How can home decor retailers increase conversions with Visual Commerce?
As we’re all painfully aware, the Covid-19 pandemic kept us confined to our homes, which forced most of us to live out our family lives, work lives, and virtual social lives all under the same roof.
This meant we needed our homes to be up to the task of being the backdrop for every aspect of our lives. As a result, online shopping for home improvement and interior products soared and even propped up the economy during the first summer of Covid with a 9.9% increase in sales from the previous year.
With many of us still working from home at least part-time, the drive to continually improve our home environments remains. So how can home interiors retailers sell more with Visual Commerce?
Let's look at our home furnishing customer's needs.
It is the purpose of Visual Commerce to answer the questions around a product's functionality, practicality and aesthetics, to speed up the consideration phase and to compel customers to convert. Will the item fit the space? Will it look good? Does the price match the quality? Can I easily return it if it isn’t right? What’s the cost of delivery? Is this a legitimate retailer? Are there any reviews? Is it worth my money?
Visual Commerce makes the process through to decision making faster and more intuitive. Home interior shopping differs from fashion shopping in that these purchases are usually one-offs or once every few years, such as a sofa or a dining table. The more you can use visual cues to build trust, the more likely a customer is to actually purchase that big ticket item they’ve been thinking about.
Use visual cues throughout your site
One simple way to use visual cues is to use iconography in the main navigation and filters, as well as images for colours, patterns and fabrics. According to Pinterest, “when shopping online for clothing or furniture, over 85% of respondents put more importance on visual information than text information.” It's an entry level Visual Commerce tactic that could provide a sleeker and more intuitive user experience.
Invest in on-site visualisation tools
Tools within product pages such as ‘View in room’ augmented reality and 3D product visualisation offer a way for customers to get up close and personal with a product and satisfy some of the questions they need answering before they're ready to buy.
Shoppable CGI scenes are another way to contextualise products for customers and provide the opportunity for cross category sales. For example, if a customer is looking at an armchair and clicks through to the CGI scene which shows the armchair in a room with a side table and lamp next to it, they may well choose to buy the side table or lamp to go with it. This is an opportunity to increase average order value and conversions.
Utilise inspirational UGC and make it shoppable
Much like with fashion, we seek to express our personality through the way we furnish and decorate our homes. We’re heavily influenced by what we see on social media and there’s no shortage of home interiors and DIY enthusiasts on Instagram and TikTok churning out “Room transformations”, “How to’s” and home styling inspiration. Most share direct affiliate links to products they feature (on IG Stories) and tag brands in their posts, or reply to comments asking where something is from. These actions meet highly engaged users at the point where they’re most inspired and likely to convert. When inspiration strikes, users will ‘Save’ posts to build up a picture of what they are aspiring to.
It’s therefore a very good idea to not only repost the User Generated Content your brand receives, but to curate your own feed, hosted on your website and make it shoppable. The key here is in reducing the friction between someone on Instagram seeing a beautiful armchair for example, in a ‘Room Transformation’ Reel, and then being able to buy it from your site.
Enable configurable products
For highly configurable products such as mix and match garden furniture sets or customisable bathroom vanity units, the problem many retailers have is that customers aren’t able to configure their own products because their website doesn’t support that user experience. This means that customers are missing out on what they really want, and retailers are missing out on revenue. Implementing a tool that allows all possible configurations of a product to be configured and viewed in real-time 3D is another way to increase conversions and gain happy customers.