Furniture Everyday

Bill McLoughlin

How to win the Internet in 3 easy steps

September 14, 2017

If only it was that easy.

Every retailer today is wrestling with existential questions around the integration of e-commerce and digital marketing into established business models. There is no longer a debate about the need to play in these spaces, but many questions remain about the most effective steps to execute against that need:

How can the store experience be integrated with the digital one?

Does a larger digital footprint mean a smaller brick-and-mortar one?

How can you own your market when consumers are free to shop across a national, even international, landscape?

The retail furniture business today faces unprecedented disruption, confronting industry leaders with new challenges and the need to look at their businesses in new ways. To implement the necessary changes requires creative, proactive leadership capable of defining the necessary adaptations and cascading them throughout the organization to create fundamental culture shifts.

So what are those 3 easy steps? Let me start by admitting there’s nothing easy about it — nothing worthwhile ever is.

But here’s a place to start:

  1. Study and model the best practices of those currently achieving success. In the e-commerce space, that begins with the recognition that every action, process, product or service must deliver superior convenience and a “tell-your-friends-about-it” experience to the consumer.
  2. Recognize that e-commerce is not free commerce. Your website and the attendant digital marketing to support it require a financial commitment equivalent to opening another, and often larger, store.
  3. Become a content master. This does not mean have cooler advertising. It means learning to engage, entertain and enlighten potential furniture shoppers long before they even recognize they’re in the market for furniture. How do you capture the attention of consumers who are constantly being bombarded with news, ads, images, offers, games, videos and so on? It’s not a “No-No-No” ad in the local Sunday paper.

The truth is there’s no easy answer, and it takes way more than three steps.

The amount of data available on today’s shoppers and the sophistication required to execute against that information is an order of magnitude beyond what most of us have experienced in our careers. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible or that it’s not worth doing.

In fact, this year’s Furniture Today Leadership Conference Nov. 28-30 at the Four Seasons Resort in Orlando, Fla., will address these issues and many more. We’ve engaged a broad spectrum of experts both retail and beyond to provide actionable insights into the changes that are reshaping the furniture industry.

Let’s call that the fourth step to Internet success. Sign up now.