One of the biggest challenges home furnishing owners must overcome, in order to be successful in this new economy, is the dreaded I-offer-everything-for-everyone syndrome. On the surface this seems like a sure-fire way to get more customers, but it is been proven time and time again that it is not always the most successful way to prosper in your store.
If you are an independent home furnishing retailers, then chances are you have a limited budget and limited space to work with. So, if your store offers several contemporary collections, several ultra-modern collections and some eclectic pieces as well as some early American collections scattered throughout you store, do you really think you have enough of any of those styles to satisfy the type of customers who are looking for a specific style? However, style is only one way to target your customer.
In fact, the most successful furniture retailers in my area focus on a couple of things to attract a specific type of customer:
- Complete living room packages for under $2,000 or furnish your entire home for under $5,000.
- Long-term low or no interest financing
- Fast delivery within 3 days or less
- Lower prices for packages
So, by narrowing down their advertising, they attract a customer that wants to purchase multiple pieces, which in turn, drives the average ticket sale and profits up. They then offer attractive financing terms which attracts customers with good credit and income, while enticing them to spend more money because the customer has longer to pay for it.
Most importantly, they save the customer money by buying more and can get it in their homes in a couple of days. There is also another twist to these retailers. They reward their salespeople handsomely for NOT selling the financing, but getting customers to pay off their balances in less than 90 days.
There is a common slogan in marketing stating, “There are riches in niches.” Simply put, this slogan means determine who your most profitable, enjoyable and easy to attract customer is, and then specialize in getting more of those customers to come into your store and buy. You do this by creating a U.S.P. (Unique Selling Proposition) that compels your most profitable customer to come back into your business again and again.
What if you reviewed your business over the last couple of years and discovered the following trends about your customers and prospects:
- Wives initially visited your store without their husbands.
- Recently married
- Had three kids
- Lived within five miles of your store
- Spent between $800 – $1500 on sofa, loveseat and tables.
- Paid by Visa, MasterCard or Discover
Once you have this information, you can redesign your store and business to cater to more of the same types of customers that are currently spending good money in your store.
However, you can only use this information to your advantage if you take the time to find out who your customer is, what is important to them and what they truly want.
It may come as a surprise to you, but your customers want more than just a sofa. If you are just selling a sofa, you are missing out on a ton of business. Here are a few of the keys I have discovered over the years:
- Do not sell mattresses, sell relief from back pain.
- Do not sell home theater seats, sell the entertainment experience.
- Do not sell sofas or loveseats, sell comfort and warmth.
- Do not sell furniture, sell status and prestige.
- Do not sell interior design, sell ENVY and the WOW factor!
Once you know what your customers truly want then, you could use that information to create a USP that attracts more of the same type of customers. For example:
- “Do not hire expensive interior designers, use our 23 point design checklist and give your home a million dollar look for FREE!”
- “Discover how to give your home an extreme $20,000 makeover, on an $8,000 budget.”
- “Your family and friends will say “Oh my gosh! Your home is simply amazing!” in 27 seconds flat…we guarantee it!”