In today’s hyper competitive retail landscape, home retailers simply cannot afford to lose customers through a lack of agility.
Home retailers are constantly faced with new trends that now take hold at web-speed thanks to influential social media channels. This article outlines how 3D planning solutions can help home retailers become more agile in their response.
When consumers seek home inspiration, Instagram, Pinterest and other social sites are usually the first point of call. Influencers hold unprecedented power for setting and pushing trends today, with 40% of consumers saying they have purchased a product as a result of seeing it being used or endorsed by a social media influencer. (Source: Invesp)
Thanks to these social media and influencer trends, consumers’ shopping behaviors are becoming more unpredictable. The influencer culture is leading retail chains to increase their focus on agility in order to address unexpected or sudden spikes in demand. For home retailers, the key to capitalizing on this type of interest is having immediate stock availability. Consumers are less likely to be interested in that trending item a week or a month later: they want it as soon as they see it.
Popular items being out of stock has an intensified effect on cart abandonment, customer complaints and, ultimately, margins. Worldwide, it has been estimated that the cost of stockouts is almost $1 trillion in sales, which are either lost to the competition or missed out on altogether. (Source: Retail Dive) Forward-thinking home retail brands are already adopting solutions to provide greater supply chain visibility and customer insight in preparation for these trends.
Alongside steps to optimize the supply chain, home retailers must also think of the customer experience. They can cater to social-speed spikes in demand by putting in place a virtual experience with that must-have product, so that customers can interact and experiment with it from the comfort of their own homes.
A high-fidelity 3D planning solution, such as HomeByMe Furniture and Decor Planner, is ideal in these circumstances. The solution allows consumers to view the latest must-have products in high resolution and from all angles. They can recreate their own living spaces on the solution within just minutes, and place the item in different positions to understand how it fits into their own home. They can apply new styles and experiment with different products, adding to the customer offering.
The solution can also mitigate the impact of an out-of-stock situation by allowing consumers to replace an unavailable item with a similar one within seconds, or pre-order that trendy product, to be delivered once back in stock.
A 3D planning solution also yields valuable insights to sales and merchandising leaders within home retail organizations, enabling a holistic approach to data capture and analysis. The HomeByMe Furniture and Decor Planner 3D planning solution provides a complete picture of how consumers are interacting with key items of stock, for example:
The answers to these, and hundreds of other questions that can be gleaned from the platform, provide merchandisers and sales teams with unprecedented insight into buying behaviors and preferences. This makes the platform a rich source of data on users’ online planning habits, which can be analyzed to better predict future trends, forecast demand and merchandise accordingly. Historical sales data is great, but a 3D planning solution enables retailers to see what consumers want in their homes today and in the future.
If and when a product does become unavailable to customers, home retailers need solutions that can feed a reactive strategy, taking the opportunity to cross-sell, upsell and salvage the sale. Using the HomeByMe Furniture and Decor Planner 3D planning solution, home retailers can help improve the customer experience in the event of a stockout in a number of ways.
Shoppers encounter stockouts in as often as one in three shopping trips, whether that is online or in the store. In today’s low-attention economy, engagement is a crucial success factor. Consumers that are engaged are more likely to buy, become repeat customers, and share their experiences with other people. A customer who has bought from your store before is nine times more likely to convert than a first-time customer. A 3D planning solution creates engagement and consumers become invested in a particular item that perfectly complements their home. This renders them more likely to respond positively to offers such as waiting lists, substitute products and notifications when stock has arrived.
In today’s hyper competitive retail landscape, home retailers simply cannot afford to lose customers through a lack of agility. The HomeByMe Furniture and Decor Planner 3D planning solution can integrate with inventory and marketing systems to help prepare for sudden spikes in demand, capitalizing on the joined-up processes and end-to-end visibility that come from an enhanced planning experience.