COVID has prompted many permanent changes in furniture retailing. No longer can retailers afford to consider their in-store and eCommerce businesses as distinct channels with separate operations and P&L’s. According to Deloitte Digital, 59 cents of every dollar spent in store was influenced by digital even well before the pandemic. Its influence stands to grow.
Leading retailers who were strategically investing in digital prior to the pandemic reaped the rewards and experienced explosive growth during the shutdown, providing a much-needed lifeline while physical stores were forced to close. As stores begin to reopen while traffic is low, conversion rates there are at an all-time high. Formerly skeptical retail executives are now seeing the website’s critical role in attracting and converting shoppers online, as well as qualifying them and driving them into the store to purchase in the first visit.
How are Retailers Adjusting?
Digital has become an even larger portion of the shopping journey. Astute retailers are re-deploying their sales associates to serve “digital ups” in addition to physical ups in store. Chat and online appointments are increasingly prevalent. However, in digital, sales associates don’t have the usual tools they rely upon in store to get the most out of every sale. There are no attractive vignettes to provide inspiration during a tour and cross-category discovery doesn’t exist in single-dimension eCommerce taxonomies, even with collections and pre-configured packages. Furthermore, the digital interaction is often not the last touch point – shoppers may be visiting the store after to validate the selections they made online and possibly purchase. Having to start over when they enter the store after having worked with an associate and researched further on their own is frustrating.
How to Make the Most of This?
To help retailers fully capitalize on the accelerated shift due to COVID, Shoptelligence is now offering two modules: Virtual Sales Assistant and Site-to-Store Inspirtainment. Quickly integrated with chat and online appointment scheduling solutions, Virtual Sales Assistant uniquely enables sales associates to immediately access the shopper’s browsing history and understand their preferences. Leveraging Interactive Ensembles, non-designer associates can “co-shop” with customers, easily tailoring complete room ensembles for that shopper and iterating with them in real-time. No shopper login is necessary for this designer-like experience, and shoppers as well as associates can return to their inspirations later to purchase online or in store.
Site-to-Store Inspirtainment adds functionality for users to create and save interactive inspiration boards on their own and mix-and-match across boards to customize the perfect room all from your assortment. Included is suspend-and-resume capability that allows shoppers and sales associates alike to access, modify and add to saved products and inspiration boards from any channel so shoppers can pick up the conversation wherever they left it. No more having to start over when they arrive at the store or searching for the additional product they liked before the last purchase. Retailers can easily track digital influence in store and visa-versa, giving insights into the complete shopping journey and helping quantify return on digital investments.
Both experiences leverage Shoptelligence’s market-leading Interactive Ensembles, proven to increase revenue per buyer by over 32%, increase time on site by 6X and more than double shopper intent. Discover how Shoptelligence can help your associates co-shop with consumers to engage them in every stage by scheduling a demo today.