As we head into 2023, let's do a consumer pulse check and consider whether the uncertainty and world-shattering events of the past 2 years have brought lasting changes in customer behavior. In this article, we look at 5 key trends that are likely to shape furniture store visual merchandising in the coming year.
2021 was a year of the "new normal", and 2022 was a year of consolidation and recovery. What will 2023 have in store for furniture retail stores? What will be the "next normal"?
A Finger on the Pulse of Furniture Store Visual Merchandising
The next few years will see more of Gen Z making purchasing decisions. Retailers must focus on understanding the pulse of a new generation of shoppers who are digital natives and the previous generations who have adopted new consumer behaviors as a result of the 2020 global pandemic and the supply chain issues we've faced ever since.
A new type of shoppers is emerging:
They won't take low quality lightly and will shift loyalties if the brand or company doesn't live up to their (very high) expectations!
They expect personalized, authentic brand experiences and expect the brands they follow to maintain seamless communication across online and offline channels.
While Instagram and video platforms are their go-to channels of expression and discovery, they rely on a brand's physical retail outlets for first-hand interactions with brands, companies and products.
As much as they are connected to a global culture, they fiercely believe in localization and its impact on sustainable products. What does this mean for furniture retail stores, and can we draw some pointers about visual merchandising for retailers?
As we study this new breed of shoppers, let's look at some trends we're seeing specifically in furniture retail:
2023 Furniture Store Visual Merchandising Trends to Look Out For
#1 Shift to value for money
2023 will see a clear shift in retail where shoppers will evaluate products unforgivingly and look for their money's worth! Be mindful that this is not about cost but a perceived value for money. Furniture retailers who successfully communicate their products' value will win at furniture retail in the coming year.
How do you get your star product noticed? Retail signage should be your focus in 2023 - well-planned and not an afterthought. Use informational signage, POP shelf display tags, prominent price tags, end cap displays and standing banners. Communicate why shoppers should pick the product and what value they get from it.
Learn more about The Look Company's visual engagement solutions for furniture retail displays and how you can drive traffic and sales from these solutions in 2023.
#2 Shoppers WILL switch channels!
The new generation of shoppers doesn't like in-your-face, loud marketing pitches. And they won't take your word at its face value. So don't try to lock them into a specific channel of purchase. Instead, be present where your audience is, and provide a seamless, consistent experience across physical and virtual channels.
A study by HBR showed that 73% of US shoppers use multiple channels during their shopping journey.
Use different channels to send out integrated messages about your brand and your products. For example, use Instagram to showcase color trends and how accessories can change the look of your dining room table. But use e-mailers and flyers to communicate price drops and seasonal discounts. Use storefront window displays to showcase the latest additions to your product catalog and reinforce the same message on other social media channels.
Click here to learn more about creating Instagrammable displays and encouraging brand ambassadors to use video to tell your brand's story.
#3 Consumers are going back to the basics
Expect 2023 furniture retail trends to veer toward natural materials, environmentally-conscious production, local products with a low carbon footprint, and even natural shades and textures. The new shopper cares deeply for the planet and believes in making eco-friendly choices. And here's the evidence:
Ernst & Young's global consumer survey of February 2022 indicated that 42% of respondents would only buy from brands that align with their values.
A study from Unilever highlights 21% of consumers now report that they would prefer brands with an active environmental responsibility campaign. According to the report, sustainability translates to over US$1 billion of opportunity for retailers.
Are you ready with in-store messaging that makes your sustainability story shine? Here's how TLC's retail signs and banners help you communicate your story.
#4 Multipurpose spaces with blurred home-office boundaries
2023 will see a continued focus on furniture that fulfills multipurpose needs. For example, It's no longer "office furniture" that you'll sell; it's "furniture for work"! Even a living room is no longer just that - it's part dining room at meal times, a personal space to relax and chill out on the weekends, and an entertainment area when you have friends and family over.
How do you create furniture displays that allow shoppers to visualize how a space can be used for different uses?
TLC's modular frames and partitions help designers to create different displays and showcase how their furniture can be used in different situations or occasions. Need more display ideas to improve your in-store experience? Read more here.
#5 Experiential shopping is the biggest trend we foresee for 2023
Consumers will look for unique experiences in furniture retail showrooms. From the moment they enter a store, you want them to engage with your product displays. New-age shoppers focus on convenience, ease of navigation, informational displays, and a strong value proposition.
Here's a list of questions you can ask to see if you're offering a superior in-store experience to your customers:
Are your displays memorable? You can make shoppers recall your product displays by appealing to more than one of the five senses and telling a relatable story around the product. For example, custom fabric lightboxes create stunning visual displays which can help shoppers visualize their purchase accurately and entice them to purchase.
How easily can shoppers navigate through your retail space? Use well-designed retail store layouts, floor plans and section layouts. Tried-and-tested types of store layouts help you manage customer flow through the store. Enhance the in-store shopping experience with wayfinding, innovative signage and bold, eye-catching graphics. Maximize space and guide shoppers to featured products with modular display systems.
Do you have an instagrammable wall or selfie station? If not, it's time to go social and be "omni" present!
50% of Instagram users discover new brands, products or services through their Insta activity. And 2 in 3 users say the network helps foster meaningful interactions with brands. Reason enough for furniture retail stores to be found on Insta?
How often do you change your storefront window display? Do most store visitors see your best promotions and offers? Shoppers are drawn to storefront windows just like they are attracted by advertisements. So changing your window displays frequently is critical to draw shoppers in and increase foot traffic in your store.
Are you making clever use of the latest backlit signs and banners? Creative use of color and lighting can deliver a memorable experience for customers. See how TLC uses backlit panels and printed fabrics running seamlessly from walls to the ceiling to turn your store into a modern canvas to promote your brand and products.
Do you have special promotions at checkout counters using POP displays?
How do you engage shoppers stuck in long checkout lines? How do you upsell one more product at the end of the shopper's journey through your store? And how do you capitalize on shoppers' impulse purchase decisions right when they are about to exit your store? The answer lies in POP or point-of-purchase displays.
According to a study by Shop! Association, the average Promotional Program Value (or PVV) for POP displays was 499%. This means that for every $1 you invest in a POP display, you can expect an average return in incremental sales of $4.99!
TLC: Your Partner for Furniture Store Visual Merchandising
Want to succeed in furniture retail in 2023? Put your finger on the pulse of the modern, savvy shopper!
Furniture store visual merchandising plans for 2023 must include frequently updated window displays, immersive in-store experiences and graphics that communicate a strong proposition in terms of a sustainability story or a value proposition. And they're also the way to attract foot traffic, increase sales and improve the business bottom line!
The Look Company is your ideal visual engagement company producing award winning printed graphics and display systems for furniture retail stores and other retail environments.
Get in touch with TLC today to develop a furniture store visual merchandising strategy to help you succeed in 2023.