How do I advertise my furniture store? How do I get people in the door with a furniture store advertising strategy? We hear it all the time. What worked before for advertising your furniture store just doesn’t cut it anymore.
You know they’re still buying furniture. They’re simply doing things differently. And it’s not easy for any furniture store owner to keep up with changing customer expectations.
Your employees rely on you for a job today and well into the future. Your family is trusting in you to keep the store profitable now and to have a brand to pass on to the next generation. It’s a lot of weight for one person to bear.
If you’re looking for furniture store advertising tips. Then we have an answer you’re going to like. It involves short term solutions that help you maintain cash flow and long-term solution that help you cut costs, maximize profits, and grow your brand over time.
Let’s explore how to do it!
Build a Better Home Base
Your home base isn’t your physical store anymore. In 2012, just having a website helped you get more traffic into your showroom and make more sales.
The showroom was where all the magic happened. It’s where you provided your:
- Exceptional customer experience
- Made the upsells
- Build customer loyalty sometimes across generations
And you still do all this, but…
Fast forward to 2019. The age of smartphones, virtual reality, 3D models and technology-integrated experiences is upon us.
The website is no longer a calling card.
Your website is a major driver for brand awareness, customer acquisition and the sale itself. People turn to it for information and support before, during and after a purchase.
Experts estimate that over 70% of a shopper’s furniture buying decisions happen online before he or she even sets foot in the store. Without a great website, you’re missing out on 70% of the customer journey. But when you’re there with a visible site that provides the experience they’re looking for, it levels the playing field. It’s the answer to the question: what is the best furniture store advertising strategy?
Updating your website delivers benefits now because you’ve strengthened your core. Everything else can no more efficiently revolve around it. But updating your website is also a very forward-thinking move. You’ll still be strong when it’s time to hand the reins over to your kids or grandkids.
Now let’s look at changes you can make to give your website a place to advertise for your customers.
Update Your Website Design
Your design should be beautiful, but more importantly functional. Align it well with your brand. Make people feel like they’re “in the store” while still browsing online.
Your design should make it easy for potential customers to:
- Ask questions and get answers fast. Enable your helpful staff to grow and adapt their showroom customer care skill to develop new ways to work with customers through social media, online chat, email, and even text.
- Find answers to questions on your site (blog posts, videos, slideshows, etc.)
- Get advice and tips that help them make decisions
- View what’s in your showroom from every possible angle (3D) and in every available pattern.
- Purchase and schedule pickup or delivery
- Recommend you to others
- Write a review
- Report a problem
- Have a 360 furniture-buying experience
- Receive customer-behavior-based suggestions
When it comes to website performance, you need to focus on the big three. Speed, navigation, and mobile-friendliness. Customers today expect a website to load in fewer than 2 seconds even on mobile devices. Use free online tools like WebPageTest to see if your pages make the grade. Then make changes to improve the function of your site. Make your navigation seamless, intuitive and as minimalist as possible while still helping customers get where they need to go. Over 50% of website visits today happen on a mobile phone. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, Google removes it from the search results on mobile devices. A mobile-friendly site automatically adjusts its proportions and rearranges the page so that it looks great on any device.
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
How can you possibly compete with huge national companies like Wayfair online? Google who owns one of the biggest search engines in the world doesn’t think you should have to. They’ve designed the algorithm that ranks websites in the search results to favor local shops over big names in your local area.
The only catch is that you need to apply local SEO strategies to confirm for Google that you’re a local business. These include things like:
- Having a local address on your website
- Filling out your business listing for GoogleMyBusiness, Yelp, and hundreds more
- Networking with other local businesses to earn local links to your website (e.g. run a contest to benefit a local charity, team up with a local restaurant for a special event, etc.)
- Creating content the specifically appeals to locals
- Obtaining reviews on Google, Facebook and other sites
As you delve into local SEO, you’ll find many more great ways to apply local SEO strategies to outrank national competitors and other local furniture stores. Where you rank in the search results matters because the site that appears at the top of the search gets over 30% of the clicks. The second one gets around 17% of the clicks. The third one gets about 11%. Then it’s all downhill from there.
How’s it feel to be invisible? No fun at all.
Traditional SEO along with local SEO strategies will help your site get found and are both important parts of your long-term strategy to position your brand for now and the future.
Increase Your Social Presence
According to a Forbes study, 81% of people say that social media influences their buying decisions. 71% say they have purchased something after a friend recommended it on social media. “Shopping” is one of the top 8 reasons people say they are on Facebook.
So social media is a big part of your furniture store advertising strategy. Facebook (and your social media presence) is the answer. But advertising on Facebook isn’t as simple as it may seem. Posting something every week or advertising sales won’t build a following or make sales.
Here’s what will.
Build Up Your Facebook Business Page
Set up your business page. Fill it out completely and make use of options that integrate your page with your website to make buying easy and sharing happy experiences about your store even easier. Set up a publishing schedule so that you appear present and active. Be aware that people may ask questions through Facebook. Be ready to answer within no more than 24 hours, but 4-6 is a much better goal.
Depending on your brand style, you may not want not to appear overly promotional. Instead, try some of these things that your customers will love:
- Run a contest. Offer something people will really like at lower cost to get people really excited about the contest in your community.
- Create and personality test that helps people understand their furniture style.
- Write some articles about the hottest home trends for spring, summer, 2020, etc.
- Share stories about employees and customers with written permission. Show the more human side of your business.
- Invite followers to check out new arrivals.
- Share positive reviews. 86% of people read reviews before shopping at a local business. 88% trust those reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend. Scary, isn’t it? What about the fake reviews and reviews from people who always try to find something bad to say? Just know that most people these days can spot these reviews and judge your reviews more collectively.
- Track your mentions and share posts that mention of tag you in a positive light.
- Quickly address concerns and negative comments in a proactive and professional way. 89% of people say that they look at how business responded to a negative review/comment before making a decision about the company.
We’ve got a question for you. Can you be successful on Facebook with no Facebook ads? The answer is, it depends. But you’ll get much faster results with ads, making building your business profile a long-term strategy. Facebook ads are the short-term strategy that helps you build that more lasting online presence,
Use Facebook Ads
Maybe you’ve run Facebook ads in the past to try boosting your furniture store advertising. What a nightmare! You spent all of this money and have little to show for it. You may be wary about online advertising with Facebook or Google Ads. When someone asks you, how to strategize furniture store advertising, you may be saying Facebook ads don’t work.
Many people face this same challenge when it comes to Facebook. They end up overspending. But when you apply smart Facebook ad strategies, you never have to again ask about the best strategy for furniture store advertising. Facebook delivers that short-term ROI that helps you build a more lasting cost-effective branding strategy.
The key to mastering Facebook is to:
- Know your target customer and target narrowly with each ad, including geographic targeting.
- Run several ads for several different targets
- Test your ads on small groups to find the best ad to put your money behind
- Pay attention to how people respond to your ad to ensure you’re sending the right message to the right people at the right time. Relevancy matters.
Facebook rewards advertisers who produce very relevant ads because it enhances the Facebook experience when people see ads that matter to them. They look at how many people saw your ad and didn’t click it. To keep costs low, keep relevancy hight.
Build a More Integrative Customer Experience
Technology has always been an integral part of our lives. From the first tools built by ancient humans to skyscrapers to cars, technology has always changed how we do things from generation to generation. Today technology helps us better understand the customer journey. The more we understand the customers, the better we are at delivering the services and products that they want.
This removes the mystery and the frustration that often comes along with it. It creates a win-win situation where you make money and customers are very happy with what they buy.
It all starts by mapping out the customer journey.
The Customer Journey
A customer journey is like a sales funnel but from the perspective of the customer.
Analytics can answer questions that help us map it out like:
- Where does the journey begin (Google search, Facebook ad, shared post, Yelp, email, etc.)?
- What steps do people take to get from point A (hearing about you/seeing a product) to point G (buying)? What’s happening between (checking reviews, comparing companies, comparing brands, etc.)
- How are people making their decisions about when to buy, where to buy, what to buy and how much to buy
- How do people feel after the purchase?
- Do people recommend you to others?
Since 70% of the buying decision is now made online, almost all of this information can be acquired by looking at online data. Data answer these questions with certainty rather than speculation. Then you make data-driven decisions that make a huge impact on the success of your furniture store. Learning how to improve furniture store advertising is based on data. Because your actual customers and likely customers told you through data what works.
Once you’ve mapped the customer journey, begin to build tools around the way your likely customers actually shop for furniture in 2019. Start by building the right tools to find furniture store advertising strategies.
How to Make Shopping More Interactive
What kinds of tools do furniture shoppers look for?
- Full inventory online
- 3D modeling so they can see items from all angles
- Ability to see the sofa in different colors, patterns, etc. (fabric draping)
- Easily check what others are saying about this model
- Easily scan an item in store to view warranty, additional options, features, materials, complementary pieces, etc.
- Interactive online room planning that allows people to physically create a visualization of what they have in their mind.
Website personalization is the next level of advertising a visitor once they visit your website. You’ve undoubtedly got a salesperson in the showroom who always knows what to say and when to say it to get a customer to spend a little more.
This kind of personalized experience makes or breaks their commission check. Automated suggestions like built-in merchandising or personalized online shopping guided messages are the online version of this and it works. Completely anonymous automation software tracks what pages a certain device (person) has visited on your site. It then shows 3 or more options that that person might also like.
Who knew making more sales could be that easy?
These kinds of tool represent how people buy furniture today, And because many of them are interactive, people stay on your website longer. The longer people are on your site the more likely they are to buy.
Furniture Store Advertising Strategy
When answering this question it’s important to think short-term. You need to make a return on your investment know to both know that what you’re doing is working and to keep a stable cash flow to pay the bills and your people. But it’s also important to think long-term. What can you do now that will position you for the future and maintain a brand that continues to employ people in your community and you can pass down to your children?
Our company gives you the tools to achieve short-term and long-term success. Contact our furniture marketing firm today to schedule a demo.