When it comes to iconic pairs, your online and in-store presence is about to give PB&J a run for its money. That’s because, in order to escape the so-called “retail apocalypse,” you have to create a better (aka: streamlined) online and in-store experience for your customers.
Because, for local businesses, one doesn’t work as well without the other.
Because people no longer buy products – they buy experiences. So, to compete, you have to get smart about BOTH of your showrooms.
Flip the Furniture Showroom Script
In Store: When people come to your home furnishings showroom, they don’t just want to “see” the sofa lined up against a wall. They want to know what it is to live with it. Set scenes where guests can grab a drink and popcorn to kick back to watch a bit of a movie you have playing. This lets them FEEL at home on the piece and know that it would work for their lounge style.
Likewise, create home office spaces with tablets where guests can peruse your additional online offerings. Or “kitchens” that have fresh coffee and tea with an inviting table for reading the “news” about your latest products or designs. (The news is an interesting print-up of your latest design challenge blogs.)
Online: Room scenes help shoppers beginning their journey see how your pieces could/would work in an environment like their own. However, to create a positive experience when transitioning between click and brick, be sure to differentiate which products are available in-store and which are online only.
Create a Sensory Experience for Home Furnishings Buyers
In Store: When you’re refreshing your in-store experience, it’s easy to include elements that appeal to all five senses. Play music, incorporate scent, encourage touching/sitting and interacting with your home furnishings, serve cookies and mind the lighting with more ambient color temperatures.
Online: Make good use of descriptive language to tell a better story about your products. Not only will guests be able to understand use, this also helps online customers “feel” the fabrics and textures. Whether you update your own product data – or use an automated product data service like Amber Engine – it’s important to review the romance copy carefully.
Solve Your Customer’s Furnishing and Decor Needs
In Store: Know your market and position your showroom to help customers solve for the issues that homeowners/renters have in your area – not only with product, but also with design. For example, perhaps people in your neighborhood struggle with making smart use of small spaces, like loft apartments and condos. As a retailer, provide stylish, multi-purpose storage solutions.
Or, if you’re in a more rural area, people may need help creating comfortable outdoor living spaces on large lots. You can help design a gorgeous space that feels cozy and lasts for years with your weather-proof wicker.
Online: Whatever your solution, blog and post on social media about your unique offerings – both in product and in service. This helps you gain brand recognition and build trust with your audience. Plus, it’s a great way to combine what you present online and in store.
It’s easy to create a more streamlined presence between brick & click when you put your mind to it. Plus, by marrying the two sides of your business, you’re offering something that Google and Amazon cannot – an authentic, personalized shopping experience.
Remember, people want to be known and cared for by professionals who can help. Take advantage of your unique position in the community and start solving the design challenges around you to capitalize on the opportunity. In other words, get into brainstorm mode and start making a peanut butter & jelly.
Want to learn more about enhancing the online retail experience? Amber Engine has you covered.