Winning Website Tip #14 From PERQ: Three Digital Advertising Mistakes Furniture Retailers Make
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Good digital advertising brings customers exploring their next furniture, appliance or mattress purchase on your website or into your physical showroom. That’s the goal. Connect consumers to your products and let your sales team do the rest.
Today’s digital advertising options may seem overwhelming. The results of traditional advertising — broadcast, print, direct mail, and outdoor — provide limited insight into effectiveness and don’t permit brand interaction. Digital advertising delivers specific details on prospects and their behaviors, valuable data to influence how you adjust your message and ads.
Digital advertising’s dynamism requires continual learning as well as ample opportunity. The digital ad spend in the U.S. for the first six months of 2019 totaled $57.9 billion, according to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Digital ad spending eclipsed traditional media spending in 2019, and continues to grow exponentially as more avenues and new technologies reach customers.
Even though the digital advertising space will inevitably continue to evolve, avoid these three mistakes so you can start reaping your return on investment.
Analyze. Adjust. Adapt Your Digital Advertising.
Mistake No. 1, putting your digital advertising on cruise control. Unlike traditional advertising, digital efforts require the advertiser to analyze data, adjust their spend or messaging, and adapt efforts to meet customers’ needs. Sounds like a lot of work? Help yourself through this process and invest in the right technology. The proper metrics from your selected channel plus CRM data provides valuable insight.
“Setting up digital advertising campaigns requires thoughtful consideration, and then frequent monitoring of campaigns once they’re live,” says Ali Mesick, Digital Advertising Manager with Brawn Media. “If your campaigns are not seeing results, try something different. What works for one business may not be what works for another.”
Mesick believes most retailers have some quick wins already available, just by diving into the data. “One of the great things about digital advertising is that you can target very granularly based on demographic, interests, search intent, location, and so much more,” she says. “You probably know your target audience, but there might be a segment you’re not thinking of that’s actually resulting in a great conversion rate.”
Value Your Products and Your Prospects
Mistake No. 2, not setting values for your products and prospects. Selling a $3,000 sectional requires a different amount of effort than selling a $30 table lamp. Allocate the amount of money and effort you put into your digital advertising to reflect the type of product and desired prospect.
“Think about what products are important to you and most valuable to your business, and make sure you’re putting ample advertising budget behind those products,” Mesick says. “The amount of money you need to allocate to lower price-point items to be successful will not be the same as it is for higher price-point items.”
Acquire data on every consumer interacting with your website and track shoppers across multiple channels and devices. Understanding the customer journey and tying leads back to actual sales informs which products and customers result in the best conversions. As a bonus, these insights enable you to personalize not only digital advertising, but also the consumers’ interactions on your website.
Invest in Your Website
Mistake No. 3, not investing in your website. You put a great deal of effort into merchandising, pricing, and staffing of physical stores. Apply that same mentality, thoughtfulness, and commitment to your virtual showroom. Your physical showroom is just a three-dimensional catalog without your sales team and the overall shopping experience you offer customers who walk through the door.
Apply that same level of consumer engagement and personalization to your website. In return, you’ll gain more information on customers who interact with your brand. A study conducted by Accenture found 83% of consumers will share their data to create a more personalized digital shopping experience.
“You can spend a whole lot of money on digital marketing, but if you’re driving tons of traffic to an incomplete or dated website, then what’s the point?” asks David Weiss, Marketing Manager at Sherman’s in Illinois. “Websites should be treated like another physical store, especially with 90%-plus consumers beginning their shopping journey online.”
Jacob Sizemore, Marketing Manager at Big Sandy Home Furnishings Superstore, agrees home furnishing store websites are too often missed opportunities for connecting with customers through digital advertising.
“It's a challenge for the normal retailer to have a website that, in reality, is affordable. You don't have as much flexibility, and we forget how customers actually like to shop,” Sizemore says. “It’s tempting to fall into the quantity of items over quality of the experience.”
Mesick also stresses the importance of a quality, responsive website — even if a furniture store’s end goal is increased foot traffic.
“Websites with up-to-date inventory are crucial for digital advertising, because they allow you to run a number of different dynamic inventory campaigns,” she says. “If you can serve an ad to someone with the exact piece of furniture they were looking at, they’ll be so much more likely to visit your store and convert.”
About PERQ: PERQ (www.perq.com), a marketing technology company founded in 2001, empowers businesses and the online consumer experience through innovative solutions powered by artificial intelligence.
More than 1,000 businesses in the home furnishings, auto retailing and multifamily industries leverage PERQ’s Marketing Cloud and technology to give them more visibility into their digital marketing efforts and sales.
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