“The future of retail is seamless,” say the trend watchers at Trendone. Customers should be taken by the hand and guided across all channels and touchpoints – both analogue and digital. Find out in this article how this can work in the furniture industry.
Seamless commerce means combining the possibilities of e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar retail, and building an infrastructure that enables interaction on many different levels. When creating a seamless commerce experience, it’s important for furniture manufacturers and retailers to develop a consistent strategy for each channel and to maintain contact to make sure their customers are satisfied both online and in the furniture showroom. The following six points are crucial for developing seamless commerce.
1. Your website
It goes without saying today that a business should design an attractive website and update it daily with prices, dates, special offers and promotions. Programming the website’s design for tablets and smartphones is also essential. In our magazine you can find out how to optimise your online store and make sure your customers can find you with our SEO trends for 2019: tips for furniture retailers
2. Social Media
Instagram, YouTube and Facebook are the ideal channels for furniture companies that want to trigger emotional responses and arouse interest. Compelling images and short stories that portray the company and the people behind it create an emotional connection to your customers and inspire them to take a closer look. Find out more in our summary of the social media trends for 2019 that we’ve put together for you.
Chatbots are programs that answer simple questions within a standardised framework. The more data the dialogue systems are provided with, the better their answers will be. For customers, chatbots are ideal because they’re available 24/7, and they’re a way to avoid frustrating waits. But there still must always be an option to contact a real person. Examples of chatbots and their applications will soon be presented on ambista, so it’s worth keeping an eye out.
4. Personalisation and individualisation
Contacting a company is a seamless and pleasantly smooth experience for customers when their needs and wants are fulfilled. This calls for a direct exchange with customers, which can be beneficial for both sides. You can find out more in our article on the Megatrend Customization.
5. Point of sale – showrooms and marketplaces
When customers are buying furniture, physical stores still have an important role to play because buyers want to feel how soft a sofa is and see how easy it is to close a cupboard door. But orders are then often placed online, and they’d like their purchases delivered direct to their home or perhaps to a nearby store or collection point to save on delivery costs and make collection more flexible. „Click and Collect“ is becoming increasingly important, as are online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba because they offer cost-efficient access to the market and appeal to additional customer groups. IKEA has been testing selling its furniture on Amazon since the beginning of this year and is planning an industry-wide online platform, according to reports in the German business newspaper Handelsblatt.
6. Get to know your customers
In order to fulfil the above points effectively, you need to get to know your customers and their expectations. Conduct frequent surveys on Facebook and your website or in your newsletter, and collect and analyse your customer and website traffic data on a regular basis. This is the only way to optimise your content and build an infrastructure that enables seamless contact between providers and customers. It’s the path to seamless commerce.
More about the Trendone source here.