Consumer behavior over the past few years has changed drastically and has been made all the more complex due to the global pandemic. More than double the number of furniture consumers, for example, now compare shops online before traveling to them. So, what are the latest industry trends when it comes to furniture shopping and how can you tap into them?
Below, we list six of the most dramatic changes in recent years and discuss how you can use them to entice people to your store. By using each of these tips, you can effectively make your mark on the furniture industry in the San Antonio area and beyond.
1. Your customers are a new generation
As you probably know, the days of solely targeting baby boomers have evolved. While many boomers still buy furniture, Gen X, millennials and Gen Z are starting to outpace them when it comes to furniture shopping. This is great news for San Antonio furniture stores due to the region’s large millennial population. More than 40% of adults in Bexar County are millennials. And compared to other metropolitan areas of similar size, San Antonio over-indexes to this growing and influential audience. When you look at these stats nationally, millennials make up just 22% percent of the U.S. population.
In addition, younger generations are less likely to own homes. Many older Gen Z-ers and millennials are still renters because of today’s housing market. This means they will probably want lightweight and less expensive furniture rather than heavy goods, no matter how long they might last. They may come back to purchase those larger statement pieces when they do buy a home, so if you can capture them now, you can earn their business and turn them into lifelong customers.
2. Product bundling is beneficial
One thing the younger demographics enjoy tremendously is a good deal. They will go online and make an active effort to search for deals and get as much off the price as possible. Being able to quickly compare prices online makes a big difference.
As such, you should try offering many different forms of deals to appeal to these groups. Examples include:
Product bundling: Offer a discount if specific items are bought together. This can help you clear out otherwise unwanted furniture or move certain merchandise faster.
Vouchers: Put these on your website, or in your local newspaper, to award discounts for certain audiences.
Discount events: Discount events like Black Friday, President’s Day, and Memorial Day offer many people a chance to pick up new things for their homes when they might not otherwise visit your store. Use these special events to move out any furniture items or floor models that may have been in your inventory for a while.
3. Reach new audiences with social media
Social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube play a huge role in encouraging young people to improve their homes. These days, "five-second crafts," reels, and other online video trends encourage them to decorate and design their homes creatively.
Several brands use their social media accounts to humanize themselves. Active social media accounts can create a sense of friendly professionalism that helps people see your business as approachable.
You can also use social accounts to promote events and show off some of your latest stock.
Many social media trends start as one-off posts that others pick up, leading to them going viral. This is especially true when you use social content creators or influencers to do a sponsored post.
4. Sustainability is important to consumers
Gen Z and millennials are much more likely to care about the environment than older groups. They research and make decisions based on how companies affect the world. According to Nielsen, 74% of U.S. Millennials said they are more likely to buy brands supporting social issues they care about. This does not mean that you need to become completely carbon-neutral to succeed. Instead, you might want to think about ways you can reduce some of your worst excesses, so you will not face criticism for it. Or, highlight ways that you are supporting and giving back to the local community.
5. Reviews are vital
People these days look to peers to see if others have talked about a product or brand positively. According to Scarborough Research, 6 out of 10 San Antonio furniture buyers do product research and read consumer reviews online.
Here are some ways to generate positive reviews about your business:
Google reviews: Check your store's Google listing and see what people are saying about you. There is a good chance you can improve your business by looking for repeat concerns and updating your processes to resolve them.
Paid ads: In addition to encouraging your customers to review you online, you could also create targeted digital ads that promote your brand.
Hiring Influencers: The computer chair industry has marketed to influencers, often offering them chairs they use in their videos. You can do the same with people in your area who might influence how others shop.
Referrals: When people buy from you, give them discount codes to pass on to other people. If these give the original buyer and the new buyer discounts, they can help to drive additional purchases for your store.
6. The repurposed room trend is here to stay
With the increase of remote work during the pandemic, many people have changed the purposes of the rooms in their homes during the past few years. Most notably, many people turned spare bedrooms, small spaces, and closets into home offices. As remote work remains popular with many companies, this trend is sure to continue.
Furthermore, with the increase in multigenerational living, people are looking for ways to maximize space and make room for elderly relatives to join the household.
Leverage a Media Expert to Stay Ahead
As we move forward in 2023 and beyond, it’s important to remember that consumer behavior in the furniture industry is always evolving. Here at Hearst Media San Antonio, our expert team has access to the latest research and first-party data to effectively target the best consumers for your furniture business. Contact us to learn more today.