Selling Decor in a Flash
In a recent Mashable.com article, Lauren Indvik described how several flash sale (daily deal e-commerce) websites are testing out TV advertising. (http://mashable.com/2012/10/12/onekingslane-tv-commercial/) The article highlighted high-end home decor website OneKingsLane.com for their newly-minted spots that focus on the theme “Design is Never Done.”
While the TV spots have just begun to air, and they part of a larger campaign, it is clear that ad agency Wieden+Kennedy has crafted the message to thoughtfully address the unique problems of a flash sale home decor retailer. The items sold on flash sale websites are only available for a limited time. This is great for creating a sense of urgency and convincing the customer to buy NOW. It does, however, make it harder to sell the customer add-ons that match their primary purchase.
Common Challenges of Selling Furniture
Conventional, brick and mortar furniture retailers make the most of their customers by adding on to a primary purchase with matching and coordinating items. Like the bed? Then why not get the dresser, nightstand and chest to go with it? This is harder to do on a self-service website where there is not a sales associate to suggest the pieces to complete the room. On One Kings Lane, items are presented individually, leaving the consumer to choose items that suit their fancy. It’s a great approach for customers confident enough to curate their own eclectic style. But those who are less confident may feel unsure about how their selections will work together in their home.
The purchase cycle for furniture is long-term, with bigger ticket items, like a sofa or a mattress, being purchased once every five to seven years. It’s a challenge for brick and mortar furniture stores to bring a customer back in when they are not in an active search. I anticipate that this might be an even greater challenge for a home decor flash sale website.
In any marketing campaign, many variables contribute to the overall impact. As an outside observer of the beginnings of this campaign by OneKingsLane.com, I can say that their messaging does a good job of addressing some of the inherent challenges of the business.