S&P Global predicted that 2022 ecommerce trends would steer toward a more comprehensive digital outreach. So far, the predictions are mostly true. Let’s take a look at some of the many ecommerce trends in furniture that have succeeded in the past year.
1. 3D and AR Product VisualizationWithout stepping foot in a brick and more store, consumers needed a better way to view furniture and home decor. Images of a sofa from multiple angles demonstrate the overall style, but it only goes so far. Consumers need help to visualize furniture – especially larger pieces – in their personal space to capture how it works in an interior setting. It offers a more accurate representation, which gives consumers more confidence to make an online order.
Luckily, one of the growing ecommerce trends in furniture retail is 3D and AR (augmented reality) visualization. This helpful visualization also does double-duty with product customization and tailored preferences. Seeing a furniture piece at its correct dimensions to scale within a space and in a preferred fabric or finish is a lot more useful than even visiting a showroom. You can experience it instantly and it makes shopping online a lot more fun!
According to some statistics, 61% or consumers prefer to shop at ecommerce furniture stores that offer AR, and 40% are willing to pay a bit more for the convenience.
2. Site Search OptimizationHaving a well-optimized website is something all businesses need to draw in customers. At Cennos, we offer search engine optimization that includes alluring romance copy and long-tail keywords for all your decor and furniture products – and that’s a great start!
However, additional site search-related optimization with the help of AI can help customers find precisely what they’re hunting. Automated spelling corrections and autosuggestions can assist buyers discover the right words and descriptions they may not even realize they need to hone in on the perfect piece of furniture or decor. This is why site search bars and site organization is just as important in making online sales.
3. SMS MarketingText messaging offers customers a more personable and direct notification of furniture sales and other updates. Instead of them glazing over the countless ads, customers can sign up for direct SMS to be notified of last-minute flash sales and when their order has shipped or has even arrived at their door.
The best part is that this ecommerce trend has been proven to work better than other social media channels and other marketing tactics. With lots of advantages, SMS might be here to stay. Customers provide their direct consent, opting in and out with the push of a button, making it much more straightforward for furniture suppliers and brands to avoid regulations that are often tricky to navigate and stay on top of.
4. Easier Payment OptionsAnother trend in ecommerce is making payments easier. From seamless checkouts to a “Buy now, Pay Later” system, consumers will hit that purchase button when it's more convenient.
Seamless checkouts ensure a clean and fluid experience, keeping buyers on a path to purchase, instead of hitting hiccups or getting distracted. Cart abandonment is often the result of a disorganized or unaccommodating checkout experience.
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) options also offer customers a way to finance furniture over time, even interest-free. Dividing payments over several weeks or months gives customers more flexibility, making their purchases more appealing and easier to manage financially. Allowing them to get approved for a BNPL program at checkout is just one way to make ecommerce payments easier.
5. Recommerce and Sustainable OptionsWith the increase in online sales comes the increase in returns. Even with 3D and AR visualization, once an item arrives, some customers simply want something else or have a change in heart. So what happens to large returned furniture pieces? That’s the eco-conscious question on many customers' minds as they consider before purchasing these types of items.
Offsetting or reducing the carbon footprint of your business and offering a more eco-friendly process overall is a first step to reducing waste. And being transparent goes a long way to create loyal sustainably-focused customers. However, one of the newer growing ecommerce trends in furniture is to also resell used or previously owned furniture. Offering recommerce, or reverse commerce, means that consumers will be more willing to purchase a larger furniture item and feel guilt-free if it doesn't work out in their home. A recommerce solution is essentially a promise to customers that you won’t send their returned item to a landfill.
As another year slips by, marking the end of a decade, it’s time to wax nostalgic about the evolution we witnessed in the ‘10s, and prepare for an even more energizing landscape for ecommerce in the ‘20s.
These aren’t the Roaring Twenties romanticized in history books and pop culture, but rather a digital form geared toward harnessing the avalanche of opportunity available through Internet channels. It’s not likely that anyone in the Flapper days foresaw social media – although they would have loved it – but embracing the festive, carefree demeanor of that era is not a bad way to approach your business pursuits as we say goodbye to yet another year and decade.
So what trend-setting developments are we likely to see come January? What ingenious tactics and offerings will pose tempting ways of boosting your business?
Let’s start with customer engagement. If your patrons love you, put them to good use by involving them in social media campaigns. Hashtags go a long way on Twitter and Instagram, so why not come up with a catchy phrase involving a product you sell or your business name, and let it fly?
#AtlanticTradersHolidaySale – that hashtag generates a discussion of your personal shopping space. Sound fun? Try it!
If you’re not up to speed on how to execute hashtag campaigns or even use them effectively, GoDaddy has a great tutorial.
Another way to work customers’ and potential customers’ personal lives into your web is to entice them with personal touches. Social media “customer care” demonstrates your interest in serving them in a way that matters. Put simply, it’s not sufficient to set up Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and Instagram accounts. Reaching out to customers and being responsive to their input will get you places. Be sure to monitor and respond to ALL comments made to your Facebook posts. If someone has a complaint, apologize for their experience and offer to fix it. If someone gushes over your product or service, thank then back with equal enthusiasm.
Having dedicated myriad blog entries to the intersection between ecommerce and the largest (and perhaps oldest) social media platform ever, we now pivot to discussing a new development that may solidify its strength as a go-to space for advertising.
Facebook is no longer floating the pretense that its primary goal is social networking. While that’s the carrot on its stick, the California-based company is creeping into every sector it sees as a potential revenue target. After buying up several ancillary companies and applications, it is now set to revolutionize electronic payments through a newfangled offering featuring currency of its own. It’s called Libra.
There are countless factors that apply, from regulatory, to profitability, to projected success. But the clear picture takes a shortcut for ecommerce vendors, and that is one that makes Facebook rise again to the top of the list of advertising venues you should consider.
The Bitcoin-like currency, which may be called Facebucks or Coin, won’t be exactly like crypto. And it won’t be shady and underground, susceptible to nefarious use. Libra will be woven into a payment system designed for the 2 billion worldwide Facebook users to centralize a monetary source within the Facebook platform by purchasing “tokens” to use for purchases outside of Facebook.
The good, and the better
For vendors who peddle online, this is intriguing. It means that in addition to the bevy of payment transfer options now in place, this is accessible through an app they may be using for multiple hours per day.
But payments may be made to any participating vendor, and if you’re smart, you’ll consider getting on board with Libra. Here’s why:
Facebook says it intends to eliminate the conventional transaction fees associated with credit card and debit card use. This will need to be absorbed into Facebook’s revenue structure, and presumably they have confidence that is doable without taking a huge hit.
It’s a windfall for merchants who are already comfy advertising on Facebook, and an enticement for others to hop on board.
Envision a Facebook user perusing their news feed, and coming across your sponsored ad. They see the photo; they click through to your site. Already having accessed you through Facebook, they may, according to Facebook, be in a FB State of Mind, and have no qualms remaining signed in and making a purchase using their Facebook currency.