How home furnishing brands
are leading in the online
1 August, 2019
As fall approaches, homeware and furniture brands are highlighting their best Scandi hygge, nomadic prints and grey hues. As ever, the season trends have been unveiled
on thousands of furniture and homeware sites; ready to be snapped up by eager home-lovers and design enthusiasts.
As with many other consumer products, technology continues to play a major role in helping consumers make a choice in the home and furniture retail space.
"technology continues to play a major role in helping consumers make a choice"
“Worldwide online furniture and homewares sales are expected to be close to $200 billion in 2019.” — Statista
A lucrative and ever-growing market, fashion retailers are also starting to realize the potential. Urban Outfitters, Asos, Zara and H&M are just a few of many who are now selling furniture, textiles, ceramics and home accessories online. With this increased competition, traditional furniture and homeware brands have been put to the test.
We take a look at how some brands are performing well to triumph over the likes of fashion retailers, by providing a personalized service which online consumers love.
Product Advisors: MADE and Dulux
MADE and Dulux take personalized advice online and assist their online shoppers to find their perfect products.
With just a few simple questions, the user provides valuable information about their personal taste and preferences. The product advisor then finds recommendations
which are personalized to suit the user's needs. Product advisors can also be great fun for your users to interact with, as they add that special touch to
the online shopping experience.
Without product advisors, users can become easily confused amongst the thousands of products a website has to offer. By minimizing the amount that users
see and focusing in on what matters to their individual needs, companies increase their chances of getting a sale.
✓ Dulux place their Product Guide as the very first thing a user sees when entering their website.
✓ the Product Guide caters to all types of customers: those who already know what they want and those who require assistance.
"Product Guides cater to all types of customers: those who already know what they want and those who require assistance."
2. "Pick your color palette"
What we love:
✓ visually appealing
✓ users can state the finer details such as location, surface and finish.
"users can state the finer details such as location, surface and finish."
3. "Popular colors and colors to be mixed"
What we love:
✓ practical tips such as primary color options, as well as colors to be mixed
✓ only shown the color which we stated we were interested in
"only shown the color which we stated we were interested in"
Image Search: Wayfair
Image searches help users to find products via images instead of text. They work by using query by image content (QBIC) and content-based visual information retrieval (CBVIR).
Users simply upload an image they like or feel inspired by and the website search engine delivers similar products available within their product assortment. In addition, if
users don't know the name of a product but simply have an image — it's a perfect way for them to identify a product name and get more information.
As the world becomes more visual and photo sharing sites like Instagram become even more popular, the image search is something which will continue to grow; eventually becoming the conventional way to search.
“Image and voice-activated search may make up 50% of all searches by 2020” — Absolunet
✓ image attributes instead of descriptive metadata to search — helpful if the user doesn't know the product name or wants to find visually similar
✓ user-friendly interface and easy for mobile users who can upload images from their phone galleries
Live Chat and Virtual Assitants: Nest & Dulux
Live chat functions and virtual assistants mean that you can provide your users instant feedback and support and at no extra cost for them.
"38% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company if they offer live chat support." — kayako
In comparison with traditional phone support and customer hotlines, live chat and virtual assistants are much more convenient for the majority of customers.
Live chat can provide answers quickly and has the ability to mimic natural style conversations which you would have in-store with a human sales-assistant.
Virtual assistants are the automated version of live chat tools. No man-power required: just AI and machine learning, a virtual assistant can advise users
within seconds and quickly point them to the products they are looking for.
"42% of customers prefer live chat compared to 23% for email and 16% for social media or forums." — JD Power.