topic. Customers can pick up their online orders in-store. However, instead of just taking the bag and hitting the road, the clothes are waiting for them with a personal stylist to finalize their choices. That’s one way to eliminate buyer’s remorse.
PERSONALIZE Interactions. Online perfume company The Harmonist offers an interactive, sensory process allowing each customer to make their own scent.
ENGAGE on a Deeper Level. From scuba diving tanks to all-weather chambers, Globetrotter, an athletic gear retailer allows customers to test new apparel in store. Can you do the same with mattresses?
REPEATABILITY. How bothered are you when you revisit a restaurant to find the same meal you once loved tastes completely different? Same can be good.
Targeting Gen Z by the numbers
44 – buying power in billions of dollars.
50 – percent who spend 10 hours or more per day online
77 – percent who prefer shopping brick and mortar over the internet
85 – percent who use social media to find new products