Retention is taking a back seat. Thankfully, investments being made elsewhere, namely into 3D planning solutions, are a powerful way to enhance it.

Global retail sales are projected to reach $30 trillion by 2023. (Source: Statista) That’s good news for retailers, of course, but as revenues grow so too does competition. The fight among retailers for a share of consumer spending has reached all-time highs. And, with more options available to them than ever before, the balance of power has shifted firmly in favor of shoppers as a result.

This trend has led to an understandable change in marketing spend that has put a focus on acquisition to steadily grow sales. However, in the current retail landscape, retention risks not getting the share of airtime it deserves. In fact, the average e-commerce store currently devotes more than 80% of its marketing budget to acquisition. (Source: Forbes)

Retention is taking a back seat. But, thankfully, investments being made elsewhere, namely into 3D planning solutions, are a powerful way to enhance it. Here are four ways 3D design technology can bolster retention efforts for home retailers, increasing the chances of turning a hard-earned first-time purchaser into a loyal customer.

Providing a stellar customer experience

An engaging, personalized experience is a powerful way to attract consumers in the first place, but it’s also an important means of ensuring customers come back for more. Rolling out a 3D planning platform helps tackle the consumer imagination gap. By making it possible to easily visualize what a product they are buying will look like in their home, consumers can be confident in their decision and will be more likely to purchase.

But the value of implementing a 3D planning solution doesn’t stop there. It also has an inherent role to play for retention. While customers are designing their home, data obtained from an advanced 3D planning solution, such as HomeByMe Furniture & Decor Planner, can be taken and analyzed to see what products individual users are gravitating to most. From this, products specific to each customer’s likes can be identified, and personalized product catalogs can be created and paired with design sets that the data suggests are most likely to inspire them towards a purchase.

For home retailers, knowing what products each customer is likely to have a preference for through their use of a 3D planning solution can result in more targeted recommendations. This goes far beyond less granular website data that is generated when a consumer browses products or other pages on a retailer’s online store, and provides insight into their bricks-and-mortar experience, too. Each use of a 3D planning platform – whether online or offline – builds momentum, generating more relevant suggestions that will provide a much stronger basis for future engagement and long-term retention.

3D planning platforms can also be used to provide a streamlined, simplified home retail shopping experience that consumers can’t find elsewhere. The latest 3D planning technology can take care of the nitty-gritty behind the scenes when it comes to product sizing and other practical considerations that shoppers would otherwise have to process manually. Removing these hurdles from the equation means there is a higher chance of creating a memorable retail experience.

Acquiring the means for targeted communication

Despite the current industry focus on acquisition spend, 82% of companies agree that retention is cheaper than acquisition. (Source: Econsultancy) A key part of retention is ongoing communication, and 3D planning solutions are an important vehicle through which to gain the informed insights necessary to ensure any customer communication is targeted.

Using a 3D platform creates a range of data insights that can be pulled into a home retailer’s marketing systems to follow up with customers and draw them back over time. For example, by identifying the room a shopper has previously designed for, curated marketing promotions can be shared with those users to provide recommendations for how they could create a consistent design aesthetic throughout their home.

Home retailers can also reach out to previous customers based on their 3D designs and suggest complementary products at a later date. Initiatives like this help to create an ongoing conversation between consumer and brand, reaffirming the personalized experience that attracted them in the first place.

Valuing the customer

60% of customers will tell friends and family about a purchase if they feel an affinity with a brand. Naturally, this can increase sales via referrals. 3D design platforms have an important role to play here, too, thanks to built-in social functionality that not only makes it easier for consumers to share their designs but also promotes this process.

When consumers share their designs via a 3D planning solution, such as HomeByMe Furniture & Decor Planner, this has the added benefit of creating another stream of referral traffic. Since that traffic will be diverted to a consumer’s design rather than a static product page, it’s more likely to create an engaging experience for new visitors.

This approach immediately draws new users into the solution to create their own home designs. By creating a more engaging referral experience in this way, 3D design solutions can prompt an increased likelihood of new visitors making a subsequent purchase of their own. In turn, those new customers can be encouraged into retained, loyal brand champions through the other engagement methods previously outlined.

Growth through feedback

Perhaps the most important retention builder made available to home retailers via 3D planning technology is enhanced access to customer feedback. Due to the flexible nature of these solutions, feedback can be taken at any touchpoint on the customer’s purchasing journey. This gives home retailers a sense of what existing customers are thinking there and then, while their thoughts are still vivid. And, since research suggests 80% of revenue comes from one-fifth of the existing customer base, this is the segment of a home retailer’s audience that they should listen to most.

As a result, feedback gained in this way, taken from a cross-section of points in the shopping experience, can be gathered quickly, allowing a home retailer to make informed changes that keep customers satisfied and demonstrate they are being heard. If customers are satisfied, there is a much higher chance of retention and longevity. It’s a powerful cycle to create, as customer longevity means more feedback and growth. Creating a great customer experience, making the customer journey as seamless as possible, engaging with the customer after the purchase to keep the conversation going, making sure they know they are valued, and acting on feedback are key areas to retain customers and remain ahead of the competition.

Acquiring a new customer can be expensive initially. But, after taking steps to retain them, every purchase they subsequently make offers a huge return on investment. For home retailers that get this right, 3D planning technology represents not only a useful weapon in their arsenal for attracting new users, but crucially retaining them after that important first purchase.

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