Individuals that work in the interiors industry are experts in colour, layout, and functionality. This understanding is crucial, but it’s equally important that your website reflects this expertise – establishing your business as a trusted source of information filled with insightful content and imagery. You want your website to be a place where users come for inspiration, as well as a sales channel.
With events and exhibitions still on hold, and stores and showrooms having to work on an appointment-only basis, consumers are taking to the web more than ever to plan projects as thoroughly as possible. This means that there has never been a better time to focus on your digital presence, ensuring that you offer an experience as enjoyable online than it would be in person.
Won’t customers want to see the products in person?
There will be instances where users want to view certain products in person before deciding to purchase, but having collections easily accessible to customers online is also vitally important. A huge 88% of customers research their buys ONLINE before making a purchase. That’s why establishing your brand presence online in the digital world is becoming more crucial as time goes on.
While some customers might want to view collections in person just before they make a decision (to get a true sense of colour and texture of a particular product), allowing them to first explore all their options online, in the comfort of their own home, is a huge benefit. Nowadays, many websites offer free sample services. This is a great way to demonstrate confidence in your product, but will also allow the end-user to have samples sent to them with ease, making their decision making choices far easier.
Did you know that Augmented Reality is revolutionising the world of interior design?
Adding elements of augmented reality to your website is a great way to showcase your offering, while also helping users through the decision making process.
Thanks to augmented reality, customers can now see firsthand how their project will look before it is developed. This will help push users further down the buying funnel, cementing their choice in your brand before they turn up to a retailer/showroom to choose the final product.
It can often become challenging to visualise how a piece of furniture, wall colour or floor covering will look in your home without an aid. While mood boards have previously been used as a way to pull together colour schemes, these fail to demonstrate how certain colours will look in your own space. And that’s why augmented reality in interior design is the newest revolutionary solution helping customers get their dream home.
Imagine being able to upload a photo of your kitchen, and using AR to see what different worktops, counters and appliances would look like. Would you be more inclined to choose a brand that allows you to experience their products in your own space without having to leave your sofa? Yeah, us too…
A key thing to note is that, while having a digital presence is a must, it needs to be done right. Your website is likely to be the first touchpoint a customer will have with your business, and it’s important to leave a long and lasting positive impression.
What we’ve done…
We’ve worked closely with a handful of interior clients to build bespoke websites that not only look beautiful, and offer an exciting user experience, but also that convert. We understand what makes for a good website that drives great results.
To get started, remember that a great website should show potential clients what you have to offer. So ask yourself the following question: What makes your products stand out against your competitors? The answer to this should be at the forefront of your mind when designing your website, these features should be prominent on your website and should be clear and concise.
What does a website need to be great?
A good website is an effective way to show brand integrity and competence. Trust is what will allow you to gain new customers and grow your audience, which makes your branding and aesthetics vitally important – allowing you to generate leads, see conversions and grow your audience.
From the moment a user lands on your website, they’ll be making judgements on the appearance of your website. At this point, everything matters, brand logos, fonts, colour palette, image style and tone of voice will all impact on how your brand is perceived and remembered.
This is particularly important for the interiors industry considering your target audience – who are looking for interior inspiration. A messy website, or some that lack consistency and visual appeal are likely to be off-putting to this type of user.
As mentioned previously your website is a chance for you to demonstrate how you are different from your competitors, what do you offer that’s different? This messaging should be inclusive in your branding message.
As many businesses within the interiors industry operate globally, the content of your website must be relevant to your audience, regardless of their location or language.
That’s why website personalisation is important and could be a reason why you choose one content management system (CMS) over another. Some CMS’s are highly capable and adaptable when it comes to personalisation and multilingual functionalities. For example, Sitecore makes managing a multi-language/multi-culture site easy. Your site can be managed in any number of languages, and every field on a template can be marked specific to one language or shared across all languages as simple as clicking a button. You can opt to share content across all websites regardless of language, or choose to make specific content types visible only in certain regions. For example, you may have a range which is available in Europe and the USA, but that isn’t available to Asia. Managing situations like this is a doddle with multilingual sites.
In addition to this, any translations required can be incorporated into a workflow, which ensures that translations are processed correctly across all of your sites.
This will inevitably allow for users to have a more efficient customer experience than if the site wasn’t personalised, which will, in turn, encourage more leads, sales and conversions.
Rich Content – Elements to help your audience remain engaged.
You’ll also want to ensure that your website has plenty of content-rich pages, but what does this mean exactly? Well, content-rich pages, simple put, is a website which has loads of valuable and insightful content for the reader to browse through. This will not only keep them onsite but will also allow you to establish yourselves as industry experts – a hub for customers to come and find answers to their questions.
Not only that, but take the opportunity to showcase your collections; being swatch samples, images of room sets and plenty of before and after imagery which customers can view and relate to.
The type of content which would be appealing to users would be;
Product Benefits: what makes your products different from your competitors? Are the different benefits, materials used, environmental-friendly angles?
Product descriptions: make these as detailed as possible, really taking the time to describe the look and feel of the product you are referring to. A great way to enhance the words on the page here is by having accompanying imagery – swatches, room set imagery, and images taken from different angles.
Blog content: this is a brilliant way to inform your audience, while also engaging them with content that is relevant to their wants and needs. This type of content can be anything from interior design trends to helpful advice on transforming your home. This type of content is a great way to drive traffic to your website and increase your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). The more optimised content you have on your site, the more content the search engines have to crawl and index. This means they can easily recognise that your site is a resource of information for people to access and will direct more and more users to your site for this reason.
Imagine on any website is important, but even more so for those in the interiors sector, where the products main selling point is their aesthetics. While they are important, what’s equally as important is that you choose quality over quantity when documenting your products and portfolio. When adding imagery to your website you want to select based on the quality of work and the images alike. But what type of imagery should be featured?
As we mentioned previously, your website is a way to showcase your offering and brand ethos. And as such having imagery which showcases this is vital. Here’s a handful of imagery we’d like to see on the website of an interior design company…
Before and After imagery: in the world of interior design, there aren’t many things more satisfying than a fantastic before and after transformation. Seeing a blank canvas come to life is inspiring and can be extremely motivating if someone is unsure whether or not to embark on any home renovation/design update work.
This type of content is also great for allowing users to see how their home COULD look, making the process as streamlined as possible.
Swatches: these allow users to see products up close, in all their glory. Swatches allow users to view all the small and finer details of a product, such as the texture and colour variants. These are all important features which can aid their decision-making process.
Product Graphics: graphics are a brilliant way to emphasise your offering, they take a body of text and condense it neatly into a graphics which is visually appealing while also being easy to digest.
Get The Look: Use colour pallets or items, put things together in a graphic which would suit a particular room or style. Make it easy for the users to create a look, but provide them with all the ingredients required.
A thing to note is that, while having high-quality imagery on your website is crucial, sometimes, too much imagery can result in excessively high website loading times. Users are likely to abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, so it’s important to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you. You can do this by compressing your images to a point where they maintain a high-quality resolution, but are much smaller in data size.
Being consistent across your entire website is crucial, from your tone of voice to the imagery and video content that you use on-site too. Your website should tell your story and remain consistent while doing so. Any inconsistencies on your website will ring alarm bells to the end-users and can be confusing. To remain consistent you need to define your aesthetic and tone of voice, then communicate these through every piece of content and assets.
When the elements of your brand are aligned and the website experience is effortless, that is often the mark of a designer’s authenticity and a cohesive brand package. When the fonts, colour and tone of a site are cohesively designed, the result is a recognizable and compelling space that inspires the user.
Having a responsive website isn’t something specific to the interior industry. This is important regardless of the sector in which you operate.
With users coming from all sorts of devices (mobile, desktop, tablet) they all must leave with a great first impression of your website. And that’s why this should always be at the forefront of your mind when it comes to building and designing your website. The last thing you want is a beautiful custom made website that is irritating and difficult to navigate on a mobile device.
The best way to accommodate all visitors is by having a website which features a responsive design – ensuring that your site displays and functions well across all and every device.
By making your site accessible to users with a variety of screen sizes and operating systems, you open your business up to a wider audience, which allows for greater opportunity for you and your business.
Do you feel inspired?
If you’re ready to take the next step to online success and are looking to overhaul your website, contact us today. We offer a wide variety of services from project rescue if your current website developer isn’t delivering results, to consultation and website personalisation.