The 2017 Buyer’s Journey. The path is the same, the methods are different. We’ve spent the past year talking about dramatic shifts in the buyer’s journey for home furnishings retailers and manufacturers.
The first step of the 2017 Buyer’s Journey is always discovery. Every business in every industry is constantly evolving to meet the demands of the new discovery demographics. For many retailers, the shift has been from the “real” to the “digital”. Much of this transition is based on the new behaviors of the target demographic. In our blog about the Online Buying Habits of Generation Xers, we outlined the cornerstones of reaching the 66 million-strong generation of buyers.
Gen Xers believe in research. They’ve been spending more time using the Internet than any other age group, and average more than 8 hours per week of total internet usage on desktop or laptop computers. These internet users grew up with screens: from television to computers to mobile devices; however, they’re not likely to multitask with these different mediums.
Generation X shoppers represent the ideal home furnishings customer in 2017. Align your “discovery” methods to the online buying habits.
Consideration is a less tangible step in the 2017 Buyer’s Journey for home furnishings retailers. There are some schools of thought which say the “consideration” stage happens before the retailer is aware of the prospect. At MicroD, we’re teaching the class in that school.
Your target customer is using the internet to research more than just your store location. The 2017 customer is looking for value in your brand. They look for the products and manufacturers that fill your online catalogs. They review the selection you have available online and how they can purchase with ease from a website. Many experiment with your visualization tools (increasing your SEO). More importantly, they’re researching what other customers have said about you.
In a May 2017 study by YouGov, 34% of customers always check reviews prior to making a purchase. From the same study, 48% of customers sometimes check reviews prior to making a purchase. The overwhelming majority tells retailers to keep an eye on the reviews that come from customers post-purchase. This begs the question: is no review better than a bad review? No.
Most reviews left online without solicitation source from negative experiences. Rarely do positive reviews post without intervention from the retailer. Negative reviews give the retailer a chance to correct issues in the ways they conduct business. They also have the chance to respond to disgruntled customers–something buyer’s look for during their research.
If you have no reviews, outdated reviews, or you have negative reviews with no retailer comment/resolution, then the 2017 buyer loses faith in your brand and finds a competitor. Remember: positive, recent reviews help your retail store achieve one of the coveted 3 spots in the Google Map Pack!
Watch our short video about how reviews impact your search results!
Once the 2017 buyer has discovered your business and website, researched and considered your products, all that’s left is the decision.
In our blog about Websites We Love, we showcased some of the excellent examples of websites that help customers make fast decisions. Some of the elements you need on your website to help with the decision-making step in the 2017 buyer’s journey are:
Engaging Product Pages – Dynamic, unique content, video of real people enjoying the product you’re interested in. “How does it sit?”
BOPUS “Omnichannel”- Checkout or select store pickup. Special mention: the green designed button for in-store boost the omnichannel experience.
Call-to-actions- especially on the product pages with a rolling header to make the purchase possible at any level of the item browser page.
Getting the customer is a challenge. Keeping a customer (and a happy one, at that) is like climbing Mount Everest blindfolded, backward, and without oxygen. It’s no walk in the park.
Many times, furniture retailers don’t think about the “what next” stage of the 2017 Buyer’s Journey. This is a pitfall for MicroD customers as well as the many retailers we meet at Markets and conferences year after year. Often, the challenge is too complicated or too time-consuming. Skipping it seems like the path of least resistance. Stop doing a disservice to yourself and your home furnishings customers.
Start with capitalizing on the Moment of Delight. Our good friends at Podium, review management platform and MicroD Partner, talk about the Moment of Delight.
The moments after Point of Sale and delivery of the furniture product are the highest moments of delight in the buyer’s journey. This is the moment you should ask for the customer to leave a review on your Google Business Page or Facebook Page. Most often, 77% of the customers surveyed by Podium, a customer is willing to leave a review if asked.
Lesson: Ask for reviews.
How can furniture retailers ask for 5-star reviews?
Easy. MicroD has partnered with Podium to offer furniture retailers the easiest way to send happy customers a fast review process. One text during the moment of delight and a few clicks later, a 5-star review is on your page. It’s that easy.
Find out about MicroD’s limited-time offer with Podium!