It used to be straightforward. Your furniture retailers placed newspaper, radio or TV ads several times a year. Manufacturers often reimbursed local retailers with co-op funds for insertions in shelter magazines. In its State of Advertising report, Home Furnishings Business discusses strategies smaller furniture retailers should be taking to promote their businesses in today’s new digital climate.
Successful local furniture retailers are spending between 40% and 50% of their ad budgets on digital formats. These businesses aren’t spending less money on advertising, but they are changing the way they communicate with customers. Because consumers first check online resources before they visit a store, local furniture retailers must attract attention in the digital universe.
One furniture retailer, Steve Rotman of Rotmans Furniture in MA, emphasizes his company’s website. The website must be ‘fresh and engaging.’ In addition, a local retailer can attract attention from local customers by using video pre-rolls.
There’s still no substitute in some customers’ minds for a glossy magazine that displays furniture arranged in a beautiful home. Local furniture stores are increasingly using ‘magalogs’ which are a combination of catalogs and magazines. These publications can be targeted to specific customers. Large furniture chains have noted that using ‘editorial content and product presentation’ can yield a response from up to 9% of consumers who receive magalogs.
The HFBusiness article emphasizes that retailers must “communicate price/value, selection and service.” Make sure your clients are working those details into the advertising and customer messages. They should also continue to work with manufacturers and promote those brands, especially when they can take advantage of co-op funding, whether it comes through digital or traditional channels. In this digital age, your clients should learn as much as possible about their customers – including age, income, and interest in a specific furniture category. These details will allow them to carefully target their advertising efforts.
Share the insights in this report with your furniture retailers and help them develop a successful advertising plan for 2017.