2020 was a year that provided the retail industry with many challenges, however, earlier in the year we were delighted to report on the growth of our clients within the Furniture industry. In the first couple of months following lockdown restrictions in the UK, the industry saw an average increase of a whopping 62% YOY through the Visualsoft platform.
Fast forward to 2021 and there are no signs of slowing down for our home furnishing and DIY clients.
Over the course of the year, we watched our retailers adapt strategies and enhance their website offerings to meet new consumers needs - in June 2020 we saw a mindblowing 77% increase, when compared to average revenue seen in peak period over the course of the last 3 years.
But, what makes the Visualsoft eCommerce platform so suitable to support and assist with this level of annual growth year on year?
Enterprise eCommerce platform for furniture retailers
Comprehensive product descriptions & catalogue
Particularly in a landscape where shoppers are turning to eCommerce more than ever, a comprehensive product catalogue with fully optimised product descriptions are of optimal importance. Your product descriptions take the place of your experienced showroom sales people - so the more information you can provide, the more you are replicating the in-store experience, breaking down any barriers to purchase. Your product catalogue should replace your customers' need to visit the store - strong navigation is critical so that customers can easily find the item they want.
Swift search, now live on Visualsoft, quickly shows customers exactly what they are looking for - providing lightning fast results and quick loading listings. Image search also allows customers to search for the exact item they’re looking for - they can see something they love, snap it and find it on your store using the latest Image Search.
Upselling and cross selling of products
When you step into a store, sales people will answer any questions you have and always try to ‘upgrade’ the version or furniture brand than the one in question, or sell you an item to go with the product such as a footstool with your sofa purchase - or upgrading the seating padding to a more luxurious version. You can replicate this on your website with cross and upselling features.
Product review section
Customers want to see how well your products and services have worked for other customers. They realise that not everything will go right 100% of the time, but they want to see how quickly and effectively you can manage the situation and provide the consumer with a resolution. Online reviews are an excellent tactic for word of mouth.
Higher value purchases can take a little bit more time to convert, so keeping in contact with your customer offers a gentle reminder and encouragement towards the item they were researching.
Transparent shipping options
Particularly within the furniture industry shipping costs can cause cart abandonment. If you can offer free shipping on an order over a certain value, this is a fantastic way to appease customers and can sometimes be the difference between choosing your website or another. When you’re unable to provide that option, you can still have transparent shipping policies to earn their loyalty so it’s not a nasty surprise at checkout.
People want to see how a product will fit into their lives. Giving them the option to customise product details according to their individual preferences enhances the online shopping experience.
360 degree product views made it far easier for shoppers to get a good visual of how they might interact with the product if they were to be looking at the physical product. Experiencing a 360 degree product view in an online store gives shoppers the peace of mind that they have explored every possible angle of a product so they can purchase with confidence.
Virtual or augmented reality can really help shoppers to envision the physical item in their home space, how it would work with their current decor and to give an idea of sizing.
Effortless Checkout Process
Cart abandonment is (unfortunately) relatively common in the eCommerce world. Good eCommerce is all about providing quick, hassle-free experiences, but just like in a regular physical store if your checkout procedure is monotonous, tedious and challenging, people will be put off from purchasing.
Furniture can often be the most expensive and most well loved item in a person’s home meaning that often, the consumers will research for hours before making the decision to purchase a piece, getting as much information as possible to see if it will suit their home and fit in with the dimensions of their home. Therefore, it is vital that both the retail and wholesale eCommerce experience is seamless to encourage more product learning and to encourage more consumers towards purchase.
Want to find out more about how Visualsoft can improve your conversion rates for your furniture website? Give us a call on 01642 633604 or fill out the form.