3 Challenges Hearth & Home Dealers Are Facing
The rise of large-scale, sophisticated online retailers has not been kind to local hearth & home businesses throughout the United States. But here’s the silver lining: You still have a huge advantage to achieve more customers and sales if you can capitalize on it.
Your Hearth and Home Store Is A One-Stop-Shop for Inspiration, Information, and Installation
I’d say, this represents an immediate opportunity for your business needs. Buyers near your hearth home business have a passion (“Let’s get that new stone fireplace or gas stove!) or a problem (“It’s finally time to replace the rusted barbeque in our home!”). And they all want to talk to an expert! That’s you.
Here are the three challenges dealers must face if you want those local consultation appointments and purchases to happen in your showrooms instead of home center or another dealer down the street.
It’s Hard and Expensive to Maintain an Effective Online Catalog
Consumers are trained to expect fast, slick home and hearth websites and product searches that display up-to-the-minute photos and specs for a vast array of products, including stoves, fire pits, fireplaces and more. This represents a huge logistics burden and expense for the independent hearth and home businesses.
Being Effective Means Vetting and Implementing a Wide Range of Hardware, Software
Nobody wants to make a second career of finding experts and tools to help you build an effective multi-channel online/in-store product selection system. You can spend months figuring out your options before you even see the first bill. This is like trying to tread water with ankle weights.
It’s Extremely Difficult to Dent the Search Rankings
Many hearth & home dealers have turned to the help of SEO specialists (or even added part-time staff) in an effort to rank a website in Google’s (or Bing’s) search results. Even if you can divert significant budget to online marketing, site and product selection tools, your best efforts aren’t even a rounding error compared to the resources that bigger online retailers can throw at this.
Weak local retailers of fireplaces, fire pits, and wood and gas stoves are already dying off in an ongoing consolidation wave. Those who remain standing have figured out how to face all three of the above challenges in one turnkey step — so they can focus on great products, installation service, and expertise, and stop trying to be part-time technology and site experts.
If you’re interested in a simpler, more effective way to compete in the hearth home area, Bravo Business Media has the industry’s premium marketing solution to propel your hearth and home business and the answers to the dilemma. Feel free to contact us if you’d like to explore all of the ways our marketing tools can help!