Every retailer knows that their website is an important marketing tool, but the pandemic really put that into perspective. However, many retailers learned the hard way that websites cannot be static; they have to convert visitors into potential customers.
That’s one of the reasons PERQ, a technology company offering marketing and sales software to retailers, is offering a free, three-month trial of its software to home furnishings retailers. The deal, initiated in March 2020, is extended to all retailers, and the 90-day trial offer runs through the end of Q1 2021. Pricing is based on the number of unique website visitors per month to a furniture retailer’s website.
According to Doug Stump, PERQ’s vice president of retail operations, another reason for the free trial was Ashley Furniture. The company made a big push for PERQ, telling their clients all over the country to get PERQ’s software on their website immediately.
These two factors led PERQ to sign more than 26 new retailers of all different sizes, and the result was undeniably positive. Stump says the average home furnishings retailer website will convert anywhere from 0.5%-1% of unique visitors into known leads. And when retailers integrate PERQ’s software onto their website, conversions typically rise to 3-5%.
Stump says website conversion in 2020 was lifted 100%, on top of the 200% retailers usually see when installing PERQ’s software.
“There was that undeniable need to be able to create a line of communication and start to facilitate and build relationships with customers through the website more so than they ever had to focus on before,” Stump explains. “When you’re a retailer and your door is swinging, there’s a lot of feeling of ‘that guy would have come in anyways.’ Then all of the sudden retailers had no idea who might potentially be a buyer, so it was critical to rely on the website for 100% of the sales processes.”
Stump explains that the lead to sale percentage is on average 15% which translates to around 48 sales. “Most average ticket prices for stores range around $1,200, which would equate to an average of $58,000 a month in PERQ leads that convert to sale,” Stump says.
During the early months of the pandemic, retailers saw big lifts in website traffic because in many cases all shopping and research was being done online. “So with that, they were able to really facilitate many more conversations, appointments, and sales from the website over the last year,” Stump adds.
Two of the PERQ’s most-used features include their multi-option appointment scheduler and the “ask a question” experience.
The multi-option scheduler rolled this out with the free trial program and allows the consumer to schedule a consultation through the retailer’s website. They can choose the day and time, as well as what they want to cover in the consultation, and the sales team will respond to their request by confirming the appointment and sending a video call link.
The “ask a question” experience is a text-to-chat experience that keys up conversations between the customer and the retailer. They simply click the “ask a question” call-to-action button, and their questions are texted to sales associates.
“All of that is leveraged a ton and has been leveraged during this period of time,” Stump explains. “Those kinds of experiences and calls to actions never existed before. Usually it’s a static lead form, but this is a live thing.”
Stump concludes that the pandemic has opened the eyes of so many businesses about why they need to have a digital strategy in place.
“What we’re seeing all over the place is that this is the kind of situation that can change things forever,” Stump explains. “We know that, so when you talk about planning for the future, it’s about being able to measure your digital success. And you need to start with your centralized marketing tool: your website.”