Home furnishings was once a category that shoppers preferred to experience primarily in person. Now, furniture shoppers rely on their smartphones to research and explore before they buy. For home furnishing brands, that’s a huge opportunity to turn browsers into buyers.
It's key for any retail brand to be present during consumers' shopping moments-that-matter in order to attract business. However, within each retail category, the exact moments vary. Below, we look at consumer behaviour through the lens of home furnishings to investigate the four key moments-that-matter that every furniture brand must own.
At the beginning of the shopping journey – before consumers have started thinking about specific products or brands – they rely on their mobile devices to provide inspiration and to help fine tune their design sensibility. Fifty-seven per cent of searches in I-need-some-ideas moments occur on mobile,1 up 35% year over year.2
During this early research phase, video is also popular with consumers who are looking to better visualise different looks. More than 13 million hours of home furnishing YouTube videos were watched in 2016.3
"More than 13 million hours of home furnishing YouTube videos were watched in 2016."
During this stage of the purchase journey, consumers gravitate toward certain styles, but are still not necessarily looking for specific brands or retailers. Shoppers want to know the products available to them, and how particular pieces will look in their home.
Consumers rely on search and, specifically, image search to help inform their what's-best-for-my-space moments. Mobile searches related to "best furniture" and "furniture reviews" have grown more than 50% year over year,4 and eight in 10 home furnishing shoppers utilised product images.5
Value is the name of the game, and consumers will happily spend quite a bit of time looking for the best deal. Half of home furnishing mobile researchers say that retail promotions and discounts affected their purchase decision.6
Still, how you approach incentives matters. Fifty-seven per cent of smartphone shoppers buying items for their home or garden like it when retailers recognise they're near a shop and send them loyalty programme points, order history information, in-store deals or coupons.7
Although furniture shopping used to be only an in-store activity, smartphone purchasing is becoming increasingly popular. Forty-seven per cent of home furnishing shoppers say they are making more purchases on mobile.8 And even when consumers do head to the shop to buy, it's often mobile that gets them there. Smartphone searches related to furniture "near me" have grown 85% year over year.9
"Smartphone searches related to furniture "near me" have grown 85% year over year."
Driving growth in the moments that matter
Though the idea of shopping online for home goods items like furniture seemed foreign just a few years ago, consumers are getting comfortable with the idea – fast. Mobile-friendly content in these key moments-that-matter is now a key differentiator for home furnishing brands.