Although physical stores are reopening globally, the shift to e-Commerce is here to stay.
Consumer demand is changing and the purchase journey is evolving in tandem. If they are to provide the experience customers now expect, home and kitchen retailers must ensure they cater to each and every buyer persona and their preferred purchase journey. Read on to learn how a 3D planning solution can help you tailor the buyer experience to keep pace and ensure market share.
Global home improvement sales increased by 6.4% in 2021: and this growth is projected to persist as greater emphasis continues to be placed on creating an optimal home environment.
Although physical stores are reopening globally, the shift to e-Commerce is here to stay. It is critical that retailers continue to innovate to offer the optimized online buying experience that customers expect today: they are now creating their own omnichannel home and kitchen retail purchase journeys .
Three distinct types of omnichannel buyer persona have emerged in home and kitchen retail recent months, depending on their confidence with DIY, design skills, familiarity with e-commerce and a number of other factors. These include DIY (Do-It-Yourself): DIWM (Do-It-With-Me) and DIFM (Do-It-For-Me). By implementing omnichannel shopping experiences that cater to the preferences of these personas, retailers can significantly improve the user experience for their customers, giving them the level of support and autonomy that they prefer.
‘DIY’ related searches skyrocketed in 2020/ 2021, increasing 48% year-on-year. Unable to go in-store to purchase goods, consumers migrated online to complete orders and have taken it upon themselves to remodel their homes. As far as the purchase journey is concerned, DIYers know exactly what they want from their space and what’s needed to make their home and kitchen dreams a reality. They are comfortable with planning their spaces on their own, sketching out their designs and refining them independently, seeking inspiration and reference from other designs and tools available online. DIYers do not look to retail sales experts to help them design and plan their spaces: they plan and validate their plans until they are sure they’ve got everything exactly as they want it.
To delight a DIY customer, home and kitchen retailers must ensure they can facilitate the ‘get it right first time’ mentality of this persona by offering everything needed to plan, design and purchase their items online with confidence. What’s more, they must also must ensure a seamless and autonomous online purchase journey that offers a superior customer experience. This could include ready access to answers to key design and purchase questions, for example; clear, transparent pricing information along with promotions; and real-time updates on whether items are in stock .
Do-It-For-Me buyers require more support and consultation throughout the buying process than their DIY counterparts. This customer persona prefers to work directly from the get-go with retail experts on their home or kitchen designs, provided their style preferences, space requirements and budgetary restrictions are addressed. A significant proportion of DIFMers can be time poor – therefore they rely on the expertise and efficiency of design experts to recommend designs that are suitable for their needs.
To support this persona retailers need to offer a blended omnichannel experience with extensive in-store support. The purchase journey must take the legwork out of planning, design and purchase. One potential issue could be that closing a sale takes more time and resources from sales experts than other types of personas: and retailers need to offer content that helps this persona refine their choices rather than come to the sales expert with a blank slate. At an omnichannel level, this could take the form of design inspiration, trends, collections and other features.
Retailers must also empower these consumers to access designs created for them and fine-tune them in the comfort of their own homes, to accelerate the decision-making process. The online experience must be user-friendly and enable both customer and expert to access designs as needed.
Finally, there’s the Do-It-With-Me buyer, who displays a mixture of traits from both the DIY and the DIFM buyer. This customer needs a blend of online and in-store experiences – on the one hand, they have the confidence and interest needed to create their own designs online, but on the other, they want to get the in-store experience to see and feel items ‘in real life’ and consult with experts.
To serve the needs of this persona, retailers must provide a smooth omnichannel experience that facilitates a ‘supported autonomous’ customer journey. By offering a combined experience, customers have the option to engage with experts as they need, whether online or in-store, while remaining empowered to complete designs and purchases with little or no support.
Appealing to the DIWM buyer requires a blend of both online and in-store consultation and purchasing. An optimized omnichannel experience is needed which provides everything customers need to create their own online designs and collaborate with experts both in-store and online as required. The online experience must provide supported design features such as preset templates, showrooms, references from other consumers and real-time error checking, to encourage this persona to design autonomously. The online experience must be well integrated with store systems, allowing consumers to easily access expert support both online and in-store, with sales experts having the ability to access the customer’s design and make adaptations as needed.
How a 3D Planning Solution Can Help
A feature-rich 3D planning solution like HomeByMe for Home and Kitchen Retailers can help cater to every buyer persona by providing a truly omnichannel experience. The solution can help retailers offer a heightened online, in-store or blended experience, dependent on their needs – each persona is addressed by implementing just one solution.
The easy-to-use online platform enables any buyer to create the home or kitchen of their dreams – customers have full rein to create designs online by themselves or work with an expert that can also access their creations via the 3D planning solution for full support. When it comes to the in-store experience, sales consultants can access customers’ designs from the shop floor, allowing for greater efficiency and face-to-face collaboration. Customers can then amend designs as much as they desire online, either by themselves or with the help of an expert, or in-store with a consultant for greater reassurance.
To further learn how to appeal to the three buyer personas above with an effective omnichannel approach using 3D planning, visit our website built specifically to serve home and kitchen retailers: https://home.by.me/en/ where you can organize a platform demonstration with one of our experts.