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23 Retailers Share Omnichannel Ideas at FurnitureDealer.Net User Conference

Furniture World News


Attendees of FurnitureDealer.Net’s 2019 User Conference gathered in Burnsville, Minnesota on September 24-25, 2019.

FurnitureDealer.Net, the provider of websites, product content and digital marketing services to independent home furnishing retailers, reports that it hosted its annual User Conference at its headquarters in Burnsville, Minnesota on September 24-25, 2019. The event drew 39 retailer clients from 23 companies from Alaska to Florida. Attendees included owners, managers and functional experts in marketing, sales, merchandising, IT, finance and operations.

According to Kayla Wallace, VP of Client Relationships at FurnitureDealer.Net, “The theme of this year’s conference was Mission Possible. We had a lot of fun pretending to be special agents, but most importantly, I felt this theme captured the retail landscape today. We’re facing a lot of challenges, but if we rally together, we will win.” Wallace added, “It was incredible to feel the passion in the room, every single attendee was energized and engaged. The resulting conversations will guide our platform in innovative ways that will truly help our retailers grow their business.”

The conference format featured interactive panel discussions, educational and training sessions, working meetings, networking, a talent assessment workshop and an Escape Room adventure. Topics ranged from strategic to technical, such as overcoming disruption in the furniture industry, EQ-driven leadership, measuring the impact of omnichannel advertising and promotions, converting website visitors into customers, best practices for online merchandising and ecommerce, and Q&A with Millennial shoppers.

Retailers left the event energized with ideas to implement in their businesses. Ira Baer, CFO & VP of Baer's Furniture in Florida said, “It was a GREAT conference. We returned super charged up to take the site and all the add-ons to a new and better level.” According to Dru Jeppe, owner of Reeds Furniture in southern California, “FurnitureDealer.Net really has been a major impetus for positive change in our organization and every year we attend this event we come back refocused and centered on the issues that matter.” Whitney Shaarda, Merchandising Assistant at VanDrie Home Furnishings in Michigan said, “The learning and networking were so valuable to me and I hope to put it to good use.”

Ian Srp, Operations Coordinator of Furniture Superstore in Minnesota, who attended the User Conference for the first time, said “I spent three days in Chicago for a Fox Television conference two summers ago. They had everyone from the commissioner of the BIG10 to some of the head honchos of Fox doing presentations. It was overwhelming, disjointed and an overall disappointing experience. I had a completely opposite experience at FurnitureDealer.Net. Nearly all of the content was entertaining and informative. I wasn't expecting a small company in Burnsville, MN, to put on such a fantastic event. I learned everything from how to do basic coding to how to improve our website's homepage. I can't tell you how much that made me feel like I could wrap my head even more extensively around this job.”

FurnitureDealer.Net shared key takeaways from the User Conference with all clients in its Premium network, including:
□    Today's shoppers do their homework before visiting showrooms. Many believe they’re more educated than retail salespeople because they’ve invested time to research products and read reviews online. Today’s shoppers prioritize convenience and are more willing to pay for it than shoppers of the past. Retailers are responding by equipping their sales staff with tablet computers
and training them to provide immediate answers to savvy shoppers’ questions and comfortably use the front end and back end of their website as an in-store selling tool.
□    Online inquiries should be handled with the same urgency and care as in-store ups. Retailers are hiring and training dedicated staff to convert website-generated leads into in-store shoppers by using email templates to respond quickly, asking open-ended questions to keep shoppers engaged, and staffing live chat nights and weekends when shoppers are most active.
□    Retailers are continuously experimenting with A/B tests to improve performance and efficiency of their digital advertising and email campaigns. They measure conversion rates and return on investment to evaluate promotional campaigns, and longer term metrics to measure brand awareness campaigns.

Wallace commented, “We don’t view ourselves as just a website company, which is why half of our conference content isn’t just about the website as a stand alone tool. We’re the omnichannel partner for our retailers, so we want to understand their business on a deep level and solve their problems in innovative ways. Our annual conference forges those strong bonds, something that can’t happen over email or conference calls alone.”


About FurnitureDealer.Net: FurnitureDealer.Net helps independent home furnishings retailers develop and implement successful omnichannel growth strategies that convert online furniture shoppers into local customers.

FurnitureDealer.Net provides a world-class responsive ecommerce website platform, publishes and maintains rich, up-to-date product catalogs for hundreds of brands of furniture, mattresses, appliances and consumer electronics, and updates merchandise availability status and prices by integrating retailer websites with POS data. FurnitureDealer.Net helps clients succeed with business consulting, digital marketing services and merchandising support. Clients include many of the 150 largest and most successful home furnishings retailers, including six of the past eight HFA Retailers of the Year. FurnitureDealer.Net also facilitates idea-sharing forums where a community of clients help each other solve problems and innovate. For more information visit www.furnituredealer.net.

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