It’s a bit of a strange time at the moment and there are some big challenges that the UK’s KBB retailers face. Confidence of consumers has decreased to a five year low according to the consumer confidence index and, in December, it fell to -14 (which follows a downward trend for the last 36 consecutive months).
The drop in confidence can be attributed to a number of things, but the future of the UK economy and uncertainty around Brexit negotiations are the stand out reasons right now.
Of course, Brexit and economic uncertainty aren’t the only challenges retailers face. Increased competition within the industry, most notably from the likes of Wren, means that some independent retailers are having to do more than ever to ensure that they stand out and continue to drive sales.
Over the last 12 months, many KBB retailers have felt the effects with slumps in enquiries and sales. Unfortunately, a number of retailers have also ended up shutting their doors. But, no matter what’s going on in Westminster and the state of the British economy, the fact of the matter is that there are still plenty of people out there who want to buy your kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms - it’s simply a case of ensuring that you have a marketing strategy in place which allows you to find and engage with them effectively.
As a marketing company that specialise in the KBB industry, we feel that we have a responsibility to help as many retailers as possible. With that said, here are 5 things that you can do (in order of priority) that will help you to get in front of in-market consumers, stand out from your competition and ultimately prosper in the face of these very real challenges…
1. Sort Out Your Website
You can be the world’s best at driving quality prospects to your website, but if it isn’t up to scratch you’re going to struggle to convert anyone into meaningful enquiries. It’s the centre of your whole marketing operation, so it needs to do a great job.
Firstly, it needs to display and function well no matter what device your user is on; desktop, mobile or tablet. Many sites display well on a mobile device but aren’t easy to use. They’re fiddly, slow or have over-complicated call to actions.
Secondly, make it easy for a prospect to contact you. Have you integrated ‘click to call’ buttons on the site? Are the web forms long and drawn out? Is your phone number easily viewable?
Thirdly, make sure to have as much great imagery as possible. This is a place that needs to inspire your target market, and if you can’t honestly say that your website is doing that, you need to have a rethink. Your site needs to be an extension of your showroom. Think about the pride and passion that went into your physical showroom, and mirror that in your website.
2. Get a Plethora of Reviews
Secondly, social proof is of paramount importance when it comes to converting website traffic into enquiries and subsequently enquiries into sales. Statistics from Inc.com say that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as their friends, and in this industry it’s arguably even more than that! The fact of the matter is that before handing over a deposit, many consumers will head online to check out what other people are saying about you on Google, Facebook and review sites like Trustpilot. If you don’t have a presence here, you need to get one. Contact past customers and ask them if they’d kindly spend five minutes leaving a positive review.
3. Search Engine Optimisation
Having a remarkable website that converts really well is great, but you need to get good quality traffic to it. Some of the best enquiries comes from organic sources (people searching on Google and other search engines). If your site isn’t ranking well in searches in your local area, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. We offer a FREE SEO audit for Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom companies. If you’d like to find out where you can make some improvements, please pop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘SEO Audit’ in the subject line.
As a basis, here are some of the most important ranking factors for well-used search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
- Direct Website Visitors: A direct visitor is someone who types your URL directly into their URL search bar.
- Time Spent On Site: The time spent on your site is a clear reflection of how useful a user finds it, according to the major search engines.
- Pages Per Session: Like Time Spent On Site, this gives Google and other search engines information about how useful your site is and how engaged users are. The longer users spend on-site, the better your rankings within SERPs will be.
4. Run Remarketing
We operate in an industry in which consumer buying journeys are long and extremely well-thought out. A lot of consideration and emotion goes into buying a new kitchen or bathroom and it’s the companies who are able to effectively build relationships and continually engage with their potential customers that ultimately prosper. Remarketing is a great way to achieve this.
Remarketing can be used in a number of ways but essentially it involves showing ads with highly relevant and engaging messages solely to the people who have already visited your website.
You see, the fact of the matter is that over 97% of people who visit your website leave without converting into any form of enquiry (whether that be booking a design appointment, downloading a brochure or calling your showroom). When they’re gone, they’re gone- you probably won’t see the vast majority of these people on your site again. Remarketing allows you to re-engage with these people later on in their buying journeys – whether that be hours, weeks or even months after their last visit to your site – and drive them back to your website. This ultimately enables you to build stronger relationships with them and increases the chances of them converting into a qualified enquiry (returning site visitors, as you may expect, always convert at a higher rate than first-time visitors). What’s more is that it’s really cost-effective and will always deliver a huge ROI.
5. Produce Great Content
Every website should be content rich. Really rich. Ensuring that there is plenty of content on your website should be a priority – it offers some huge benefits for your business which will ultimately be reflected In the number of enquiries coming into your business.
First and foremost, the volume of unique content on your site is directly related to your website’s rankings within search engines. Content is one of the most important SEO ranking factors and Google and other search engines take this into account (you should, as a minimum ensure, that each core page on your site i.e. the ‘home’, ‘kitchens’, ‘contact us’ page etc. have a minimum of 350 words on and that you are producing regular blogs as a minimum). Better ranking of course more people who are actively looking for what your offer will find you and therefore more qualified traffic will reach your site.
Secondly, having content on your site allows you to deliver more value and information and to prospects and therefore build better relationships and improve your positioning as a business (it’ll also keep visitors on-site longer which also helps with your visibility within search engines). As a consequence, you’ll benefit from an improvement in conversion rate which means one thing in the longer term: more sales.
If you’d like to find out more about what the services we offer at here at Flo and how we can help you to prosper in 2019 and beyond, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d love to hear from you. You can contact us now by clicking here or, alternatively, you can call us on 0121 405 6780.