Closing the Expectation Gap
Whether you're new to the home furnishings industry or your family has been in business for generations, you know that furniture buying is an emotionally significant event for your customers. And, unlike traditional shoppers, modern customers begin their research online.
This poses two unique challenges for your business:
1. Closing the expectation gap.
2. Minding the details of specifications and variations in your online store.
Let’s talk about the expectation gap. If you’re new to ecommerce, the expectation gap is the divide that sits between what an online retailer (you) wants to accomplish (drive revenue) and what the customer wants, needs and expects from their site visit.
But, there’s a caveat. The customer isn’t just looking for a sofa. They’re seeking an experience that reinforces their buying decision and gives them the information they need quickly and easily. So, what’s a retailer to do?
Think about the way your customers shop and seek to extend your showroom experience onto your website. Are your customers drawn to bright colors? Great, use those. Can you make your online environment interactive? Do it!
Animation and video are wonderful ways to extend your showroom. Show the fabric textures, let customers see the model sink comfortably into your signature chair, or set the mood for a dinner party by dimming the lights in the dining room.
This isn’t to say that your sales goals aren’t important, but if you’re not able to entice your customer, your sales – and brand – take a hit.
So, now you’re thinking about your beautiful online showroom and the ways you can showcase your pieces in a beautiful way, but what about minding the details?
Simplify your product pages with plenty of white space. There’s quite a bit of research online about the effects of white space in design. The long and short? White space allows customers to process information easily because it removes mental clutter.
Now, what type of information do the customers need? Product specs, variations, availability, order times and any other pertinent information for completing the sale. Remember, though, that this is NOT a place to cut corners.
Working with a cloud-based data system, like Amber Engine, is the fastest and easiest way to manage your data. The Amber Engine platform manages product specifications through both the manufacturer and the retailer, including product imagery. After all, you want to ensure that your product information is accurate and up-to-date, because this is what builds your reputation as a retailer.
It sounds overwhelming, but with the right combination of a quality UX designer and product platforms and software, you can create an amazing online experience that boosts sales and increases customer engagement online and in your showroom.
For the latest innovations, go to www.amberengine.com/
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