How Search and Relevancy Increased Revenue for Online Modern Furniture Store
Last year has undoubtedly changed the way consumers shop and think about shopping. Shoppers worldwide clicked “purchase” from the comfort and safety of their homes — and many for the first time. Consumers’ priorities shifted, as they experienced digital fatigue and looked for a fast, convenient and easy way to shop online. More specifically, they turned to online stores to transform their homes into cozy, work-friendly quarantine spaces.
Home and furniture is one of the fastest growing industries, expected to grow by $84.26 billion during 2020-2024. Last year alone, Searchspring retailers in the home and garden sector saw an 87 percent increase in transactions year-over-year (YoY) as consumers worldwide cocooned at home. These numbers are indicative of consumers’ shifting habits.
Using Searchspring’s capabilities, Inmod was one online retailer that was able to capitalize on the market spike to deliver the right product to the right person at the right time. Inmod is an online retailer that specializes in furniture, lighting, and home décor. Founded out of a passion for iconic modern design and a determination to bring it to the masses, Inmod launched its website in 2003, bringing a relatively new concept of online furniture shopping to consumers nationwide.
In this article, I will draw from Inmod’s successful case study to explore some of the ways online stores, particularly those in the home and furniture industry, can rise above the competition and prepare for what can only be an ever-growing pool of new and returning customers.
1. Know your customers.
Knowing your audience is the foundation to business success. Understanding their journey and intention will help shape your e-commerce strategy and shorten their path to the cart. That’s where customer insights and hyper-relevancy comes into play.
Using data-driven insights to understand shopper behavior, drop-off rates, and conversions will boost sales by creating an intentional shopping experience catered to what your shoppers are looking for.
Product recommendations, segmented merchandising and geographic merchandising are perfect tools to help create a meaningful and contextual shopping experience that converts. Ninety-one percent of consumers are more likely to shop from a brand that offers a personalized shopping experience. Using AI, you can tap into behavioral data to automatically curate product recommendations across a site and learn from shopper history, real-time behavior, and preferences to provide the most relevant products on a page.
Research suggests that campaigns segmented to user groups have a 100.95 percent higher clickthrough rate and a 14.31 percent higher open rate than campaigns that aren’t. Inmod, for instance, uses geographic merchandising to tailor its customers’ experiences based on their location, which is as simple as setting up a campaign for an outdoor patio collection for shoppers in Southern California at the same time as running a promotion for cozy winter furniture pieces in the Midwest in the midst of winter.
And if you’re unsure which campaign will convert, A/B test it so you're in the best position possible to understand your audience. Is it free shipping or your for-purpose brand story that creates more sales? Test it! With money and customer loyalty on the line, don’t leave anything up to chance.
2. Up your website game.
Last year, customers worldwide had to go digital to carry out everyday tasks, including work meetings, family reunions, doctor appointments and, of course, shopping for goods and services. According to a report by Sendoso, 80 percent of survey respondents indicated that their target audiences are fatigued by virtual events and digital engagement efforts. Because digitally-fatigued customers seek less screen time when possible, it’s up to retailers to deliver a hyper-relevant, streamlined and swift shopping experience.
Inmod uses Searchspring to control product arrangement, create landing pages, drag-and-drop relevant products to the top of search and category pages, and demote out-of-stock items to the bottom, yielding a fast and searchable shopping experience. It now houses over 10,000 products in its catalog, yet each product is as easy to find as the next.
Using global boost rules, Inmod influences product arrangement on a sitewide basis, ensuring the store’s house brand always takes precedence in search and category results. Additionally, landing pages allow the team to put a fresh spin on inventory and experiment with different approaches to product groupings.
Retailers can lessen shopping friction and cart abandonment by optimizing their product discovery journey, because first digital impressions also matter. The average visitor has a short attention span. According to industry research, e-commerce sites have an average bounce rate of 40.5 percent, giving retailers less than 15 seconds to get the shopper’s attention before they click away.
Using Searchspring’s search discovery solution to optimize its website, Inmod attributed 4.5x more value from shoppers who used search and 3.5x higher conversion rates with search. Search and relevancy converts.
3. Be ready to adapt — sometimes in a whim.
That’s a lesson all of us have had to learn the hard way: being flexible will not only push you forward, but sustain your business in the long run. Over 85 percent of Searchspring retailers have had to change their e-commerce strategy in response to the pandemic. Inmod was among them.
Seeing the uptick in flexible work arrangements, Inmod created a “Work from Home” collection that was easy to find throughout its website and across its social channels. Additionally, using Searchspring’s Zero Search Results Report, it noticed a trend in patio furniture searches, driving them to create a patio furniture line. Inmod's flexibility in navigating the moving waters and its unwavering commitment to the customer journey remains one of its biggest differentiators.
4. Create an omnichannel experience.
As in-store activity starts picking up, creating an omnichannel merchandising strategy can be the difference between a brand that converts, and one that's forgotten. A consistent shopping experience across every customer touchpoint, including brick-and-mortar, e-commerce and social media, is undeniably important.
Last year, Inmod increased its social media spending and presence to bring a holistic approach to its e-commerce strategy, which can be seen across all touchpoints, including its landing pages, product collections, emails, product reviews, and social media.
“One of my favorite things about Searchspring is the ability to easily create landing pages,” says Brian Greenspan, COO of Inmod. “Our social media manager loves that feature. It means we can take products that complement each other or represent a certain style, give that selection of products an interesting name, and we instantly have a new way to market existing stock.”
Online shopping isn’t going anywhere. In fact, U.S. e-commerce sales grew 39 percent YoY in the first quarter of 2021. With the fight for customer trust and attention on the rise, we hope these simple tips and tricks can help you capitalize on the rapid market growth by delivering a seamless shopping experience consumers simply can’t click away from.
Dori Salisbury is the senior vice president of operations at Searchspring, a global leader in e-commerce search and merchandising.
A highly experienced Operations and Client Relationship Executive whose accomplishments reflect success in all aspects of leadership of a highly effective team and management of multi-million dollar customers. A proven record of process development, revenue growth, customer satisfaction, retention and value creation for over 20 years. Effectively drives the team to substantially build business while providing outstanding service, support and value to customers. Utilizes exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, strong team building philosophies and effective leadership to drive success. Results driven with strong problem solving and organizational skills leading to consistent outperformance of corporate goals, increased profit and strong corporate culture.