• Alex Milstein

Online experience is about ‘what consumers expect’

HIGH POINT — Is the experience you offer online shoppers on your website the same as the experience you offer customers who shop in your store?

According to Scott Hill, cofounder of Perq, a marketing technology company focused on customer engagement and behavior, it needs to be.

In his High Point Market seminar, “5 ways to drive in-store sales from you website,” Hill explained that a retailer’s website is its largest showroom, and retailers need to treat it that way.

Perq helps retailers do this by creating a better online experience for customers; and personalized experience that can eventually be turned into data that retailers can use to grow their businesses.

In the seminar, Hill ran through the five steps to create a more useful website: experience, interactivity, personalization, data and metrics.

1. The first step looks at comparing your current website and in-store experiences. You want them to be similar because, as Hill noted, you will win the website experience the same way you try to win the showroom experience. Both experiences should help retailers learn about their customers.

2. Interactivity, the second step, looks at increasing the amount of engagement you have on your website. You want to create calls to action and interactive content on your website to get customers engaged. This engagement can help you learn important information about new and returning customers.

3. From here, the next step is personalization, which is extremely important step for retailers. Websites should personalize a customer’s experience to reflect the same service provided in person. That means you ask key questions and learn relevant information about a customer that can help you make a sale.

It also means making things easier for the consumer on your website. For example, if a consumer fills out a call-to-action form, the website will save this information. Next time the person logs into the website, he or she won’t have to enter this same information. That leaves an opportunity to create another call to action, which will create more engagement and teach you more about the customer.

Personalization is similar to creating a buyer persona for each customer through calls to action and website engagement. You can use interactive content to qualify a customer through your website.

4. and 5. The last two steps are data and metrics. You can use the data and metrics to track engagement rates like total traffic, time spent on the website, monthly website inquires and how traffic is converted into leads. You can ultimately use this to increase in-store sales and future sale.

At the end of his presentation, Hill said it’s critical for retailers to enhance their online experiences. “It’s not what what’s coming,” Hill said. “It’s what consumers expect.”

Alex MilsteinAlex Milstein | Client Content Editor
amilstein@furnituretoday.com

Alex Milstein came to Furniture Today with a passion for writing, a love of marketing and plenty of millennial tendencies. Previously, he worked for a marketing company where he handled sponsored content, social media and some advertising. As an editor for Furniture Today, he writes mainly about technology and culture, tying cultural happenings and technological innovations to the furniture industry and exploring what effects they will have on the industry. In his free time, Alex plays drums in a rock band, writes about music and spends as much time as he can with his dog, Sadie.

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