Thriving in this Pandemic #2: Be Where Shoppers Start Their Journey

Home got a little sweeter during the pandemic. Many Americans were spending time online for “inspirtainment,” looking at home projects and furnishings as a form of inspiration and fun. In fact, Furniture Today reported that online browsing for furniture increased by more than 200%.

But they probably didn’t start on your website. Seventy percent of shoppers become aware of a retailer’s products outside of their brand communications. You need to be where your customers are starting their engines … and their shopping carts.

Time to Get Social

Social media channels are important, and Pinterest should be your priority. It’s where your customers are planning and dreaming about their rooms. U.S. consumers that use online resources to plan major home renovations are four times more likely to use Pinterest than other social media sites.

Pinterest’s demographic is likely a good match to yours: 83% of all U.S. women ages 25-54 visit Pinterest, and 43% of them are looking for items for their homes, planning to make a purchase within the next five years. And they like what they find. The social media platform’s research found that 78% of users say that content from brands is helpful in their discovery process.

Lifestyle imagery can have a major influence on purchase behavior, and Instagram is another important platform for furniture retailers. More than 80% of Instagram users leverage the site to discover, research, or decide to purchase products. And 46% of users report making a purchase online or in-store after seeing a product on Instagram.

How to Do It

Actively engaging in these channels is critical for acquiring new customers, and beautiful photography is just the start. While retailer-provided content like lifestyle imagery can build trust through value-added information, it can also be labor and budget intensive. Instead, you can supplement your content in a scalable way by getting your shoppers to do it for you!

Word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing, resulting in five times more sales than paid media. Word of mouth helps build brand trust, and that can lead to brand commitment and loyalty.  

You may be wondering “how?” The answer is user-generated content. In fact, it’s one of the most effective word-of-mouth marketing tactics. Ninety percent of consumers say it weighs more heavily in their buying decisions than promotional emails or even search engine results.

Furniture is a “considered” purchase. Shoppers invest time into research and planning. It’s this weighted consideration that makes furniture one of the largest categories on Pinterest and Instagram. Shoppers go to these third-party sites to discover furniture. Retailers who meet customers where they are have a greater chance of inspiring them to visit their site. 

This is where the buying journey can quickly derail. A typical retail website is taxonomy driven. Shoppers click a link on a third-party site and land on a product page where they see the item as well as other products in the collection or category. The enjoyable inspirtainment that got them there abruptly ends.

Make “Inspirtainment” Part of Your Shopper Experience Onsite and In Store

Customers want to easily find, customize, and share their own inspiration back on the third-party sites. To keep their attention and gain their business you must meet the shopper where they started, engage them to create content, and encourage them to share … so you can meet the next shopper.

The more a visitor engages, the more likely they are to purchase. Shoptelligence makes it easy by helping retailers meet the shopper where they start – on inspiration sites like Pinterest. Working in tandem, Shoptelligence helps shoppers discover and consider more products, while Pinterest helps them remember what they found so they can return to your site to make their purchase.

Pinterest sharing is a standard part of our Interactive Ensembles functionality, helping you jumpstart this virtuous cycle that creates word-of-mouth through trust-building, user-generated content that can drive more traffic and sales. In fact, shoppers who use Pinterest sharing from Interactive Ensembles generate 10.9 times more revenue and come back 7.4 times more often than shoppers who don’t engage with Shoptelligence.  It’s easy to see the power of Shoptelligence-powered Pinterest sharing.

Ready to get pinning? Click here to learn more about Pinterest sharing by scheduling a demo.


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