Engaging today’s consumers depends on a strategy that encompasses three things: it must be low friction, memorable and, most of all, personalized.
Retailers face more competition than ever to secure their share of consumer spend. But the biggest challenge seems to be engaging consumers in the first place. With an array of devices, platforms, and channels at their disposal, the average shopper is prone to distractions. In fact, it has been suggested the average attention span is just eight seconds – shorter than that of a goldfish.
This is a universal problem. It’s felt by bricks-and-mortar stores and eCommerce players alike. Nowhere is it more apparent, though, than with those trading in high value, traditionally long lead products – such as kitchen retailers.
So, in an age where every second counts, how can kitchen retailers captivate consumers? What can they do to hold onto their attention for longer than the average? And how can they use this to drive sales? The answer to all three of these questions stems from delivering a 360-degree engagement strategy.
Embracing digital: Emulating the ‘wow’ factor of kitchen design
There’s no question that the game has changed when it comes to kitchen design. Today’s consumers want to be involved in every step of the process. They want access to all the information about their project wherever they are. Being able to get advice or feedback from their friends and families is important for them, too.
Making this a reality depends on having the right underlying technology. Bricks-and-mortar stores are still incredibly important for kitchen retail sales. The majority of consumers will choose to come into the store to make their final purchase. But that journey is more and more likely to begin online.
By introducing greater interactivity, such as via the HomeByMe for Kitchen Retailers 3D planning solution, it is possible to extend the store showroom to the digital arena in a way that’s personalized and memorable. Creating a digital version of the ‘wow’ factor that customers expect in-store lets retailers enhance the omnichannel experience and better captivate those who start their sales journeys online.
This is the building blocks of a 360-degree engagement strategy. Once in place, a 3D planning solution acts as the cornerstone for delivering an experience that can exceed expectations, and more quickly and effectively take customers from design to delivery.
Omnichannel insight: Getting a complete picture of the customer
Integrating a 3D planning solution into the fabric of a retailer’s offering provides valuable data-driven benefits. Whether the customer journey starts online or in-store, it is easy to add custom measurements and other important details that will impact the final design, creating a bespoke picture of the customer’s needs. By better understanding each individual customer’s vision for their project, retailers can stay front of mind and keep engagement at an all-time high, reducing the chance of leads going cold.
This approach compounds in value, too. As more customers use these solutions, it becomes possible to glean more accurate and detailed insights, which can then be used for greater personalization. Kitchen retailers can take advantage of large data sets from 3D planning solutions to create customer profiles and target sales leads with tailored marketing communications.
Selling to goldfish: Speeding up and simplifying the design experience
A big part of a successful 360-degree engagement strategy is catering for reduced consumer attention spans; speeding up what has traditionally been a time-intensive design process. The latest 3D planning solutions make it easy to create kitchen layouts in minutes rather than days. Using the technology at their own pace, customers can explore a retailer’s product offerings and customize how they would look in their own home. The benefit is two-fold: customers feel more confident in their final design decisions, requiring less input from store professionals who are then met with sales-ready projects.
Making the sales process more collaborative in this way not only speeds up the sales cycle, but also makes it easier to ensure error-free kitchen design. In turn, this supports the creation of a seamless omnichannel experience for designing the kitchen of a customer’s dreams – thereby increasing conversions and reducing returns.
Social commerce: Enabling peer-to-peer recommendations
Social commerce is a growing trend. 87% of customers say social media has helped them make a purchasing decision. Typically, this includes social media advertising and other personalized recommendations that support the sales funnel and buyer journey. For high-value purchases like a new kitchen, though, social offers additional value by enabling crowdsourced approval, otherwise known as peer-to-peer sharing.
By the time customers reach the stage where they are looking for third-party approval, they have invested time in designing their new kitchen. They are looking to make the purchase, but they want some independent validation first. As buying a new kitchen is a considerable expense, it’s natural that would-be customers want to reaffirm they are making the right decision. Using an omnichannel 3D planning solution, the customer always has their project design on hand for sharing with their friends and family at the click of a button. Facilitating this in an intuitive way, from inside a branded 3D planning solution, keeps customers engaged and locked into the retailer’s ecosystem at a critical stage in the buying journey.
The future of retail engagement
Engaging today’s consumers depends on a strategy that encompasses three things: it must be low friction, memorable and, most of all, personalized. To deliver on this in a way that enhances the sales cycle depends on kitchen retailers digitally transforming their product offerings. New technology needs to be at the heart of the consumer experience. After all, the different elements that make up a 360-degree engagement strategy only become possible, in a joined-up way, when underpinned by a 3D planning solution.