Your website isn’t killing your showroom. (We’ve got your attention now, right?) How many of your showroom visits do you think began online? Would you believe that 75% of local online visits become in-store visits? It’s not speculation. Modern analytics technologies have taken the guesswork out of it. When someone walks through your showroom door, chances are they found you on the Internet. And the better your online presence, the more people you’ll see walking through that door. If you’re wondering how to convert website visitors into customers, it’s probably already happening. But it could be happening on a much larger scale if you improve that online presence. When your website and showroom work together to create a seamless customer experience you get more foot traffic, sales and word-of-mouth referrals than you could with either alone.
Let’s explore how to convert website visitors into customers by making that happen.
Shoppertainment is a millennial-driven trend of browsing through a showroom just for the fun of it.
It’s not unlike Gen X teens walking around the mall for hours in the ‘80s and ‘90s, not buying anything. But the major difference here is that these are adults. They do have money. They will buy if you make it easy to do so.
55% of millennials walk around a store to pass the time 4-5 times a week.
46% say they walk through stores, find something, and then go home and buy it online.
When you’re exploring how to convert website visitors into customers, don’t underestimate these shopping-experience-seekers already in your store casually browsing. You have to ask yourself. Why do they visit and then buy online, often from another retailer? What does the online experience offer that you don’t? While online may seem very impersonal, online does have some amazing things going for it. When you integrate these into your showroom shopping experience, you can make these sales.
Integrate Technology with Showroom to Win Over Shoppertainers
Here are some simple strategies you can use to win over Shoppertainers.
- Make sure everything you carry in the store is online. Don’t let them go to your site to buy from you only to find that it’s not there. They’ll go elsewhere.
- Align your store and online promotions. Online stores are always running promotions. If people think they can get a better deal online because they have a promotion, they’ll check the price online, some times while still in your store.
- Create a seamless delivery experience. 64% of retail buyers buy online and want it shipped to their home. 34% of in-store buyers want to buy online and pick it up in the store to save on shipping costs. Giving customers delivery options can encourage them to buy in the store or on your website rather than a competitor’s.
- Speed-up your delivery schedule. Not long ago, waiting a week for a sofa was no big deal. Now, 66% of customers expect businesses to be able to deliver next day. This may not always be a reasonable expectation. But streamline delivery as much as possible to improve delivery times. Need to improve that part of your supply chain? Let’s talk about EDI.
- Integrate your website into the showroom experience. For example, have a room designer tool on your website. In the showroom, have signs that invite users to visit your site and use the tool on their smartphones. The tool then provides them with a list of items they need to complete that look. All they have to do is check out and set up delivery.
- Utilize online promotions to encourage more shoppertainers to spend some time in your store even if they’re not in the market for something specific. If you make them an offer they can’t refuse, they’ll often buy when they didn’t intend to and be very happy they did.
Help Your Sales Team Help You
Technology is important. But your sales associates play an important role when you’re figuring out how to convert website visitors into customers. Let’s look at how they contribute. First, equip your sales team with the tech to assist those in the store. They should be as familiar with the website as the showroom to help customers find what they’re looking for. 57% of customers say that when store associates have a tablet to quickly help them, it improves their in-store experience.
Second, expand your sales associates’ communication capabilities. Make it easy for associates to help customers online through social media and online chat and then invite the person into the store to continue assisting. You’re not only helping customers. You’re helping your valued employees enhance their technology and sales skills to make more sales and upsells.
Put Mobile First
When you put mobile first, you put customers first. 80% of Americans have a smartphone. For many, especially millennials and younger Generation X, the smartphone feels like an extension of their body. They use it for everything from planning their day to finding a new place to eat to buying furniture.
50% of local customers who visit your site on a mobile device will visit a store within 24 hours.
You do need to understand how to convert website visitors into customers that show up in the showroom to make this happen. But it’s easier than you may think. Invest in a website that’s easy to use on a smartphone. Provide online tools that people can use both in the showroom and at home to enhance the customer experience. Follow the tips in this article. Now, onto step three.
Build Your Online Reputation
93% of local customers now check online reviews before visiting your showroom. If a small business were unaware of this fact, they could see little connection between the online world and the showroom. But it matters more and more every year. This trend isn’t going away anytime soon.
Unlike acrylic coffee tables, online reviews are here to stay.
Forbes Magazine calls online reviews “the best thing that ever happened to local businesses“. When a local business invests in building a strong online reputation, they will beat big-name online retailers like Amazon or Wayfair in customer satisfaction almost every time.
The big guys often focus on quantity and massive advertising campaigns to drown out the many voices of real people who received inferior products and inferior service. But the thing that these big-name companies do right is that they’re fantastic at getting happy customers to give reviews. At the same time, they often have strategies to prevent bad reviews.
To figure out how to convert website visitors into customers, managing your online reputation must be a factor. Let’s look at some strategies to do that:
1. Monitor Reviews Across Multiple Sites
Yelp, YP, Facebook, Google My Business — Reviews may not all end up in one place. Check each location to understand your customer relationship health. You may focus on getting reviews on one site at a time. But keep an eye on each.
2. Solicit Reviews
Get your customer’s email. Request a review after delivery. Provide a link to the site where you want the review. Remind them to contact you and share how important their feedback is to your businesses and other customers.
3. Respond to Bad Reviews
53% of people now expect a business to respond to all bad reviews. Yet 63% say that a business has never responded to their review. Responding to a review in an empathetic and helpful way allows you to demonstrate that you care about your customers.
45% say that they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to a negative review than they are to visit that business if it had no bad reviews.
This plays out in reality as businesses with between 4.3 and 4.7 stars on a 5-star system consistently outperform those with 5-stars. Customers are often suspicious of sites with a solid 5 stars, especially if they only have a handful of reviews as reviews can be faked easily.
Online reviews are also a very important part of local SEO as you’ll see in the next section.
Invest in Local SEO Improvements
As already stated, 75% of local online visits become in-store visits. Regardless of how much you put into traditional advertising, today, the customer’s journey starts online. If you have a strong online presence, you will, without a doubt, get more foot traffic in your store. If they can’t find you online, you are leaving 75, or more, percent of your potential customers to the wolves, otherwise known as big online-only furniture warehouses. Save customers from this fate by investing in local SEO.
But you may be wondering, how can you possibly be more visible in search results that huge online stores?
The answer is simple. Google doesn’t think you should have to compete with Amazon-type companies when it comes to your local community. They’ve put systems in place to make it easier for local customers to find local businesses first in a search.
However, local search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t automatic. Just like regular SEO, it requires you to understand how search engines determine that you’re a local business.
If they can’t find you, they won’t become customers. So local SEO is how to convert website visitors into customers in your showroom.
Tips to Improve Local SEO:
- Get more local reviews.
- Make sure directory information is consistent everywhere online including social media.
- Network with other non-competitor local businesses like restaurants, frame shops and entertainment to obtain links to your site from theirs.
- Put your complete address in footers of each page on your website.
- Increase social signals from locals on social media by getting them to share things of your site.
- Look for opportunities to add images to social media and your site that reference your location.
- Create content around community events and people. Celebrate your “localness“.
It’s one thing to put these kinds of strategies in place. How do you know if they’re working? How can you really tell if a customer in the store found you online without asking? That’s how to convert website visitors into customers. Let’s take a look.
Tracking Showroom Visits that Start Online
The customer journey may now start online. But 90% of purchases still happen in a physical store. This number may be skewed by grocery and gas station purchases. But it demonstrates the importance of having both a website and a showroom. It demonstrates why you need to be tracking these “online“ customers who come into the store.
In 2014, Google introduced a beta version of a store conversion component to Google Ads that has just become available to more advertisers. You do have to qualify and contact Google to get set up with this special feature.
Anonymously using the customer’s smartphone GPS and other aggregated data, Google can now tell you how many customers came into your store as a result of your online ads, whether they clicked the ad or not. This information is invaluable to a business trying to get the most out of its ad dollars.
The new Google Beacon can help you get even more accurate ad-to-store conversion data and so much more. Let’s take a look at this revolutionary technology.
Want to know how to convert website visitors into customers? Be very relevant. And you can’t get much more relevant than Google Beacon. Google Beacon is a physical beacon that you can put in your showroom. With a little coding and automation, the beacon can send very relevant information to someone in your store who has given their permission. What if you could:
- Remind someone of a promotion for a specific item as they walk past it
- Invite customers to take a selfie in your store and post it on your Google My Business page or social media.
- Display the best times to visits the store and average check-out wait time
- Remind people about your online tools
You can do all of this and more.
How to Convert Website Visitors to Customers
When you’re trying to figure out how to convert website visitors into customers, first check out all the shoppertainers in your store. What can you do to either convince them to buy something in the store or get them back to your website? Make sure your website is mobile-friendly to drive more mobile traffic and enhance the showroom experience with mobile. Invest in local SEO to enhance your online presence. Empower sales associates with technology. Track how traffic flows from online into your store. Learn more about how we can help you integrate strategies and technologies like these into your business.