Have you heard of webrooming? It’s the opposite of showrooming, and it’s a great thing for businesses like yours. In showrooming, customers go to retail locations and shop the showroom for the in-person experiences and to study product choices, but purchase online. With webrooming, customers browse online but make purchases in the store. A recent report by eMarketer states that, though ecommerce is growing rapidly, consumers will still spend 90% of their dollars in stores this year. A healthy portion of those in-person shoppers will arrive in stores after webrooming to narrow their shopping choices and make decisions.
For flooring retailers, this is certainly good—and relevant—news. What you sell is certainly best experienced and selected through an in-person experience. However, there’s no doubt your customers are starting their shopping experiences online in order to decide what and where to buy what they need. It’s essential that you’re at the top of the pack in offering a great webrooming experience that gets folks in the door and to the cash register. Here are some tips to make that happen.
Priority 1: Make Your Website Webrooming Ready!
Your website should be an online reflection of your in-store experience. Treat it as such! Make sure you’re showing and telling the best product stories and conveying the most compelling cases to convince people to shop with you. How can you do that?
State ‘when and where’ clearly: Make it simple for customers to find your operating hours and store address by including it on the home page (probably in more than one place on the home page…maybe text on the body of the page, as well as in the footer). Include the information on a separate page with your Google map, as well.
Reveal what to expect in-store, from spaces to faces: Prove to your customers that they need to visit your showroom by displaying images and information about what makes your space special. Beyond the pretty images of your displays and vignettes, show them smiling faces of your talented, helpful staff members. Perhaps include video clips of your team in action to convey how beneficial the in-store experience is. People like to connect with people. That’s one reason so many of us in this digital world will still spend money in an actual store; we desire the human connection that can’t be achieved through a web-based transaction. Make your website a welcome mat to what you’ve got on site.
Load up the product and project photography and video: In this business, pictures…and videos…are worth thousands of words. Make sure your website is showing more than just standard stock photos of what you’re selling. Load up your site with images of swatches and samples, as well as completed project photography. Include video clips that show nuances of products’ textures and colors in varying light. Go with both breadth and depth in showing your beautiful offerings. You want to show customers enough to convince them you have what they want and that it’s worth their time and effort to get to your location to touch and see in 3D.
Display your business’ unique personality: In a business full of templated websites and fairly common language, be a stand-out. Create copy for your website that shows style and personality. Don’t let it read in such a way that customers think you’re a ‘me, too’ retailer. Talk trends, use humor, and put a smile behind the text you use on your site.
Make sure your site’s SEO is doing its job: What good is a great site that nobody sees in online search results? Be sure your content and metadata are optimized to help your business rank well for relevant search terms. You likely know this is no small task, and, hopefully, your site has already been built and maintained with SEO in mind. If you need more advisement on this topic, revisit past columns I’ve written or feel free to reach out to me at irenewilliams.biz for more guidance and resources.
Priority 2: Be on every list and in every search result.
Your business should appear on all the top online directories, and, per the point I just made above, you must show up in search results consistently. When customers always see “you” anytime they search, they’ll be more likely to include you on their stops when shopping in person.
Keep your Google My Business account updated. Google My Business is the essential first step in being findable in relevant business searches. It’s how you show up as a point on the map when people are searching local flooring retailers. It helps you get on the list of businesses that come up in search results. Take care of that listing of yours to ensure it’s updated and accurate.
Consider an automation tool to maintain directory listings. As you probably know, there are so very many online directories out there. Why not be part of all of them? I think it’s worth the cost and set-up time to go with an automation tool to manage and maintain your directory listings.
Spend to show up in search results. For local businesses like yours, I recommend spending on Google Ads and Facebook/Instagram ads. Both offer great geo-targeting to maximize your ad spends. With Google Ads, you’ll improve search rankings. Facebook (and Instagram) ads allow for high to get in front of targeted shoppers your area. Of course, there are also geo-targeted advertising solutions for Bing and other search engines, as well as other social platforms. If you can’t do them all, you should be well covered by going with Google and Facebook based on sheer search volumes alone.
Priority 3: Make your social profiles webrooms.
Social media is a phenomenal way to let potential customers webroom easily and often. Remember all that photography and video content I recommended you include on your website? Good news: you can repurpose all of that on your social profiles! Include the smiling faces pics and unique product imagery on social media—always with calls-to-action in the caption for viewers to come into the store for the full experience. Social media is made for you to showcase your business’ special personality and great products and to spark the start of meaningful connections. When you post content bearing in mind that it might be just the thing to get someone in the door, you’ll post more intentionally and creatively!
These ideas are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Want even more ideas and inspiration? Hop over to irenewilliams.biz, and connect with me there. I’m always ready to take deeper dives on topics like this one to help you sell more stuff!