Thriving in this Pandemic #3: Getting More from Every Visitor

If you’re like most retailers, you spend a lot of money on advertising to drive traffic to your site. If a visitor leaves without making a purchase or further engaging with your brand, that money was likely wasted. To maximize revenue, you need to get more out of every visitor, both online and in store.

Optimizing the online experience is the critical piece. Before COVID-19, your digital channel’s main purpose was to provide customers with a place for research and product selection. Even back then, digital influenced 59 cents of every dollar spent in store. When stores closed, however, retailers that had invested in their websites before the shutdown reaped the benefits, more than tripling their conversion rates.

While for most order values have held steady, sites with robust cross-category merchandising saw incremental revenue growth accelerate as shoppers seeking inspiration bought 40%+ more items per transaction. Retailers who also quickly adapted to an ecommerce-only mode deploying their customer support and sales associates to engage with those online shoppers turbo-charged their sales even more.

Two factors that directly contributed to revenue growth were conversion and order value. To boost sales, retailers need to know how to increase them together as 1 + 1 = 3 in this case. 

Conversion Solutions

When stores shut down or were restricted due to COVID-19, customers turned to virtual tools to give them the confidence they needed to purchase.  Conversion-oriented solutions such as wish lists, chat and online scheduling helped shoppers compare products, get real-time access to sales associate expertise, and safely visit the store. Retailers that leveraged these methods managed through the shutdown with ease.

Augmented reality helped enhance shopper confidence in purchasing online. Houzz increased its conversion rate by eleven times when it gave shoppers the ability to see products in 3D.

Order Value Solutions

Traditional catalogs and lifestyle photography have been an effective way of sharing a brand’s style perspective with shoppers. In the digital world, however, interactivity is the key to driving engagement. Merchandising solutions that bring static tools to life can provide a starting point for inspiration. Shoppers can customize pieces and settings to their taste, which increases engagement and, ultimately, the size of their purchase.

Interactive merchandising works with in-store sales, too. Shoppers can easily discover multiple categories of items in the showroom, and save and engage with them online when they return home.

A Dynamic Duo

Conversion and order value solutions are valuable on their own, but put them together and you create a powerful combination that enhances results and maximizes what retailers can get from every visitor.

Interactive Merchandising + Chat/Online Scheduling

This combination helps shoppers discover more interesting products. A sales associate can use interactive merchandising to suggest additional products, or a shopper can browse alone and see products in context. When they’re ready, the shopper can interact with the sales associate and gain confidence to purchase.

Interactive Merchandising + Wish Lists

Wish lists have been around since ecommerce began. With the rise of inspiration sites—think Pinterest and Instagram—wish lists take on a new level of importance as they help shoppers not only remember individual items; they can save rooms they customize and share to their networks, creating powerful word-of-mouth advertising for retailers. This is particularly true in the furniture industry where shoppers tend to furnish rooms over several visits and transactions. 

Interactive Merchandising + Augmented Reality

Augmented reality helps give shoppers confidence that the item they’re considering will work in their room. While it answers the question, “Will it fit?” it doesn’t address the bigger concern: “What should I put in the room?” Interactive merchandising answers that critical second question, helping shoppers discover combinations of products that work together in the rooms they’re trying to furnish. Connecting these two solutions provides a seamless experience that helps shoppers achieve their goal of furnishing a room with extreme confidence.

Putting it All Together

Conversion and order value solutions impact ecommerce and in-store revenue by helping blur the lines between your website and store, and Shoptelligence a critical element of that ecosystem. As the Home Furnishings Industry leader in interactive merchandising, Shoptelligence serves leading retailers with its proprietary Interactive Ensembles-based platform. From new visitors you’ve acquired through competitive (and costly) digital advertising to repeat customers who know you well, our platform can help you serve them well and sell them more.

Click here to learn how top furniture retailers are using these solutions to maximize revenue and get the most from every visitor. 


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