Christmas time is already over. It’s high time we looked forward and got ready for 2021. In order to secure a more fruitful and successful year, looking back to current trends and identifying which ones are going strong in the upcoming years is essential. That’s the reason why we’re here today. In this article, we’ll present you with 6 key takeaways to boost sales for furniture & homeware retail in particular.
Make use of click-and-collect
Click-and-collect, also known as buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS), is a form of omnichannel flow. Being one of the ‘most-wanted’ purchasing options by consumers, it allows customers to browse freely on the online platform, hit the ‘add to cart’ button, and choose the location to pick-up their order themselves in-store. But more than that, from a seller’s perspective, click-and-collect makes a great opportunity to boost sales for furniture & homeware retail.
This order fulfillment option has mutual benefits. To customers, it fulfills the gratification of walking out of the store with a purchase, while customers still can shop online. Secondly, buyers can save time spent in the store. Especially when the COVID-19 pandemic is putting the human interactions at the risk of spreading the virus, this option is even more meaningful. Lastly, by picking up the package in-store, buyers can save money on the shipping.
On the seller side, click-and-collect brings about more than one benefit. First of all, it’s more cost-effective than home delivery. The reason is that because there are much fewer delivery locations, which saves on fuel, vehicle maintenance, and drivers’ time. Additionally, retailers can offer customers a wider range of pick-up locations without having to invest in additional brick-and-mortar sites. Moreover, research has shown that 87% of shoppers have the habit of searching for products online. Thus, click-and-collect allows purchases to happen at the very moment customers are exposed to the product. As a result, it can increase the chance of purchasing. Last but not least, according to research, 35% of shoppers who pick up an online order in a shop versus kerbside will buy something else. With all of that being said, click-and-collect has win-win benefits and helps ultimately increase sales for furniture & homeware merchants.
Build a reasonable loyalty program
Repeat customers matter to almost all of the retail businesses. Unfortunately, when it comes to furniture & homeware, customer loyalty still remains low. According to a survey, when being given the statement “I am loyal to specific furniture stores/brand”, only 10% of survey participants responded as “strongly agree”. Customer retention is so vital that every merchant is offering their customers extra benefits to keep them coming back. One of the most common methods is adopting a loyalty program. However, amid a crowd of loyalty schemes, it’s necessary to make yours meaningful and suitable for your target segments. There are some key takeaways regarding loyalty programs to boost sales for furniture & homeware retailers.
A survey by Statista in 2018 indicated that the majority of furniture & homeware buyers are Millenials and Generation X. Accordingly, the merchants in the industry need to pay close attention to distinct generation preferences to ensure a fruitful and valid loyalty program. You might find help in the data below, according to research:
- Millennials are the most price-conscious and time-sensitive customers. 28% of the group see convenience as their first priority when considering joining a loyalty program, and 78% look for discounts.
- Gen X doesn’t like too much disturbance. 48% prefer programs that send fewer emails or irrelevant notifications.
- When targeting young shoppers like Millennials or Generation Z, bear in mind that they want to be able to redeem valuable rewards in a reasonable amount of time. 45% of Millennials refuse to join loyalty programs that require too many purchases or take too long to earn rewards, as do 40% of Gen Z. The second-biggest concern was the cost associated with joining, according to 39% of Millennials and 33% of Gen Z.
Pay attention to life event changes and target new movers
In a study by Royal Mail Data Services, approximately 50% of the surveyed furniture & homeware brands see life change events as a new sales opportunity. Thus, targeting new movers and people who are experiencing life changes is one of the lucrative strategies to boost sales for furniture & homeware retail. Some of the life event changes that commonly signal the opportunity to acquire new sales are:
- Recent divorce
- Expecting a baby
- New home buyers. About three-quarters of new movers make major move related-purchases.
Highly personalized mailings based on these trigger points can make considerable improvements in response rates. The growth can be up to 10 times higher in comparison with traditional marketing campaigns. By reviewing the accurate and up-to-date data regarding life event changes, furniture & homeware retail businesses can target exactly potential customers. As a result, they can enhance the likelihood of purchasing and increase sales performance.
Double down on social commerce
As of October 2020, there are around 4.14 billion active social media users, and they spend an average of 2 hours and 29 minutes per day on social media. With that being said, social media deems a gold mine for businesses in general and furniture & homeware retailers in particular. Even though social media was primarily meant to connect people, today’s data shows huge opportunities to boost sales for furniture & homeware retail through social media platforms like Instagram:
- 60% of people claimed to be exposed to new products through Instagram. 30% of Instagram users said they had purchased the product they saw on this social platform.
- More than 130 million users interact with shopping posts monthly. This number indicates that this feature in Instagram is useful in enhancing both product awareness and sales.
- 62% of people admitted to become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a story.
- 38% of survey participants said that they talked to someone about a product or a brand after seeing it in a story. This helps improve word of mouth.
- More than half of the surveyed people stated that they have been purchasing online more because of Instagram stories. Additionally, 34% said they actually went to a brick-and-mortar store to look for a product that appeared in stories ads.
In a summary, social commerce ensures a seamless shopping experience and a frictionless transition between discovering and purchasing. And social commerce is most relevant to lifestyle retail categories including furniture & homeware.
Embrace visual search
Along with the rapid growth of visual technology, the retail space is witnessing a trend of brands preparing themselves to include visual search in their businesses. Visual search has been around for years, specifically on the search engines of Google Images, Amazon, Wayfair, Taobao, Pinterest, etc. Despite the forecast that visual search isn’t going to replace text-based search completely in the near future, it, in fact, has already disrupted how customers search for products in recent years. And this trend is showing no sign of slowing down. Especially, the thriving of the 5G networks will enable the movement of larger amounts of data and visual information, and stimulate visual search.
Last year, Facebook snatched up GrokStyle, the AI company that powers the visual search for IKEA. Grokstyle develops an app that automatically identifies furniture and homeware from just about any picture or angle. It’s evident that visual search will soon become an inseparable element of the search engines, particularly in social commerce. And getting ready for the shift is one of the key takeaways to boost sales for furniture & homeware retail in 2021. Additionally, Gartner indicates that by 2021, early birds that redesign their websites to facilitate visual and voice search can improve their digital commerce revenue by 30%.
Take advantages of mobile consumer apps
With the ubiquity of mobile devices, mobile apps have become more and more a common thing to everyone. As people are constantly talking about apps, they have become a great chance to boost sales for furniture & homeware retail. That’s when consumer apps step into the game. In detail, a commercial consumer app helps enhance customer shopping experiences. With that being so, it helps strengthen the relationship between sellers and customers, and improve sales performance for merchants.
For instance, IKEA, the Sweden giant furniture & homeware retailer, has taken the latest step into the future of shopping with the launch of the IKEA Place adopting Apple’s newest ARKit technology.
Besides, nowadays, technology is so advanced that retailers can manage a consumer app right in their POS system. A built-in consumer app in a POS can empower buyers to have more independence and control over their shopping experience, while still ensuring that customers are receiving proper assistance. To achieve that, there are various handy features to look for in a well-functioning consumer app in POS:
- Easily access through multiple devices running on both iOS and Android.
- Display all of the products in a reasonable arrangement.
- Conveniently view product information by scanning product barcodes or through the search bar.
- Get personalized product recommendations.
- Order temporarily out-of-stock products and have them shipped to their front door.
- Do self check-out at ease with multiple payment options.
We’re only a few days away from New Year. 2020 doesn’t seem to be a favorable year for everyone, especially businesses in general and furniture & homeware retail in particular. We hope with this article, you, as business owners and operators, could find some help to secure a promising 2021 for your furniture & homeware store. In a nutshell, the 6 key takeaways to boost sales for furniture & homeware retail that we find useful in 2021 include:
- Make use of click-and-collect
- Build a reasonable loyalty program
- Pay attention to life event changes and target new movers
- Double down on social commerce
- Embrace visual search
- Take advantages of mobile consumer apps
If you’re interested in such helpful content, make sure you follow us closely and visit our blog page every day to catch up with more in-depth articles. ConnectPOS will always be your supportive companion on the way to your business success. Should you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us now! We wish you all the best in 2021!