Local furniture store advertising is hard. We get it. We’ve been there. As independent furniture retailers in Tampa, FL for 20 years, we’ve walked in your shoes. Do some of these sound familiar?
“Why do our newspaper ads not seem to generate traffic, but when we stop, we have a slow weekend?”
“Is anyone watching TV commercials? We DVR most shows and some of us have cut-out cable altogether.”
“Who’s listening to radio commercials? Even before Pandora and XM Radio, we’d switch stations every time a commercial came on.”
“Does my billboard get noticed? Commuters in traffic are all too busy staring at their phones.”
“Are unprofitable online furniture behemoths causing the death of the local furniture store?”
“An ad in the bathroom stall of that restaurant is cheap and you have the prospect’s full attention, right?” <eye-roll>
Read the complete genesis of our story on the Our Founder page.
In 2007 we created a website for our furniture stores, Macy’s Furniture & Mattress Clearance Center by Highland Park Furniture, and started advertising our site on Google AdWords because, well, all the “cool kids” were doing it. We had no intention of selling furniture online. We just felt we needed a presence because all our competitors seemed to be online even though most of them weren’t selling online either, just providing information. At the time, Wayfair was still CSN Stores and Amazon was a famous bookseller. Our online traffic was instantly respectable considering our tiny budget, but we continued to spend ludicrous amounts of money on newspaper inserts along with just-about every other type of advertising mentioned above. Until, that is, the newspaper reps, almost in unison, came calling with a price increases. “Wait!? You’re asking for more money while your circulation is declining? This is a prank, isn’t it? Where are the hidden cameras?”
After getting walloped by the print media price increases, we mined our data to be sure print was effective at the new, higher prices. The data had always been there, but we had never looked at it, assuming the advertising that was effective in the past was still effective because our stores were busy. As a result of that research, we discovered the only advertising that produced a positive ROI consistently were billboards, Google AdWords pay-per-click and Google organic search. Most of our TV campaigns and newspaper inserts weren’t even generating enough profit to pay for themselves. So we doubled-down on AdWords and spent months creating, testing, tweaking, testing again, and relentlessly tracking results which paid-off with a 4x return on advertising spend. And better yet, it was provable and could be duplicated which means we didn’t have to guess if our dollars were being spent effectively. Using the tools in Google Analytics and Google AdWords we could see exactly how many prospects were clicking into our website and what they were looking at once there. And by asking each customer how they heard about our stores, and tracking that metric religiously, we could see precisely how many dollars of sales were being generated. There isn’t any other means of advertising that only costs you money at the specific moment the customer is expressing a genuine interest in the product you’re selling except AdWords. Google AdWords simply works!
Today’s furniture shoppers aren’t loyal to brands. Heck, they struggle to name even a few furniture brands. And they aren’t very loyal to stores either. With the changing retail landscape and infrequency of furniture and mattress purchases, it’s reasonable to assume the store they bought from last time might not be around the next time they need to buy. That’s promising for the local, independent furniture and mattress store. It means you can compete against the big guys. Yet, so many stores aren’t utilizing AdWords. Why? It’s hard, you can waste lots of money, it takes time to learn and implement; time you just don’t have considering the rigors of running a store.
Thus, SearchWurx was born. We’re here to help; hit us up!