How Personalisation is Transforming the Furniture and Homeware Industry Published May 25, 2018 The way modern consumers shop for furniture has dramatically changed in recent years. Gone are the days of traipsing round the endless aisles of furniture shops, painstakingly trying out every single mattress. Furniture shoppers are becoming more comfortable buying online. In fact, as many as 7 out of 10 consumers now shop for furniture this way. A growing number of brands are building their entire business around this online furniture shopping trend. The likes of Caspar, Simba, Maisons du Monde and Made.com offer eCommerce only furniture shopping and are seeing huge growth year-on-year. Caspar have grown from zero-to-$600 million in revenue in just four years. Despite this, some furniture brands focus mainly on in-store and neglect the online experience they offer customers. Brands guilty of this risk losing custom to those that offer the same quality of service online as they do in-store. To meet consumer demand, furniture brands need to review their online strategy. Their aim should be to ensure the customer experience they offer online reflects how consumers research and buy furniture today. One key area for improving online customer experiences is personalisation. People have unique tastes when it comes to styling and decorating their homes. And personalisation technology can help brands tap into this to create a relevant and unique shopping experience for every customer. In this post, we explore the intelligent ways that furniture and homeware brands can use personalisation to transform their online experience and drive more sales. Personalising customer experience based on style Building a highly personalised customer experience is an eCommerce strategy that helps to increase engagement and drive conversions. But how does it apply to furniture shopping? In the age of Instagram and Pinterest, people spend time refining their tastes. They tend to develop a strong style, which they aim to remain true to throughout their house. Whether this style is industrial, Scandinavian, or shabby chic, they are unlikely to deviate away from it when they shop. Real-time behavioural data can tell you which style of furniture your customers are viewing or have just bought. Using this data, you can personalise the website experience of each customer according to their personal style. This helps make your marketing more persuasive. Driving repeat purchases Before the rise of online furniture shopping, consumers bought furniture in small windows. For example, on moving to a new house. Now people shop for furniture a little more like they shop for clothes: always looking to add to their collection. Personalised product recommendations allow you to capitalise on your customer’s impulse to buy. Use them to ensure you’re driving repeat purchases from customers. Predictive personalisation allows you to make intelligent recommendations based on what customers have recently browsed or bought. This allows your brand to act like a helpful interior design consultant. For example, suggesting a bedside table to match the bed they just bought. If you show them pieces that go perfectly with what they have already, they may be unable to resist. According to Google, as many as 19 percent of shoppers buy furniture simply because they were persuaded by an offer. Joining up bricks and clicks It is becoming more common for shoppers to buy furniture online, but this doesn’t mean stores are redundant. For the most people, furniture buying is still a cross-channel experience. Brick-and-mortar stores play an important role in helping customers check the quality and feel of furniture. According to Google, the way people shop for furniture falls into two distinct patterns: webrooming and showrooming. Webrooming is when customers research online to narrow down their options and then pop in store to confirm quality expectations before buying. This is the most common way modern furniture buyers shop. Less common is showrooming. This is when customers look at items in-store and then find them cheaper online. Personalisation can be used to optimise customer experience for both of these shopping patterns. For webroomers, try targeting campaigns based on location to draw people into their nearest brick-and-mortar store to buy when they are done researching. For showroomers, bring in-store transaction data into the website experience to ensure you aren’t retargeting people with items they have already bought in-store. Not many personalisation platforms offer this, but ours does. Learn more about our personalisation technology. Building loyalty The eCommerce landscape is a competitive one. With an increasing amount of choice and the ability to shop around easily, consumers are becoming increasingly less brand loyal. Only 10 percent of consumers are loyal to specific furniture brands. Personalisation is a powerful tool to counter this trend and drive loyalty. It works so well because buying furniture can be incredibly personal. Customers are all too aware that they’ll see their purchase in their homes on a daily basis. This brings a great deal of emotion into the decision to buy. Intelligent personalisation allows you to create an immersive, personalised customer experience that is similarly emotive. Real-time behavioural data allows you to recreate the one-to-one experience a customer would get in-store. Behavioural targeting helps you show customers offers that are both timely and contextually relevant. This makes your online store feel more human. Offering personalised recommendations that are always on point builds trust and drives loyalty. Showing customers that you can consistently offer them the right piece at the right time, encourages them to rely on you. This means be less likely to shop around. Improving the path to purchase Despite online advances, the furniture buying journey is still lengthy. Over a third (36 percent) of shoppers take over a month to research and purchase furniture. Personalisation helps you target people at the moments that matter. This helps you engage them at key points in their journey, easing them along to purchase. Browse and cart abandonment emails are key examples of this. This form of behavioural targeting entices shoppers back if they stray from your site or leave without checking out. Another way to guide shoppers through to the point of purchase is by sending them useful content. For example, if they have already bought from you, a product care guide could help them get the most out of their purchase. This makes it more likely that they’ll buy from you again. If they are yet to buy, try sending them user-generated content showcasing how existing customers have styled their rooms around your pieces. Not only is this inspiring but it adds a touch of social proof to reassure them about the purchase they are about to make.