The important role of Digital Marketing in furniture shoppers buying cycle
UK consumers spent a whopping £9.4bn on furniture last year with this spend looking to grow by a further 4.9% in 2018! Online furniture shopping now takes up a large proportion of this spend with over 15 million people a year shopping for furniture online.
In the past furniture brands used to have it simple when marketing their business to furniture shoppers: advertise on TV, radio, magazines and in newspapers, and then shoppers view your ad, come to your store and make a purchase…….easy, right? Today, furniture shoppers experience multiple channels, devices, technologies, marketing and stages during the purchase journey before deciding on a product to buy either in store or online.
Two out of three furniture shoppers don't initially have a preference to a retailer or brand therefore there is a huge opportunity to grab their attention and business through an effective digital marketing strategy. To successfully reach your target audience, furniture retailers and manufacturers must strategically employ an effective digital marketing strategy across a range of channels such as social media, search and email to guide furniture shoppers towards making a purchase.
STAGE 1: Awareness Stage:
Social Media Ads
Utilise Social Media Amplification such as Facebook and Instagram Ads to drive awareness among your target audience to perform action an action such as visit your website. Using social media ads however is a science with the need to test a range of target audiences, ad sets and ad types so that you can continuously improve your Cost per Acquisition.
With 70% of furniture purchases starting their buying cycle using search, its essential to be able to drive consumers who are searching for the products you provide to your website. Consumers can discover your website via two methods:
1) Organically where your website will come up in search engines on various key search terms such as your brand name, products you provide etc. Appearing organically is a detailed process which involves detailed Search Engine Optimisation work on and off your website to improve your search ranking for the search terms you want to be discovered for.
2) Paid methods such as a detailed Google AdWords campaign allows you to pay a "Cost per click" to get your brand and products in front of consumers who are actively searching for them. These are
Mobile-device shoppers in particular rely heavily on search, and their online behaviour suggests they are price comparing with figures showing that on average, online furniture purchases searched 14.2 times when researching furniture to purchase.
83% of consumers take action because of trusted recommendations and 54% of purchasing decisions are caused by word of mouth and influencer marketing. Influencer marketing focuses on using key social media influencers and thought leaders such as interior design bloggers who have a trusted voice to drive your brand’s message and inspire action amongst your target audience. These influencers do this through authentic storytelling and influencer generated content which could be reviews of your products and inspirational content. This activity then drives your target audience to your website where you can then further educate them on your products to convert them into a customer.
STAGE 2: Education Stage
If you have effectively driven your target audience to your website to research your products then you can capture their data through various tools and methods such as the Facebook Pixel. The Facebook Pixel captures peoples data who visit your website and allows you to then remarket to them to educate them on their path to purchase via educational content.
It is very rare that a customer will purchase straight away as they are still in research mode however these consumers are warm prospects as they have shown an interest in what you have to offer. You can then market to these warm prospects who have already shown an interest by educating them further on the benefits of your product, your brand and service with educational, inspirational and entertaining content to convert them into a customer.
STAGE 3: Conversion stage
If you have driven awareness and interest among your target audience and then effectively educated them on the benefits of your company, products and services then they will be ready to purchase.
Having a great website is essential at this stage as consumers use your website to conduct research into your products, place enquiries, ask questions, purchase.....the list goes on. Online purchasers place a lot of time into researching products with 63% of purchases visiting multiple brand sites however they are quick to decide with half of the consumers then purchasing within one week of researching.
Designing and building a stylish website is easy these days, however, ensuring it is well built to provide a good user experience in order to generate sales or enquiries, can be a bit of a problem for most businesses.
A few things to consider here are:
- 61% of users who don't find what they're looking for quickly enough, move onto another website!
- 39% of people will simply leave a website if the images won't load or take too long to appear!
- 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is dated and unattractive!
- The need to ensure you have a range of elements in place to track conversions successfully such as Google Analytics, Facebook pixels etc
STAGE 4: Loyalty Expansion Stage
Up and cross sell
The consumer buying cycle doesn’t finish once a person has purchased from you! If you have provided an excellent service then this is the perfect opportunity to up and cross sell to these consumers to increase their share of wallet.
An interesting statistic is that there is usually a 60% to 70% probability of selling to an existing customer, compared to just a 5% to 20% chance of selling to a new prospect so this stage holds huge value! Don't waste all your time and effort on securing a new customer only to not hold them and develop loyalty with your brand.
Up and cross selling to existing customers can be conducted through various strategies such as email campaigns, social media remarketing campaigns and ongoing influencer marketing.
After the conversion stage there is also a huge opportunity to generate user-generated content from your happy consumers.....the holy grail of marketing! User-generated content is a vital marketing tool as people trust peer recommendation more than any other marketing channel.
Encourage your customers to upload photos, leave reviews and provide feedback on social channels. This converts people into customers and turns customers into advocates of your brand.
Let us help you
We are proud of the work that we do for our family of clients and the impact that the digital marketing campaigns have on their growth. We currently have space at the moment to take on a few new brands so we have opened the doors for applications!!
If you want to grow your business then fill out the form on the below link and if you are a good fit then we will reach out to you to develop an initial FREE Social Media and Digital Marketing Strategy: www.hoopla-marketing.com/digital-marketing