Fifteen seconds is all it takes; that’s the average browse time before somebody chooses to switch away from a website if it doesn’t immediately grab their attention.
As a retailer, facing stiff competition both online and on the high street, winning hearts and minds is crucial to grabbing and keeping a potential customer.
The good news is, if a customer survives past the first 15 seconds, the likelihood is they will stay much longer before a risk of ‘bounce’ – but even worse is if they get to the buying stage and then abandon their basket.
‘Surf and turf’ shoppers are worth an estimated £18bn a year in lost sales, according to credit card provider Barclaycard Smartpay. That’s an average of £30 for every adult in the UK. Of course, for large value items like kitchens and kitchenware, that basket is going to be a lot bigger. The study shows 41% have abandoned an online cart in the previous 12 months, compared to 24% in stores. Shoppers, especially when purchasing big-ticket items, are reluctant to let go of the face-to-face experience that in-store shopping provides.
So how can a retailer ensure shoppers on the website are engaged as soon as they click? Once that crucial 15 second mark has passed, how do they encourage shoppers to browse for as long as possible and ultimately press the button on a sale?
The key is in providing compelling, usable content that makes the shopping experience fun, and by marrying the online with the physical store to create a seamless shopping experience. By utilizing a 3D planning solution that can also be easily used at home via the website to design and create a kitchen, retailers provide the reassurance an online shopper needs to take their kitchen design that one-step further – an opportunity to dramatically increase ROI compared with other solutions. It drives not only the online experience, but also the in-store footfall. If shoppers aren’t convinced to make a large kitchen purchase online, it gives them the incentive to browse, create and seek out the expertise of a kitchen designer in-store who can guide them on the final purchase decision and close the sale.
The good news is, consumers using the HomeByMe for Kitchen Retailers 3D planning solution spend, on average, more than 20 minutes designing their own kitchen. The solution is easy-to-use and intuitive, allowing them to create their own concepts and create multiple versions in a matter of minutes.
To showcase a retailer’s catalog, the HomeByMe solution provides a number of starting templates that populate a kitchen according to a few indicators of style and taste. Do they want to go modern, chic, minimalist, homely or eclectic? All the customer needs to do is provide the basic room layout of their kitchen area; and populate details such as the doors, windows and electrical points. The advanced software provided by the 3D planning solution will provide the rest.
In this way, 3D planning solutions provide the perfect content hook for retailers’ websites:
Make it personal – personalizing a website speaks directly to the customer. It makes the experience feel special. This website has been designed with them in mind and the designs they create are their own to develop, use and share.
Show it in great quality – the beauty of the HomeByMe for Kitchen Retailers’ 3D solution is the ability to create a photo realistic rendering of a final design. It shows the kitchen how it will look, complete with realistic window views and sun and shadows effects throughout the room. On-screen, users can scroll around to view the design in different vistas. Once happy, they can press a button to publish the perfect picture.
Engage social media – Create a solution that allows users to share their creations. It’s a wonderful way to spread your brand and reach new or returning users.
Provide a sense of urgency – make sure, as a retailer, that you provide additional information at every stage of the purchase chain to add a sense of urgency to the customer offer. If they buy within 14 days, they will secure a discount. It provides a reason to come back and review a design on the journey to buy.
Close, close, close – a sales team should be in touch with customers to discuss their plans and requirements. All customers should create a user account before submitting a design for review, so retailers can follow up via email or talk directly to close a sale.
Having perfected the online experience, retailers need to ensure they provide a true omnichannel offering where the physical store replicates the online experience. If the user can visualize a design they like on the retailer’s website, many will want to ‘touch and feel’ the products in store too, seeking the expertise and validation of the in-store designer before making that final purchase.
Of course, implementing an omnichannel 3D planning solution takes time and investment. A catalog of a retailer’s inventory must be created and converted into 3D images. There are also the licensing costs that allow retailers to upload and access the HomeByMe software. It is a powerful solution but rest assured, it comes with the full back up from a dedicated support team.
That is the cost of integrated online and in-store 3D planning. To identify the ROI, retailers must only look to the raft of possible benefits. This includes a more satisfying customer experience and wider social media engagement. It provides higher click-through and retention rates on the website. Customers are engaged and tend to stay online for longer. Retailers also have an item-by-item log of their shopping behaviors, their preferences, likes and dislikes, and potential buying habits.
That information alone is invaluable. Add on top of that a marked increase in sales, driven by greater footfall in-store of customers further along the sales process, and incorporating 3D planning into the website soon pays for itself.
Retailers must make it a ‘must have’ not a ‘nice to have’ part of their marketing and social media strategy. If they miss the first 15 seconds, they won’t even make the starting gate to new customer channels. And most of all, if retailers make the shopping experience fun, then customers are bound to come back for more.
To further explore on how a 3D planning solution delivers fantastic ROI for kitchen retail brands, visit our website built specifically to serve kitchen retailers: HomeByMe Kitchen Planner where you can organize a demonstration of the platform with a member of our team of experts.