The furniture industry is constantly evolving: from a new-age awareness of aesthetics and designs, to 3D modelling and virtual reality. So, as new technologies emerge, brands must adapt to meet the changing needs of their customers. A new way for furniture brands to communicate with their consumers is conversational commerce. This enables them to connect with customers in real-time through personalised conversations, creating a more convenient and seamless shopping experience.
But how are brands leveraging this emerging form of communication, and what results is the furniture industry seeing?
In this article, we will cover the following:
What is conversational commerce?
Conversational commerce allows brands and retailers to engage with their customers in real-time through a number of online conversational channels such as live video shopping, messaging apps, and social media channels. Conversational commerce is important for e-commerce as it builds relationships between retailers and their customers by way of communicating with one another.
Conversational commerce also gives e-commerce brands and retailers a one-on-one sales channel to provide personalised customer service. This transforms what can be a stagnant online shopping browse into an immersive digital experience for customers; in fact, 90% of customers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when they have a customer service question.
Importance of conversational commerce in the furniture industry
“Conversational commerce is about ongoing engagement and deep interactivity with brands. It allows customers to speak to brands as if they are real people, building individual relationships that stick.” (Furniture News).
One of the key advantages of the furniture industry implementing conversational commerce is its ability to provide personalised recommendations and advice based on a customer’s individual needs and preferences. When it comes to selling furniture, the industry is highly personal, and customers often have specific concerns and preferences when it comes to the size, style, and layout of their space.
Furniture customers are looking for credible and real-time advice that caters to their individual tastes, and conversational commerce allows brands to gather information and curate such personalised recommendations. By leveraging conversational channels, furniture brands and retailers can offer educational resources and advice that builds credibility with their customers, who can ask questions, get recommendations, and make purchases without leaving the platform they are already using. This can lead to increased engagement and sales for furniture brands and retailers.
According to a Salesforce study, 88% of customers think that a company’s experience is just as important as its products or services; this shows how conversational commerce can help create an immersive and memorable experience.
Moreover, conversational commerce provides an avenue for brands to showcase their values and missions, whether that be their commitment to sustainability, ethical sourcing, or use of natural materials. By offering these educational resources and advice, furniture brands and retailers can create a strong emotional connection with the customer, ultimately leading to increased loyalty and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
That being said, all of these advantages are seen to drive revenue, conversion rates, and average order value in the furniture industry. Conversational commerce allows furniture brands and retailers to sell across multiple channels, including both online and offline, offering a seamless and convenient shopping experience for customers. A report by Juniper Research found that conversational commerce will be responsible for $290 billion in retail sales by 2025, highlighting the enormous potential of this approach.
Furniture brands and retailers embracing conversational commerce
Many furniture brands and retailers are implementing conversational commerce as part of their virtual clienteling strategy. Below are just a few examples of this:
- Bridgman is a luxury furniture brand leveraging Confer With’s live one-to-one video shopping platform. Their brand ambassadors are able to physically see their customers, personalising their shopping experience in real-time to suit their garden specifically.
- ‘Furniture-in-a-box’ company Snug are also leveraging Confer With’s live one-to-one video shopping platform. In these one-to-one video calls, brand ambassadors can replicate the showroom experience online for their customers by sharing product images from a variety of angles.
- Dunelm is the UK’s leading home furnishing retailer. Using Confer With’s live one-to-one video shopping platform, customers can enquire about styling and sizing options of the products, as well as if it would fit into their own space.
- Emma Sleep is one of the leading sleep brands in the world. Customers can book a live 1-2-1 video call to receive personalised advice on their technology-driven mattresses in real-time.
Live video shopping in the age of furniture e-commerce
Live video shopping can take two forms: one-to-one and one-to-many. In terms of the furniture industry, one-to-one live video shopping is the best form of conversational commerce, ideal for considered and larger purchases. Let’s have a look into why this is the case.
One-to-one video differs greatly from a traditional live chat service as it can often be difficult to convey the right information over text, particularly if the customer is struggling to explain what they are looking for. However, by using live video, customers can interact with brand ambassadors in real-time and receive tailored recommendations based on their unique needs and preferences.
For example, a customer interested in purchasing a new sofa can connect with an interior designer through a live video conversation. The brand ambassador can then ask the customer about their room space, dimensions, and style preferences. Based on the information provided, they can offer personalised product recommendations, showcase the product available in the showroom, and provide real-time feedback to ensure that the customer is satisfied with their purchase.
Live one-to-one video shopping is also a valuable tool for brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors. By providing a higher level of customer service and attention, brands can create a unique and memorable shopping experience that sets them apart from other furniture brands in the market.