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Safe retail – home and furniture stores

As retailers start to firm up their strategies for reopening safely, our ‘Safe retail’ series takes a practical look at the features and functions which will enable them to open their doors with confidence, to both customers and store associates.

Despite restrictions on consumer activity, home and furniture shopping has seen an increase over the last few months. As we’ve all been spending a lot more time in our homes, many of us have felt the need to take on improvements and changes around the house to make profitable use of our time and make our surroundings more comfortable.

While home and furniture customers have turned to remote services including online ordering and click and collect/BOPAK while stores are closed, it’s clear that they still crave a personal experience where they can talk through their plans and purchases with a trusted advisor. Research shows that 75% of furniture buyers would rather have advice from a fully informed store associate who:

  • Connects with them in a proactive way at the right time for them
  • Has access to their details and requirements
  • Is ready to consult with them and take them through a multi-interaction process  

before committing to a big-ticket purchase, and now that stores are open, smart retailers are taking action to meet their needs.

Make customers feel at home

With practical measures such as social distancing and hygiene stations as a given, making a connection with customers means meeting them where they’re most comfortable, whether that’s in-store by appointment or in the comfort of their own homes. And the unifying factor for every personalised experience is the store associate.

As long as your platform is designed to support home and furniture, you’ll be in a position to equip them with everything they need to offer exactly the right level of service and connect with customers at the relevant part of their journey wherever they are - at an in-store appointment or at home:

  • Assisted sales gives instant access to your full product catalogue, including any range, style, size and colour combination, for a socially distanced yet personalised in-store shopping experience
  • Integrated video consultations with messaging and communications to allow store associates to connect with customers from home, so they can still enjoy a full range of services tailored to their profile
  • Flexible options for remote payment or payment in-store so that customers can choose to see and feel the items they’re purchasing, even if they had a virtual consultation
  • Comprehensive after-care and follow-ups using the customer’s preferred method of communication

Home and furniture retailers with store associates who have tech-enabled tools which give them all the information required to offer truly tailored customer service will be in a strong position to lead the sector into a better, more flexible and customer-focused future.

If you’d like to find out more about reopening home and furniture stores as well as our other safe retail features, contact us.

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Red Ant, 1st July 2020
Safely reopening home and furniture stores during the COVID-19 pandemic

Related resource

Safe retail – virtual clienteling

As stores reopen, retailers are preparing for a different kind of relationship with their customers – repurposing and evolving their tech so that, whether it is delivered by appointment in store or via virtual consultation, the customer experience is no less personal.