The furniture industry has been one of the most vigorous supporters of online selling methods in both commercial and residential areas worldwide. According to Statista, the share of online retail in total wholesale furniture and home furnishings sales has already gone beyond 20% in the United States. eMarketer predicts it to reach as much as 32.3% by 2023.
In the meantime, a 2018 Global Market Insights report estimates a huge growth between 2018 and 2024, with Compound Annual Growth Rate at around 5.5%. These numbers should inspire furniture manufacturers and marketers to invest in progressive technologies to implement into their furniture website. Yet, studies demonstrate that many online retailers are still lacking eCommerce skills for their websites, even though there’s an increasing tendency to purchase online among B2C and B2B prospects alike. Since the opportunities arrive, there’s a strong necessity to find out how to make an online store a hit in 2020. Let’s dive deep into the subject. For the record, tips are based on current trends shaping the furniture eCommerce market.
#1. Increased RTA Designs Implementation
Customers used to purchase ready-to-assemble furniture since the mid-1800. Recently, it has become a favoured alternative to assembled one. As quality improves and giant brands like Ikea become mainstream, shoppers are switching to RTA furniture. That’s great news for furniture manufacturers. Because of production cost and storage efficiency, they can sell it directly to consumers.
Also, to sell massively, many online retailers turn to innovative ways of showcasing such furniture on their furniture website. For example, they use 3D animation to demonstrate in slow motion how it is assembled and works. The technology allows showing design options, bundling sets and configuration of the product. It is especially helpful when it’s about items with complex functionalities. These can be swing sets, kitchen cabinets, smart brackets and mounts adjusting for proper storage, and so on.
#2. Try-On Before the Purchase Itself
Such leaders of the industry as Ikea and Overstock have already implemented this concept of “try before you buy” into their furniture website with the help of AR. Both developed AR-enabled mobile apps that allow projecting the products’ 3D models into their real-life space. So, customers pick an object and by using their device’s camera drag and drop it in the real room. This is how they can assess how a piece will look like there and if it resonates with them in general.
Moreover, some furniture websites feature a 3D configurator. The tool allows visitors customizing the offered goods as per liking. By using 3D visualizer, one can switch colors, change sizes and shapes, textures, and different details. Some other websites suggest trying out various backgrounds, comparing multiple product models, and so on. This method is particularly helpful in terms of tracking customer behavior, which, in due turn, makes deals more targeted. In terms of digital customer experience, this technology is definitely a win.
#3. SEO-Friendly Sites Rock
SEO, for Search Engine Optimization, plays an important role in creating a successful website for furniture. It is designed to generate traffic in order for people to come and purchase. So, what makes the website SEO-friendly? First of all, the incorporation of SEO keywords into the titles and descriptions of the product. This allows ranking higher on Google pages.
The technology comes from 3D and allows examining an object from different angles against a white background or in a finished interior. Again, from the point of view of customer experience, it’s definitely the online store’s asset. Since customers stay longer on the website, it decreases its bounce rate. The lower it is, the better the ranking is on Google pages. Also, insightful 3D renders of the goods, 3D product animation, wireframe models drawings can make visitors stay longer and explore more on the website. And one of the few key criteria of Google’s rating is how long users stay on the platform.
#4. Solid Mobile Shopping Experience
Nowadays, 4 out of 5 Americans buy online, and more than half make a purchase with a mobile device. This stats proves that for a furniture business going mobile is a must. It’s time that online retailers organized a solid customer experience on mobile. Otherwise, surfing a furniture website with poor mobile responsiveness can be confusing for customers and lead to cart abandonment. It’s crucial to make sure that the website is functional via as many devices as possible, and any type of content is properly transferred onto smaller screens.
On the other hand, going mobile provides great opportunities, such as selling via mobile apps. Furniture manufacturers and online store marketers can expand the availability of the goods’ 3D models on their device apps and mobile websites. This is the way to connect with people on the devices and platforms they use most of all. Yet, if customers cannot use apps, optimized mobile websites still allow enjoying the product presentation. Different items on the mobile site are labeled with 3D badges, which means shoppers can still view a 3D model of their favoured product. Providing apps and exploiting 3D imagery on browsers ensure that furniture online stores can get to 100% of their mobile users, despite the device they use.
#5. Syndicated Content from the Site
Website content syndication is a part of content marketing. To have a selling furniture website, there should be an excellent blog there. Its articles can be syndicated or distributed on relevant platforms and massively spread throughout the Internet. Readers will come to the website from the platforms where the articles were placed and get interested in the products. It’s low-cost but adds to brand awareness drastically.
Also, as publishers, marketers can ask another source for permission to feature their piece on the blog. It’s a great idea to post helpful content that benefits readers. Herewith, in both cases, it is recommended to input some compelling visuals because in this industry it is king. These could be insightful 3D renders with products involved in a beautiful home scene, 3D animation showing the functionality, 360-degree view for all-around estimation, and so on.
A furniture website is ideal for examining, configuring, and purchasing products. It is way more cost-efficient than keeping physical stores and shoppers to get a self-serve journey they are already used to on the Internet. Online stores offer the experience that today’s customers need. Yet, to win the game, they should deploy technologies that make the customer experience even better. That’s what the 3D product presentation is about. It facilitates and streamlines the shopping processes while allowing to collect insightful, consolidated customer data, necessary for effective marketing.
Willing to try out one of the mentioned technologies for your online store and level up your business? Get in touch with our team of professionals passionate about delivering you high-end 3D modeling services.