Data from thousands of consumer profiles studied by PERQ, experts in online consumer engagement and behavior, has uncovered an important indicator in online furniture purchase behavior: the majority of shoppers are close to purchase. However, few retailers in home furnishings have implemented tools that will ensure that their websites engage and convert consumers into showroom sales.
While 41% of customers on retail websites are at the beginning of their purchasing journey, the data shows that a combined 56% say they are “narrowing options,” or are “ready to purchase.” Consumers who are in the market for big ticket items like mattresses and sofas say they are ready to buy now or within two weeks. Those who were offered an engaged, personalized online guided shopping experience were far more likely to purchase from that retailer.
“Industry studies show that the vast majority of consumers begin their search for furniture online and end in store, but this new data reveals that furniture shoppers are not just starting online and then heading straight to a showroom to buy – instead, they are actively researching and shopping at retail websites until they are close to purchase,” said Muhammad Yasin, Vice President of Marketing at PERQ. “These are hot prospects for furniture retailers, ripe for engagement; however, many retailers don’t convert shoppers to buyers because they aren’t offering a personalized experience to these very serious consumers.”
The findings, based on the analysis of 9,313 consumers shopping across 30 retail furniture websites supports third-party data showing that 70% of consumers begin their search for furniture online first, before visiting a retail store.* This online behavior, however, switches to the showroom for the actual purchase. The National Retail Federation found that 57% of furniture shoppers buy “mostly or entirely in store,” a trend that’s actually increasing.** As the PERQ data shows, shoppers may be leveraging online and in-store resources equally, and at specific points in the process.
The PERQ data also revealed a diversity in the profiles of online shoppers, with about 80% of visitors split evenly between empty nesters/grandparents and families with young or teenage children, highlighting that the ability to individually customize an online shopping experience at retail furniture sites – versus offering a ‘one size fits all’ experience is a significant opportunity. This customization is critical to increased engagement and to converting consumers to purchase at the retailer’s showroom. In fact, the data shows that shoppers who were offered a personalized experience were twice as likely to buy from that retailer.
Key Data Highlights:
- 39% of online furniture shoppers are at the middle of their purchasing process and ‘narrowing options’
- 17% of online furniture shoppers are ready to purchase
- 65% of online mattress shoppers want to buy now or within two weeks
- 49% of online sofa shoppers want to buy now or within two weeks
“Our findings send a clear signal to furniture retailers,” said Yasin. “Just because consumers are buying at the brick-and-mortar location, that does not mean they can be complacent with their online efforts. Online shopping tools and customization engines provide customers with a personalized experience that drives them into the store. ”
PERQ reviewed consumer data captured from 9,313 consumers from March to September, 2017. Data is collected via all types of lead formats, and during all phases of the consumer journey in order to provide a more clear and targeted view of important consumer buying and research preferences. For the full infographic on PERQ’s findings, click here.
*Luth Research, 2016 Digital Purchase Path Study
**2017 National Retail Federation
About PERQ: PERQ boosts website conversion through its online guided shopping solution which leverages artificial intelligence to dynamically change existing websites to deliver the next best step in each buyer’s shopping journey. As experts in online consumer engagement and behavior, PERQ leverages over 10 million consumer data points, along with real-time visitor behavior. Founded in 2001, PERQ solutions are used by more than 1,000 businesses in the home furnishing, auto retailing and multifamily industries. Its brands have been named to the Inc. “500 Fastest Growing Companies in America” list on three separate occasions. In 2017, PERQ won the Gold Stevie Award for lead generation software and Product of the Year in the Big Business Awards.