Furniture is a big investment where people spend a lot of time researching and considering their options before making a purchase. It’s so crucial that 81% of consumers go online before heading out to the store after spending an average of 79 days gathering information before making a major purchase.
Standing out makes all the difference for your business. Things like having an amazing website helps attract people in the early buying stages to get them into your store or make a purchase. First impressions are everything in earning consumer loyalty. If your current and potential customers aren’t immediately satisfied with their experiences with you, they'll likely find another local furniture store online and go there.
However, your website isn't the only impression on consumers that should be improved in your furniture marketing strategy. Here are some additional creative ideas to market your brand to the right people at the right time.
Learn Who Your Customers Are
Furniture is highly segmented across lifestyles and income levels, so knowing your audience helps you target to them more effectively. This starts with understanding their likes and dislikes, interests, behavior, income, and more.
You need to base your marketing around that information and the buyer's journey to nurture your leads until they're ready to buy from you. Start by developing target personas based on relevant consumer data and separated by their buyer journey stage.
The customer journey in its simplest form is divided into 3 stages:
- Awareness — This stage is when the buyer is becoming aware of their need for furniture and learning more about their ideal product’s features, material, or color the price range they want to stay in, and other factors important to their big purchase. Most of their research occurs at this stage.
- Consideration — The consideration stage is where buyers are considering their options. They now have an idea of what they want in their furniture and begin to look around and see what brand fits their need best.
- Decision — The buyer is ready to decide on their purchase, and hopefully decide on you! You aren't done after the decision is made, though. Now you need to keep appealing to your current customers to build loyalty to keep them coming back, or ideally get referred to friends and family.
Reach Your Customers Online
It's the digital age, and an online presence is required to maximize your reach. You should develop your social media presence to reach your target audience where they spend their time and where they're likely thinking of home planning. This can be done by getting more involved with home trend discussions online or promoting sales on Pinterest or Instagram where you can share images.
When combined with traditional advertising, which still has a crucial role in furniture store advertising, your marketing potential can reach a whole new height than ever before. TV and radio are key drivers of awareness and reach millions of people every day. You can use TV and radio campaigns to drive traffic both to your website and into your store, while also giving your business more credibility and legitimacy.
As much as 60% of consumers make purchases after seeing or hearing an ad on TV, and 61% of people say TV commercials are the most trustworthy of all ads. TV allows you to target your audience with a striking visual element of your products using sight, sound, color, and emotion, which lets you connect with your audience more than fleeting digital ads alone.
Start A Referral Program
Referral programs encourage your customers to promote your brand through word-of-mouth, which is the most trustworthy type of promotion, in exchange for a reward of sorts. It builds loyalty and incentivizes repeat and new business simultaneously by rewarding past customers and helps you bring in new customers, who will hopefully also promote your business.
Getting happy customers to spread your business is helpful, but as a furniture store, it would be wise to partner with real estate agents. It can be helpful because they speak with people who likely need furniture and are very much looking to buy.
To get an idea of what this entails, here are 10 steps to create an effective program:
- Create your goals for the program.
- Research how referrals are coming to your business.
- Consider what a 'good fit' for your furniture store is.
- Sort out and list all of your customer referral sources.
- Identify potential channel hosts.
- Set aside time to reach out.
- Create incentives.
- Have resources for alerting customers.
- Have tracking available.
- Regularly improve your referral program.
Focus On Customer Care
Having a strong customer service team helps reassure customers through the buying process and helps them feel cared for afterward to maintain their customer loyalty. Your product may be important, but customer service is one of the most crucial elements of ensuring repeat business.
For many businesses, customer experience is a higher priority over pricing. Where 45.9% of people rank customer higher, 20.5% rank pricing higher, and product is ranked high by 33.6% of businesses. However, 86% of buyers will actually pay more for a better customer experience.
You can do this by offering help and value while they're searching, then follow up with surveys, advice, and feedback on your products. Reaching out to ensure their quality of experience lets you proactively address any concerns, while also making people evaluate their experiences and making it more likely to be remembered. That can make customers think of a lackluster experience more positively, so they think of your brand more fondly in the future.
Create An Enticing Website
People spend a lot of time browsing online before making a purchase. Having a great website can help those people casually look at your products during the early stages of their buying process, and if given a good impression, it is likely to keep your brand in mind when it comes time to make a purchase.
Ensuring consumer experiences are nothing but seamless makes it easier for the customer and encourages them to check out your store. Think of it as your first impression, if your website looks professional, buyers will assume your store is too. However, a bad website with several complications can indicate to the consumer that their in-store experience with you will likely be just as disorganized and challenging.
Many people still buy their furniture in-store to see it before committing to it, and your website should support the goal of getting people to your store to finish the sale. If coordinating your online and traditional advertising is too burdensome, an experienced media partner will help you achieve these goals.