The baby boomer may be buying their last mattress or a couple of pieces like a recliner, but they are not the primary consumers of home furnishings. Generation X & Y, totaling 112,000,000 are the new demographic for home furnishings and they are "wired for the internet." And these wired consumers have NO tolerance if you do not deliver a content rich environment for them to explore that is also optimized for tablets and Smartphones!
Today’s consumers do not drive their father's Oldsmobile. They know virtually everything about your products before they come into your store. They find incredible detail online from every possible source, about the brands and products that matter to them. They search for, tunnel, explore, visualize and master their information requirements, and then they’re ready to visit your store and buy with confidence. And what they learn, and the experience they go through, they share with others.
Here’s how you can be part of the new consumer’s buying process, instead of being part of thedemise of the small and medium retailer to the large on-line retailers like Overstock, One Kings Lane, Houzz and others.
Think about these statistics: 75% of web search activity is with a local intent. 70% of respondents are more likely to use a business with some type of social presence. 82% of Internet searches follow up offline. Think this is all a fad? It's not!
So now what?
The three fundamentals of marketing are still relevant:
The difference now is that how these fundamentals work in the digital age.Consumers consult an average of 10.4+ new media or traditional sources before purchasing, 2x the sources they consulted just the year before and this is growing every year.
Are you delivering content for your customers?
You should be, for here is where a sale is generally won. Today's consumers demand a great shopping environment with lots of products and an easy to shop format. If you don't have a ton of CONTENT, showing a lot of product, the consumer will assume you don't carry what they are looking for and most likely move on to a retailer that shows what they're looking for locally, then defaulting to an online retailer like Overstock.
New vs. Traditional Purchase Journey
Over 75% of online search activity is related to "local content." Yep there's that word again..."content" And most of those consumers searching for furniture are starting out, and/or finishing their search on their cell phones or tablets, so your website and content MUST be dynamically configured for mobile.
Because poor experiences don’t convert customers.
- Buyer Beware: If your web provider does not deliver a dynamically configured website optimized for all/any mobile devices, FIRE THEM NOW. Everything is mobile now, and if you're business/website is not optimized for it, you lose the consumer and a ton of business! A mobile-friendly website is an HTML based website that doesn’t contain Flash. (Apple iPhones DO NOT support Flash and remember, Apple has sold 500MM iPhones since they introduced it....That's a lot of consumers you won't attract, and will possibly lose. How many of your friends have iPhones) ?
- A mobile optimized website doesn’t require that someone scroll left/right. It doesn’t require that someone pinch and zoom to read text, either. On a mobile site, the navigation is built for efficiency, the images are optimized for quick loading and the content is minimized to be most effective. Additional mobile-only functionality includes tap-to-call, tap-to-email and tap for Google Maps functionality and much more.
- 76% of in-store buyers rely on their Smartphone WHILE SHOPPING IN YOUR STORE!
- 94% of smartphone users look for local information on their phone and 90% take action after searching, including making a purchase or contacting the business.
- Smartphones have changed the way people shop- 96% have researched a product or service using their Smartphone.
I call this simple math.
So again, you MUST have a ton of content, descriptions, great photography, warranty information, videos, reviews and more so the consumer can get all their needs, wants and desires addressed. If you have 50,000 SKU's that you're "open to buy", show all of them, because when consumers search for specific products, you're more likely to show up in search as the LOCAL resource where they can buy them.
- Listen to what your customers are saying. Are you engaging in conversations to create conversions?
- What are you doing to manage your online reputation?
- When was the last time you checked your Yelp reviews? Yelp and review sites are not for restaurants, they are for retail.
Woody Allen said, “80% of success is showing up.” Today’s successful retailers show up in search results, social media, conversations and most importantly...as a LOCAL STORE I can buy from!
He has been the chief marketing officer of several small, medium and large companies throughout his career, most notably Ashley Furniture Industries Inc from 2000-2005.
Currently he is a strategic management and marketing consultant to
Imagine Advertising, Englander Mattress and several other companies in the home furnishing industry.
Bill is also a featured writer and speaker in the retail industry. His vast understanding of the issues retailers and brands face to compete in the digital arena, coupled with his humorous interpretation of his knowledge of trends, facts and solutions for helping companies compete, makes for an engaging and informative session for every brand or retailer that attends his sessions.
His passion is to help retail brands & brick mortar retailers grow their business by creating, guiding and deploying successful marketing B2B/B2C solutions integrating traditional marketing with the web/social media.
"Bill Napier is also known to many of the RetailerNOW Magazine readers as the man who likes to “Rant” and we think that is a good thing…
Sharing frustrations as well as common sense solutions has been his M.O. for years.
Delivering the goods each and every time he writes or speaks at our National Conferences, Bill says what he means and means what he says."
The RetailerNow Editorial Staff