As retail enters the final months of 2020, we hit a breakneck speed of retaining 2020 profitability by any means necessary. The increase of shopping during Q3 won’t last. So what strategy can your store implement to see success in the fall and winter shopping season? Today we’re going to focus on the BOPIS concept taking furniture stores by storm. You’ll learn why your BOPIS retail strategy should be top priority before the holidays and how to get started.
The 2020 Shopping Journey
There’s no doubt that COVID changed how consumers shop for furniture. While eCommerce has been gaining steadily over the past decade, the pandemic only increased its velocity. Many furniture retailers struggled with adoption because shoppers still demand the in-person elements of the shopping experience. This desire to see and touch before the purchase has taken a backseat as the pandemic has made social distancing the norm across the country.
Thankfully, most states are now opening up. Furniture stores are seeing an uptick in foot traffic now as the economy improves. But the online shopping journey remains a priority for shoppers.
2020 Trends for the Furniture Industry
Here are some helpful statistics for furniture store owners, managers, and marketers.
90% of furniture shoppers “webroom”. Webrooming means that they research different options online before buying in store. That means that all furniture sellers should take great care to ensure their websites look great. Efforts to reduce load time on their website are worthwhile. The full selection of furniture stores offer must be available online.
23% of customers looking to purchase large furniture begin their searches on Amazon. But their shopping journey converts to the local online experience after initial research.
Millennials are predicted to spend $1.4 trillion by the end of 2020. 47% of millennials follow the BOPIS model. Buy Online Pick up In Store. Millennials are the largest adult generation in the US as of 2019. Before 2019, Baby Boomers were the largest population.
Adapting a BOPIS retail strategy allows furniture owners to attract buyers in this generation effectively.
What is BOPIS?
BOPIS means Buy Online Pick Up In Store. It’s become a growing trend for retailers since 2010. And became a fast trend for shoppers in 2020. Few retailers implemented a BOPIS retail strategy before the pandemic. But those who enable BOPIS find the seamless integration of online and in store. If you’re a retailer exploring omnichannel strategy, look into BOPIS.
With prevalence in the pandemic, customers now look for retailers that offer BOPIS. And it’s not just for groceries. Now it’s a staple in the American marketplace, especially for the furniture industry. People can easily research and select products online, then pick up in store at their convenience. It’s great because so many of us have hectic schedules, and scheduling order pick-ups can be done according to our needs.
BOPIS can also encompass BOPC. Buy Online Pick up Curbside fits many social distancing guidelines set by governments. BOPIS and BOPC are excellent ways for customers to take their time, research and select their furniture online, and pick up at their convenience. Returns in store are super convenient and easy if needed.
Benefits of BOPIS
There are many benefits to BOPIS. One of the challenges in eCommerce surrounds shipping, taxes, and logistics. When retailers enable a BOPIS model, they can make eCommerce more functional and cost-effective in their local market. It leaves out the shipping challenges and keeps your costs down. All of which can support a higher profit margin on your furniture sales online.
Retailers list this as the biggest advantage of adopting BOPIS. But it certainly isn’t the only benefit of BOPIS.
There are plenty of reasons why people prefer to BOPIS, rather than simply buying the furniture they like and having it shipped directly to their doors. Consider the statistic below, and make note of ways in which your business could improve to tailor to customers’ preferences.
- 46% of buyers like to go to a store so they can touch and feel the quality of a product before taking it home
- 47% resist having to pay for shipping (every penny counts these days!)
- 23% don’t like the prospect of having to wait for the product to be delivered (shipping delays are abundant now)
- 36% will ask for price matching if online research resulted in finding a lower price somewhere else.
- 37% like to be able to easily submit returns in-person.
There are so many benefits to BOPIS. Make sure your furniture store has this as an option, especially if you’re marketing to millennials.
Implementing BOPIS Retail Strategy
There are plenty of furniture stores that are almost entirely driven by in-person foot traffic. For years, you’ve invited people in to browse your showroom and employed expert salesmen and women to entice them to purchase. That’s fine, as long as you require masks, sanitize frequently, and take care to maintain social distancing. But if your furniture is ideal for 30- and 40-somethings, you’re missing a key marketing opportunity.
Millennials are between 24-39 years old in 2020. Many of them are raising children right now and need to purchase furniture regularly. They have serious buying power, so it’s smart to pay attention to their preferences. Make sure your website is robust so they can webroom thoroughly before coming in. Millennials love to conduct online research before buying something. They like to read reviews and see what other people like or dislike about products. They often consult social media to get more feedback.
Your Retail Website
For your website, make sure every item has been professionally photographed and has a well-written description. Ensure that pricing is reasonable and competitive. Having active social media pages and blogs with essential keywords will ensure your business will be front and center online. It’s worth hiring an SEO specialist to really help your company’s website shine online. Investing in your website will bring tremendous benefits for furniture retailers.
Brick and mortar retailers would be wise to focus on SEO. This will help them take advantage of the Millennials’ spending power. It will also help your business maximize profits and continue to thrive in today’s competitive furniture industry. If you want to thrive, don’t ignore the Millennials, and make sure you take good care of your web presence. Your website and social media pages really matter for increasing your bottom line.
BOPIS and Black Friday
Black Friday is just around the corner. And recent research shows that it will be a big online shopping season for furniture retailers. But the good news is that with BOPIS and BOPC, retailers likely won’t see a big drop in revenue. Customers can easily research the options online, provided that your company has an excellent website. They’ll be able to spend hours researching options if they want. When they finally click purchase, they’ll be able to conveniently pick up in store or curbside.
These days, plenty of people are already planning ahead for the holiday season. So it’s not a bad idea to already start promoting your store’s Black Friday sales. This will generate buzz and help people plan to buy your items for gift-giving. There’s nothing like a new couch or dining room set to liven up the holiday season at home. It’s possible that people will be enjoying Thanksgiving feasts will their families via Zoom this year. That’s okay! Getting a new dining room table will lift the whole family’s spirits this holiday season. Just make sure you utilize a BOPIS retail strategy when promoting your dining room tables and other furniture this holiday season.
Building a BOPIS Strategy
- There are plenty of strategies furniture businesses can implement to attract customers for Black Friday and beyond. BOPIS benefits are clear. Customers can check the quality of their items before taking them home.
- There’s no need for them to pay added shipping costs when they pick up in store.
- They won’t have to wait for their order to arrive at their homes. Many stores offer same-day pickup.
- Customers can easily inquire about price-matching.
- Returns in-store are also simple and easy.
Now is the perfect time to start adding BOPIS to your policies, and make sure you promote it on all social media channels. Perhaps schedule a weekly automatic post on Facebook reminding people that the BOPIS retail strategy is available at your store. Ensure you mention it often in all your Black Friday promotional e-newsletters and mailings, too!
Plenty of marketers resist the urge to repeat announcements, such as BOPIS retail strategy availability, but it’s important to. So many of us are juggling tons of ever-changing priorities on a daily basis, so it’s good to remind your customers of it frequently. You can always jazz announcements up with different photos, backgrounds, and fonts so that your posts are eye-catching. This will help prevent them from getting monotonous and spread the word about your BOPIS retail strategy.
Winning Sales with a BOPIS Retail Strategy
It’s no secret that many small businesses are struggling right now, but yours doesn’t have to be one of them. Take proactive steps to help your business thrive during COVID-19, this year’s shopping season, and into 2021. By offering the BOPIS retail strategy and BOPC, your furniture store will likely do very well.
Millennials and other customers will be able to webroom to their heart’s content and then pick up in-store at their convenience. BOPIS and BOPC are the perfect policies to boost sales this holiday season, until the end of the pandemic, and beyond.
What are you waiting for? Start promoting the BOPIS retail strategy and BOPC on your eNewsletter, social media channels, and more. You’ll be so glad you did. Your furniture store will likely see an increase in sales. You’ll be setting up your online furniture store up to perform very well for many years to come!