How do you improve furniture sales in a socially distanced retail environment? Here is the use case for improving conversion and Average Order Value via livestream video shopping. A great pivot for an industry hampered by social distancing.
Live Video Shopping for Furniture and homewares is a compelling proposition. According to the ONS, the sector was a £34.4 Billion market in 2019 , with 19.5% of overall volume driven by online. Taken in a straight line, this would represent a £6.7 Billion industry in the UK.
Online Transactions in July 2020 across all sectors rose to 28.1% of all transactions. Naturally, the online growth was accelerated by the restrictions associated with social distancing, but was there a conversion risk in the Furniture and homewares sector?
We think: Absolutely
Homewares are a high consideration product – it often takes multiple visits to a store and lots of reassurance that the product under consideration is a good match for a home.
With social distancing continuing to be a presence in the UK and beyond – live Video shopping, particularly one to one live video shopping presents a very viable solution.
A use case for Live Video Shopping for Furniture and homewares
In this article, we bring to life the use case for live video shopping for a consumer searching for furniture and homewares. A lot has been said about reduced footfall caused by social distancing. This has had an impact on furniture and homeware retail sales.
A live video shopping experience in homewares gives the opportunity to Engage with customers and immerse customers in the product experience from a distance. With a video commerce platform, new possibilities open up.The aim is to replicate the retail experience as much as possible from a distance, but also leverage the scale of eCommerce to assist with conversion en masse.
Matching shoppers with expertise
Confer With connects shoppers browsing on a website with expertise, who can assist with making a furniture purchase, as well as homewares to support that purchase – all the way up to high end luxury goods. If someone is browsing the beds section section of a furniture website, Confer With provides the opportunity for a shopper to talk to someone specialised in that space. The best experts can be prioritised, over people just training, and importantly, appointments can be made so that both decision makers for the bed purchase can be present to debate the merits of a bedframe, mattress, bedding and side furniture combination.
Engaging with a homewares expert
Once the shopper and their bedding expert are connected, Confer With engages in a one to one video call between the two. This video call allows the expert to understand their customers needs. How big is their room? what would be a relevant decor match? Do they value a super comfortable mattress over an entry level product? The video engagement allows a connection to be made, questions to be asked that are relevant to the customers needs, which prepares the expert for how they might immerse their erstwhile customers in a product experience that they will appreciate.
The customers can also show the room to the bedding expert and, with guidance it could be measured up easily too.
Immersing a shopper in an experience relevant to their needs
Because the customers and the bedding specialist are face to face, and the room has been inspected the bedding expert can:
- Select a relevant bed to their needs
- Show them how the product looks and feels
- Demonstrate the right size bed and in a style that will suit their room
- Respond immediately to feedback
These are hugely powerful tools, but when using the immersion toolset that is linked to the entire inventory of the eCommerce platform, the furniture sales person can take that immersion to the next level, even if they do not have the product (or a product variant) next to them.
- Using the “Alternatives” selector, select different beds at a higher and lower price bracket and style to the customer can be reassured that they have exhausted the alternatives
- Using the “additions” selector: Suggest mattresses in line with their budget and propensity for luxuriation.
- Using the “additions” selector: Suggest bedding sets that suits the room that it will be used in
- If the expert feels that the customers might want to go further – they can suggest additional bedroom furniture using the “additions tab in Confer With
- Show product specifications, images, and also prerecorded videos relating to how it matches
Making it easy to buy, then and there
Confer With have developed patent pending a shared virtual basket, which allows both the shopper and the bedding expert to add items to a virtual shopping basket. Once the shopper and the expert agree on the bed, mattress, bedding and side tables, the expert can offer “Shall I add that to our shared virtual basket”? If the answer is yes, the expert can do the equivalent of making out the order.
While the expert is demonstrating an add on, side tables, the customers can add that to their shared virtual basket too.
This basket collaboration, is designed to match the behaviour online and take an online shopping basket from being a one way thing to something that both the customer and the expert can collaborate on.
Lastly, to help along the sale of a bundled purchase, the furniture retailers might make available a 20% closer deal. this can be applied at the managers discretion.
Booking a further appointment to check they are happy with the installation, and potentially discuss the next project (say the lounge) is always. on the cards.
Last word on the furniture & homewares use case for live video shopping
On a practical level, the use case is very clear – video allows face to face connections between shoppers & furniture experts and importantly to demonstrate. Immersion deepens the customer experience to ensure there is a commercial framework for driving incremental volume. Not only will conversion rates increase, so will average order value.
Please get in touch if you would like a live demonstration of how Confer With can facilitate highly effective live video shopping experiences with customers.