The rapid growth of e-commerce is creating new opportunities for home decor retailers to optimize their online stores to increase conversion rates and drive revenue. In this article, we will outline specific tips that can help home decor retailers gain online market share.
These are not generic suggestions for any e-commerce site; they are derived from an actual audit of a rising home decor retailer and its competitors. The audit was conducted by Fabric’s team of commerce experts who have been general managers at e-commerce leaders including Amazon, Staples, and eBay.
Before diving into the tips, let’s take a quick look at the market landscape for online home decor retailers.
The online home decor market is currently dominated by Wayfair and Amazon, which account for 63% of all online home decor sales. Following behind are Walmart, Macy’s, Pottery Barn, and Costco. Wayfair and Macy’s were the only two online decor retailers that increased their market share in 2019, rising by 18.4% and 2.8%, respectively.
One way to improve the buying experience for consumers in your target market and increase conversions for your own business is to dissect the storefront, product pages, and purchase path of competitors that have a similar platform and product line as you. Analyzing their e-commerce channels will give you insights that you can use to measure and improve important metrics.
Applying these tips can help you provide visitors to your online store with a rich shopping experience that helps them make buying decisions and increase sales. You can start with the first tip on the list or navigate to a specific category of tips in this table of contents…
1) Focus on visual experience.
Create an intuitive layout without too much white space that is visually appealing to the consumer. Align features like popups and floating menus with the rest of the site.
2) Make your site faster.
Use a content delivery network (CDN) or third party services that use CDNs to deliver content to speed up page and image loading. There is a correlation between page load time and conversions.
3) Create inspirational content.
Compile content including blogs, articles, and guides that feature room ideas and storytelling assets to support products and inspire consumers to complete purchases. Parachute Home does this well on its blog with its wellness, design, entertaining, and learning sections.
4) Personalize site layout.
Tailor content such as cart reminders for returning visitors and in-session based behavioral triggers to prompt consumers to complete their purchases.
5) Incorporate videos into site content.
Create short videos that are easy to consume. Consumers are more likely to make a purchase after watching an online video that explains the product or service. Room & Board does this well with a video page featuring design and how-to tips, craftsmanship stories, how-it-works guides, and furniture care information.
6) Design virtual content.
Use virtual 3D rooms, guided room builders, and one-click shoppable rooms to influence the viewer’s perception of the product and lead to a higher conversion rate.
7) Provide content curation.
Feature dashboards that allow users to save favorite products, create wish lists, and share content with others to help them filter products and make purchasing decisions. Wayfair does this well with a Lists and Registry section and favorites button on its product pages.
8) Feature self-serve planning and design tools.
Make product pages interactive—use augmented reality, multiple photos, zoom, and 360-degree views to allow customers to place products in their own space and interact with them before they buy. Ikea does this well with its Ikea Home Planner interactive web-based software.
9) Optimize product detail pages.
Create resources showing product composition, fabrics, materials, assembly, care information, dimensions, and measuring guides to help consumers decide if the product is right for them. Using a modern PIM helps with this.
10) Explain the value proposition.
For high-priced items, add content that supports why someone should pay the ticketed price for the item. Is the item made in a desirable country of origin? Is the fabric made in a family-owned factory?
11) Offer product customization.
Give consumers the ability to combine colors, fabrics, finishes, and other details in a few clicks with a simple product configurator to enhance their experience and increase conversions.
12) Promote product-finding methods.
Include categories and recommendation carousels on the home and product pages to help consumers find what they need.
13) Optimize search functionality.
Suggest search terms and recommend supporting content related to keywords and trending terms to simplify the search process.
14) Incorporate search into page layout.
Make search, sorting, and filters sticky when the user scrolls down the page for their convenience.
15) Customize category pages.
Make sure that browsing categories drill down into subcategories. Customize category pages for all products to improve the user experience.
16) Cross-sell products to maximize sales.
Group products into collections and suggest complementary products to create opportunities for cross-selling.
17) Include quick-shop features.
Add features like one-click buy to search results pages to speed up the purchasing process.
18) Design checkout to reduce cart abandonment.
Encourage sign-in to speed up checkout, create an autofill based on the user’s location, and include the ability to add promo codes and save products for later to make the checkout process simple. Crate & Barrel does this well with its cart page.
19) Accept multiple payment methods.
Offer an abundance of payment options to allow the consumer to select the most convenient method for them.
20) Make shipping costs comparable to competitors.
Many furniture retailers have been shaping consumer perception of free delivery, even for heavy pieces of furniture. Offer free or flat-rate delivery to compete.
21) Include detailed shipping information.
Show the stock status of items, taxes, estimated delivery time based on geolocation, as well as a simple returns and exchange policy. The consumer is more likely to buy when fully informed. Using a modern OMS helps with this.
22) Use chat for accessible customer service.
Offer personalized consultation services like AI-driven live chat, design advice, and checkout assistance to help inspire customers during their discovery process and make it more likely they will finalize the purchase.
23) Provide searchable customer assistance.
Feature searchable help and frequently-asked questions (FAQs) sections to keep users engaged with the process and less likely to abandon their cart as they will find the assistance they need.
24) Provide enhanced account management features.
The ability to manage an account online is important for the self-serving customer. Make it easy for them to view order history; track, modify, or cancel orders; store address and payment information for faster checkout; and manage memberships.
25) Optimize layout for mobile.
Make mobile site layout unique rather than just a shrink-and-squeeze version of the desktop site. Ensure site features display intuitively on mobile devices to keep users engaged.
26) Leverage interactive mobile capabilities.
Consider using augmented reality to place products in space and include visual search capabilities to help consumers visualize products in their home.
27) Accept mobile payments.
Optimize checkout flow to make purchases from mobile devices simple with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, etc.
28) Offer reward programs.
Offering a loyalty program incentive in the shopping cart creates opportunities to upsell products. Add online signup and the ability to track loyalty benefits.
29) Use rewards for marketing.
Add marketing placement of membership program value throughout the site to attract consumers.
30) Offer membership packages.
If consumers are paying for a membership, they are more likely to use it for what it is worth and think twice about shopping elsewhere. Packages can offer everyday low pricing and early access to sales and services such as free delivery or design consultations. Bed Bath & Beyond does this well with its BEYOND+ membership program, which offers free shipping and a 20% discount on purchases for a fee of $29 per year.
31) Promote corporate sustainability.
Feature content that talks about your company’s sustainable sourcing practices, which are becoming increasingly important to consumers.
32) Encourage feedback.
Allow visitors to provide quick feedback to build a better customer experience.
33) Feature customer reviews.
Show customer reviews with a filter to help users narrow them down to find feedback on a specific aspect of the product. Customer photos and videos offer further details about how the product looks in real life.
34) Highlight community content.
Promote community-generated content, social posts, and events to inspire customers with ideas and show the company’s following. Room & Board does this well with a customer photo and home tour galleries, product reviews, and Q&As.
35) Create shoppable social media posts.
Streamline the purchasing process to convert users that may not have followed through with leaving their social media feed to visit the online store. Parachute Home does this well with its Instagram shop.
36) Connect the online to offline.
Offer buy online and pick up in store and buy online and return in store functionality to increase the convenience for the consumer. Present in-store availability where relevant.
37) Encourage store visits.
Invite online visitors to visit a store nearby to experience products in the store to help with decision making. Make it easy to book an appointment in-store.
38) Highlight in-store services.
Include images on the store page of the experience and services that are offered to consumers when they visit (e.g. being greeted and guided).
39) Offer location-based chat.
Provide a chat feature that lets consumers chat with someone at a specific store location.
40) Collect user data.
Use promo popups and other site features that collect user preferences to personalize email campaigns and build a customer profile. Encourage sign in to collect valuable customer information.
41) Analyze site traffic.
Use analytics reporting tools (e.g. Google Analytics) to capture detailed data about site visitors and capitalize on high-traffic sources.
42) Identify customer characteristics.
Use analytical data to find out the age range, gender, location, device usage, and session quality of site visitors to tailor content and increase conversions. A modern commerce platform helps with this.
43) Convert visitors to buyers with Smart Lists.
Smart Lists are automatically-generated lists of users that are most likely to convert. They can be used on Google Display Network, Google Search Ads, or DoubleClick Bid Manager.