According to Furniture Today, retailers around the country are reporting a significant increase in foot traffic. However, as the majority of consumers continue to take their shopping experience online, knowing what is interactive marketing has become a key tent-pole topic for home furnishings to increase market share.
Blending innovative technologies with the experienced in-store staff is creating a hybrid brick and mortar buying journey like no other. Let’s take a look at some interactive marketing examples from retailers.
What is Interactive Marketing?
Interactive marketing is experiential marketing. It is a dynamic marriage of interaction and collaboration. Instead of simply talking with a one-way stream of marketing, an interactive approach makes it a two-way conversation.
Let’s take a look at the current interactive marketing trends for retailers that are impacting home furnishings.
DYNAMIC PRODUCT ADVERTISING
Dynamic Product Advertising is an invaluable tool in the home furnishings industry. They automatically promote your inventory to consumers who have expressed interest in your website or elsewhere on the internet.
With Dynamic Product Ads, retailers can retarget visitors who have been to their websites but did not complete a purchase. Retailers can create personalized campaigns for website users, showing the products they viewed on the website, and other related products. This will create more awareness for the consumer. It will also increase the chance of them returning to the website. The benefit with these dynamic product ads is that you minimize the number of lost conversions.
Additionally, any time you do invest in digital advertisements, they will be valued more by the user. Apart from this, recommendations and purchasing guidance based on a buyer’s history will encourage them to spend more time on your site.
Understanding Dynamic Retargeting
Dynamic retargeting creates unique and personal messaging for consumers, as retailers can create a personalized ad for each individual person with the furnishings products they’ve viewed on their website.
In most instances, this involves machine learning technology that analyzes individual behaviors to figure out which creative elements will entice an individual to return and make a purchase. This retail marketing trend tends to be the solution that gets the most attention. The ads remind customers of your products and increase the likelihood of a website visitor returning to your website to buy something.
Dynamic Remarketing Ads in Google
Dynamic remarketing that shows an image of the specific product makes the ad engaging enough to bring the customer back to that specific furnishing. Google remarketing can track the merchandise that your customers viewed. It will repeatedly show them those exact products or suggest similar products.
Google Analytics can provide you with information such as visit duration, general location, and pages viewed that’ll help you choose your dynamic remarketing audiences.
So how do you set it up?
Link your AdWords account with your Google Merchant Account. This is necessary to provide a product feed.
- Create a display campaign and connect your feed to the campaign. After you take this step, you won’t have to upload images.
- Place a tracking code on your website generated in AdWords or Google Analytics.
- Select a layout and create your dynamic remarketing ads or use responsive ads.
- Connect your audience groups to the products you want them to see.
Create a Feed for your Dynamic Display Ads
Advertisers in a variety of industries can use dynamic ads to customize the message they want to put in front of users. Using dynamic feeds for products or services can be a great way to reconnect with consumers and showcase items or pages that are familiar to your previous visitors.
Not to be confused with virtual reality, which is an entirely immersive digital experience. AR (Augmented Reality) layers digital elements on top of real-world settings. This interactive marketing tool allows consumers to visualize their surroundings in a new way, and takes the guesswork out of product placement in their homes.
Augmented Reality shopping has been a big disruption in the ways consumers interact with home furnishings – ways to provide shoppers an augmented reality shopping experience.
Product Visualization Through Augmented Reality
With the ability to customize, for furniture retailers, the approach of ‘try before you buy’ is crucial and this option for customers is a winning ticket. What do the numbers say about AR-based shopping?
According to “The Impact of Augmented Reality in Retail”:
- 61% of shoppers prefer retailers that offer AR over those that don’t
- 68% spent more time with the products if AR was available
- 72% of shoppers had purchased items they were not planning to because of AR
AR Navigation In-Store
Due to the increase in in-store shopping, and the advent of customizing furniture online, this trend comes as no surprise for 2021. Being able to customize online isn’t enough, but it’s a great starting point. The true innovation is blending the online consumer’s journey with the in-store expertise. Utilizing custom design tools, consumers are able to accurately relay to the retailers exactly what they want, in the design they want.
With retailers providing an immersive and personal shopping experience to their customers by applying AR technology, stores are becoming smarter. In-store AR navigation uses mobile apps to navigate users within the brick and mortar, taking the consumer on the best routes through the store.
AR also motivates the consumer to spend more time with the app and the brand.
As a result, retailers build deeper customer engagement while gaining insights into customer data.
INTERACTIVE SOCIAL COMMERCE
One of the more popular interactive marketing trends in 2021 we’ve seen is Social Commerce. Right now, social commerce is available on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. The immediate benefit is turning the shopping experience into an interactive journey for the consumer, building a retainable base, all while using the already built-in metrics these three carry.
This trend involves shoppable ads and posts, which are slightly different from the ordinary posts from everyday users.
Building Social Shops
Just think of the ‘Swipe Up’ option on Instagram Stories. You see an ad/post you’re interested in, swipe up, and then you get to the seller’s website without leaving Instagram. You make the purchase, close the window, and you’re right where you left off. This allows for the consumer to engage immediately with your product without having to exit out of their own social media moment.
Do the numbers justify this marketing trend? Let’s take a look:
Social Media Messenger sales are massively outperforming the current ROI champion of email.
The Social eCommerce Experience
Before 2020, following brands on social media was for more inspiration that shopping – but now these interactive marketing tools are used for research, shopping, and contacting retailers for help and questions about products.
Here are several items about social commerce to remember:
Using brand data across all digital touch points allows for better interactions with consumers.
Personalization allows retailers to present products and services that are of greatest interest to consumers specifically, at the right time and place.
This trend is constantly evolving, and will continue to improve alongside social media.
The interactive marketing trends impacting 2021 are consumer-experience centric, and capitalizing on them early by blending new technology with the know-how of your brick and mortar is the key to gaining a bigger piece of an increasingly scalable market share. MicroD has digital marketing trend experts ready to help retailers sell more!