Optimizing Furniture Retail Strategies for a Changing Consumer
The future of omnichannel furniture retail is all about the consumer — and the modern consumer wants a personalized shopping experience. For some, that includes spending time on the website while others prefer visiting the retail showroom. According to research by the IBM Corporation and the National Retail Federation (NRF), 40% of consumers in the home goods category use a hybrid shopping method, mixing in-store and digital channels. They expect brands to support that buying journey.
Think of the customer journey like an iceberg. The part you see above water is the in-store experience. It represents their decision to walk into your store, pick a product and make the transaction. But just like an iceberg that exists mostly underwater, the majority of this interaction happens below the surface — and it starts online. Everything that happens before your customers walk into your store is the online shopping journey. And in today’s world of retail, that bottom of the iceberg represents about 90% of the shopping journey.
Some of your customers are looking for exclusively online shopping experiences, like an online room planner. Others want to make a trip to the retail store — but only when they’re ready to make a decision on their purchase. It’s also possible they’ve already made their decision and they’re just going to pick it up.
To appeal to hybrid customers, you need to create an engaging experience to close the deal in both the physical and digital arenas. Your online experience and how you engage retail shoppers online can be the deciding factor for either group.