The year 2020 has drastically altered not just the needs and wants of the furniture consumer but also the way they shop for it. Fuelled by the need to work from home, more people are shopping for furniture online. However, one major challenge facing retailers trying to sell furniture online is that customers need to see a product up close.
Several new technology trends have emerged that address these challenges. Live video selling is one such trend that helps furniture retailers stay relevant and find success online.
The advent of the smartphone and superior interfaces of apps have changed consumer behaviour. Consumers are now more open to buying online, and more and more customers are making the switch to shopping for furniture online.
Taking advantage of new technologies is serving to increase online sales by helping customers find the perfect piece, without ever having to leave their home. However, there is some resistance to buying furniture online. Here are some technology trends that help retailers overcome this challenge.
A huge challenge for selling furniture online is that customers would like to see high value furniture items up close and get an idea of how it looks and feels and would fit in with their requirements. Providing photorealistic details of the furniture products solves this problem to some extent.
Showcase furnishing and furniture products in great detail in all styles and colors so that customers can see what the product or the fabric actually looks like up close. This can help them in shortlisting for their purchase.
A core part of providing a superior customer experience is understanding what the customer looks for while shopping furniture online. Research shows that 87% of buyers want to know what the product looks like in real life.
Use tools like 3D models to help the customer visualize the product. Present your full catalog of products in an interesting and fun way with the help of hotspots. Customers will be able to interact with your products and choose their favourite product and buy it.
With the increasing trend of working from home and spending more time at home, there has been an increase in demand online for furniture that is smart, multi- functional, easy to assemble, and quick to ship.
For such furniture, suggesting the multiple uses of the furniture and how it can be assembled plays an important role in selling the product. Tools like live video selling or pre-recorded videos and reviews can play a big role in influencing the customer.
Return management is critical to the profitability of an e-commerce business and technologies like 3D models and live video shopping have helped reduce the number of returns. Personalised one-on-one or one-to-many interactions over live video can help in significantly reducing the number of returns. Returns percentage has declined 13% and constitutes 17% of the overall order volume compared to 20% in 2019.
Over the past few years, video has become a powerful medium for influencing people across industries. Being an easy-to-consume medium, it has outpaced other forms of marketing with a much better return on investment of about 75% than static imagery. Live video selling is an even more powerful medium as it results in instant answers to customer doubts and concerns.
Here are four ways to use live video shopping to engage and connect with customers and increase sales at par with retail sales in normal times.
There are immense benefits of using video in e-commerce, however, it becomes difficult to implement because of the technicalities and the high costs of equipment. How does one go about it? Which products should the video be made for? Live video selling does away with these problems as the salesperson can show a live demonstration of the furniture piece that the customer is interested in.
Live video selling calls can also be recorded and reused for training purposes as well as marketing. They can be used to train sales staff and improve their expertise in dealing with customers in live video calls. The recorded sessions can be edited to respect customer privacy and can be posted as demo videos on the website. This would help in creating an inventory of product videos. Further down the road, they can even share frequently seen videos.
Shopping for furniture requires extensive research and there is an exhaustive list of factors to be considered. What is your style? What is in vogue? What are the dimensions of your room? Will it fit into your room and match the rest of the decor? How does one clean it? It helps to have a specialist narrow down the choices. Live video selling can help customers connect one on one with specialists who can not only understand and resolve customer concerns but can also suggest accessories and alternatives. Such conversations can truly immerse the customer and help in making a buying decision.
The pandemic has limited the avenues of entertainment for people and webinars have stepped in to fill this void. In the e-commerce world, these have taken the form of Design Webinars and Shop Parties. Using live video selling, leading interior designers and brands can host design webinars for several people. These webinars can give out style tips to choose the right upholstery, discuss the latest trends in furniture, and can help create the desire to buy. Shop parties are a fun way to shop with close friends and family where they can look at products together and decide together which furniture pieces or home decor items to buy.
Live video selling is an innovative trend of video e-commerce that not only offers furniture retailers and brands the benefits of video in e-commerce but also makes it quick and simple to implement. It is fast becoming a trendy way to connect and engage with customers and adapt to the online environment of selling and increase conversions that approach retail levels.