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4 Technologies Home Furnishings Retailers Need to Meet Customer Expectations in 2023

Technology has changed the way people shop for everything, and furniture is at the top of the list. With so much information available online, consumers usually walk into furniture retailers after having done extensive research, which is known as ROPO–research online, purchase offline.

February 8, 2023  |  By Furniture Today

A medium close-up portrait of a confident retail worker in her place of work. She is standing holding a digital tablet.

by Furniture Today

Consumers know what they want and are at the end of their path to purchase. At a minimum, you should be able to deliver a seamless experience. More importantly, if you can be with customers at the beginning of the path to purchase–and delight them with an unexpected experience built around their specific needs–you can stand out from the competition. 

Technology, once again, offers solutions to help provide a unified commerce experience. There are dozens of virtual selling tools, apps, and other technologies that retailers can provide to their store and digital associates to create a frictionless experience for customers. 

But with so many solutions available, it can be difficult to determine which are the most useful. In this article, we will provide an overview of the four most important technologies home furnishings retailers can use to provide the buying experience consumers want in 2023. 

All-In-One Unified Commerce Solutions

When setting up a technology suite to help improve the buying experience, customer engagement solutions are the first thing retailers should explore. That is because they offer three essential elements for unified commerce: connectivity, engagement, and outreach tools–all within a single platform.

Customer engagement solutions for unified commerce, like Salesfloor, allows retailers to engage with customers at the early stage of the path to purchase and personalize the buying experience to their needs. With a unified commerce platform, home furnishings retailers can manage and leverage data from all their sales channels using one backend system. They aggregate customer data and past shopping behavior, allowing your associates–both in-store and online–to gain important insights based on customer preferences.

Using this tool, associates can more easily engage with customers through chat, video, email, and SMS from the showroom floor. They can also capture new customers in-store, manage tasks and reminders, helping them manage their relationship with customers on a 1:1 scale, as well as 1: many.

Utilize AI Assisted Selling for a Personalized Touch

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been getting a lot of press lately, as it has applications in everything we do. Even furniture retailing.

AI tools, like Salesfloor’s Maestro, can help provide home furnishings product recommendations based on customers’ inputs and needs. Maestro is unique due to the proprietary AI technology that tags the product catalog to build the conversation and match the right product benefits with what the customer needs.

By implementing an AI solution, you can deliver scalable personalized experiences for each customer, by learning their needs, and making the right recommendations at the right time–every time. For new customers, a simple quiz powered by AI technology can determine what products are the best fit for them, far beyond the capabilities of simple search filtering.

Better still, implementing AI not only reduces associate’s workload, but it can also provide a boost in sales. Salesfloor data indicates a 21% lift in top line sales for customers who utilize AI, as well as a 20% increase in click through rate–with 85% of the shoppers completing AI-powered quizzes–proving engagement.

Put the Power Into the Hands of Your Associates with Customer Boards 

When it comes to home furnishings, it is one of the most researched categories of retail. Customers typically spend countless hours in search of that one perfect item. But what about the buyers who don’t yet know what they want, or need expert advice?

That is where customer boards come in. With this modern technology, customers can shop alongside their local store associates and browse personalized recommendations, as well as receive exclusive looks as new collections become available. Beyond that, with customer boards, customers can communicate directly with in-store associates via an embedded widget that includes live chat, email, SMS, or appointment requests.

A wide shot of a mid adult couple in a showroom together, they are considering buying new furniture for their home. A store employee is showing them different colour options for a sofa on a digital tablet.

Never Miss a Message Again with Unified Customer Communications

Communication is critical in any sales process. But with so many different channels, it is easy for messages to get lost.

A unified customer communication tool ensures that nothing gets overlooked or forgotten. It aggregates communications by text, email, video, and even phone, so that sales associates have a record of conversations they can reference. This makes it easier for sales associates to collaborate and deliver a frictionless experience.

To make things even easier, Salesfloor’s Client Insights module collects data on all web and in-store transactions. The system analyzes the data to create automated tasks and subsequently notifies store associates of the task. This guides associates as to when they should be reaching out to specific clients and with what messaging. Combined with access to all their clients’ purchases, no matter where they occurred, associates are better equipped to send relevant communications–at the right time.

Through Salesfloor, store associates also can attach pictures, or add links in text messages and emails to the client. Clients simply click through to view or make a purchase. All text messages and emails are securely sent through any device, with branded email and SMS functionality built in.

Salesfloor Empowers Associates to Drive Revenue 

With so many different technologies available, it can be easy to acquire a dozen or so different apps that do not work together. This can overload associates, complicate your back-end IT, and make the sales process harder, rather than easier.

Salesfloor is the only enterprise platform that brings all the tools your associates need to excel at unified commerce selling. It is designed for home furnishing retailers–unifying virtual shopping, clienteling, and AI-assisted selling, all in one solution. Plus, it is a modular system, so retailers can add features as they need to, and it easily integrates with existing IT systems.

Most importantly, it empowers sales associates to have productive conversations with customers, delivering the kind of shopping experience they want–and expect in 2023.