As a retailer, you need to keep up with retail website technology to have the best chance of selling your products online. Over the years there have been great advancements in website technology that make it easier and safer for your customers to shop your online showrooms. We have put together 5 new website trends that are making it easier to sell furniture online in 2018. Follow these steps to get a head start on your competition and impress your customers at the same time.
You know that age-old phrase, “less is more”? Yes, that applies to websites too. When websites have too much going on, in terms of graphics and text, it can turn off visitors and make it very hard for them to get to where they want to go on your website. Let’s be honest, people don’t do a lot of reading when it comes to websites. They look for captivating images, limited, but powerful text, and short actionable buttons. You want your website to be very easy to navigate while having everything visitors need easily accessible on your homepage. Don’t overthink it. Here are a few examples of website that are minimalistic, but have everything a customer needs right at a click of a button.
Both websites have clear menu navigation, calls to actions, and a search bar where customers can easily access exactly what they are looking for. The images are large and crisp which makes the page look much more aesthetically pleasing. Large banner graphics make it easy to promote a new collection or sale and the option to add “about us” videos makes your brand more trustworthy and personal.
Providing a safe way for your customers to shop your showroom online should be a top priority. After all, if your customers have a bad shopping experience after buying products from your online store, they are much less likely to come back. Installing an SSL, or secure sockets layer, is the easiest way you can protect your customer’s sensitive information on your site. An SSL, when installed on your website, activates the padlock and the https protocol that allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. This handy certificate makes sure that your customer can have safe and seamless transactions on your website time and time again. See what Google does to websites that haven’t made the step for better security.
reCAPTCHA is another tool that can be used to secure your website. It is a free service that protects your website from spam and abuse. reCAPTCHA uses advanced risk analysis techniques to tell humans and bots apart. No longer do humans have to solve puzzles to gain access to content. There is now something called “invisible reCAPTCHA,” that allows humans to gain access with a click of the “I am not a robot button.” No one likes spam. Installing reCAPTCHA on your website will ensure that you will only be exposed to humans interested in your products.
When transacting online, there are more ways to pay than just credit cards. Some visitors will not feel comfortable entering their information into your website. That’s ok. With alternative ways to checkout like PayPal and Google Checkouts, your customers will feel more secure purchasing your goods. Providing payment methods beyond credit cards will open up the opportunity to sell to more people.
Artificial intelligence, used in your websites search bar, can greatly impact your sales in a positive way. This enhanced onsite search can autocomplete your customers’ words before they are even done typing. The intelligence software anticipates what your customers are trying to search for and suggests terms that it thinks are relevant based on the few letters they have typed so far.
On many websites, when a customer accidentally types in a misspelled word, the search will go to a “not found” page. With AI, this is a non-issue. The software senses what the visitor is trying to search for and will automatically correct to the appropriate word. The whole point of search bar AI is to provide an experience that intelligently displays results and moves customers from search box to checkout as fast as possible. After the enhanced search tool starts to gather data, it can start to recommend products that it thinks you will like based on past search history. You may have seen this technology on big websites like Google or Amazon. Below is an example of enhanced on-site search in action on a customers website. We started searching for a Stressless chair and only had to get two letters in to find the exact brand we were looking for. It’s that powerful.
Microinteractions are animations or visual responses that users see when they perform a certain action online. Though it may seem insignificant, microinteractions have a significant psychological impact on your potential customers. Think, Instagram. When a user “likes” a photo or video, a little red heart pops up and lets you know that the task was successfully complete.
The same thing can apply to product ratings, reviews, and social media sharing for furniture discounts. There is technology for retailers that lets you send customers text messages or emails after they buy a product from your store. Your customers perform an action, like checking out at your store, and they are given a way to interact post-sale, by receiving an email to rate or review the product. The same goes for social media discounts. You can offer incentives for social sharing on your website. For example, if your customer shares one of your products on their social media, you can have a popup automatically appear that gives them a discount on their next purchase at your store. Again, a reaction for every action. It is the little things that make a difference over time. You might not realize they are happening, but the most successful brands are using microinteractions to build loyalty between a consumer and a brand to sell more products.
The only way you haven’t heard about voice search is if you have been living under a rock for the past few years. Voice search is a trending technology that is taking the world by storm. Big players like Google, Apple, and Amazon are integrating voice search into their products and are seeing great outcomes in revenue. People like typing, they do it because it was the only thing that was possible to get words on a screen for the longest time.
Think about the last time you wanted to send a text or search for a restaurant near you. You had to get your phone out, open it up, get to your browser, and type what you were looking for in the search. Sounds like a lot of work! Now, you can simply take out your phone and say exactly what you want to search for. Voice search technology is making it much easier and faster for consumers to find and buy exactly what they’re looking for.
Still don’t think voice is relevant technology? How about this fact. As of September 30, 2017, there are over 27 million voice-enabled devices in U.S. consumers homes, and it’s only growing. That’s 27 million reasons why voice search is the next big thing. This means that if your store is not participating in voice search you will be missing out on voice sale opportunities. With 83.7% of the U.S. connected to the internet and 92% of smartphone users using voice search, the demand to enhance search strategies is crucial.
Why are consumers using voice-enabled search? A study on eMarketer showed that the top reason that people used voice search was that their hands were occupied, they get results faster, it’s hard to type on certain devices, it’s fun and cool, and they get to avoid confusing menus.
Are you keeping up with your competition? Many retailers are excited about the future of voice search on their websites. 60% of retailers are budgeting for mobile voice search for the future and 2% are already moving towards voice-enabled technology integration in 2018. Don’t get left behind in the new age of marketing and selling online.
Minimalism, security, microinteractions, artificial intelligence, and voice-enabled search are the ways of the future. They all equally play their parts and are critical to your businesses success. Interested in learning more about how you can integrate these new website technologies and strategies in your business to increase sales – sign up for the newsletter by clicking the banner below.