Furniture News #375

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TEN STEPS TO FUTURE FITNESS The pandemic may have caught many furniture businesses off guard, but it’s not too late to adapt to the ecommerce demands of tomorrow’s shopper, writes Cylindo’s Biljana Vidojevic …



This year has been a wild ride. While in the beginning many companies thought they could get away with an ostrich approach and pretend nothing happened, now everyone is aware that the world is changing. It’s time to recognise the impact of Covid-19 and think through the long-term implications. For furniture businesses, there were two scenarios. Companies that were ready to move online managed to buffer the initial shock, and adjust their business strategy. Unfortunately, those that were delaying their digital transformation efforts have been caught flat-footed, without the ability to deliver a positive digital experience. It’s not called ‘survival of the fittest’ for no reason – no matter how big and successful one company is, only those who can adjust to the environment are going to survive. Luckily, there’s always a silver lining. The pandemic has forced companies to pivot, and this will also future-proof their businesses. Now is the time to think about the strategies that will strengthen your business in the new era of furniture ecommerce. Here’s some food for thought – 10 tactics that will help you embark on your path to growth … 1. An engaging online shopping experience will future-proof your business We’re witnessing a seismic shift in ecommerce. Traditional buyers who, in the past, had some hesitation to make purchases digitally, have become firsttime online buyers during the pandemic. According to Paysafe’s research report, Lost in Transaction: The impact of Covid-19 on consumer payment preferences’, 18% of all consumers have made an online purchase for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic (this increases to 25% in the US and 21% in the UK). A good starting point to understand your product pages’ performance and

make improvements (if needed) is to check some main indicators that can give you a clear picture of your user experience – analyse traffic, time on site, conversion rate, page load speed, etc. 2. Designing a product page that turns visitors into customers After diagnosing the performance of your product pages, you’ll be able to define a plan for improving the overall online shopping experience. Even though the process of creating an engaging online shopping experience can seem daunting, start with the basics and go from there: • Focus on creating high-quality visuals. Furniture is an incredibly visual industry, so having top-notch product visuals is a prerequisite for more online sales. • Enable product customisation. Help customers display the right product from the large number of possible product variants intuitively, easily, quickly and to order, directly according to their individual requirements. • Add product recommendations – these allow customers to find relevant products quickly and easily, by generating personalised offers based on their browsing and purchasing behaviour. • Leverage reviews. Customers today are constantly looking for unbiased feedback to help them decide whether they should buy a product. Product ratings and reviews have become major decisionmaking factors – and especially so for big-ticket purchases. • Create a seamless checkout experience. Give customers the chance to choose between registering and a guest checkout, and encourage them to give you their personal information by offering an incentive or a personalised experience.