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  • Writer's pictureJennifer

New homeowners buy furniture: What you could learn from Wayfair, Pottery Barn and Crate&Barrel

If you're in the retail world, you already know that the move event triggers spending in certain categories like furniture, accessories, appliances, carpet and more. And new movers are looking for services too. They need dentists, painters, lawn care services... the list goes on.

Back in the day, it was hard to convince retailers that new homeowners were such an important audience to target. The spending research wasn't that great and data sources were slow and inaccurate. Marketers mostly depended on deed data exclusively to drive their direct mail campaigns. With county recorders' offices all filing public records with no particular urgency, it was challenging to know if you were getting in home quick enough.

Fast forward to more than a decade later - it's a race to the consumer to pre-empt competitors and capture this beautiful thing we call predictable spending. If you're in retail, especially furniture, home accessories and home improvement, maximizing your return on investment has a lot to do with how quickly you can get in front of a new mover. When you target this audience, you're not just battling with competitors in your own retail space. A new mover's mailbox will be full of offers every day and you have only a few seconds to grab their attention. If you're late and the new mover has already purchased living room furniture and she finished redecorating, you will miss out.

I can't tell you how many times I've had a furniture company say to me, "We tried new homeowners. It didn't work for us." It's the timing, and the offer of course, and that's what Wayfair, Pottery Barn and Crate&Barrel seem to know very well. While Wayfair's offer could be stronger, I understand the strategy but what really stands out among these three retailers is how quickly they're reaching the consumer after the move event occurs. It's impressive. As furniture and home accessory retail leaders, they know new movers will be eager to furnish and decorate immediately upon moving in. But that's not all... new movers make multiple furniture purchases and spend more than your non-moving existing customers. If you can make their experience amazing, you have a better chance of capturing any subsequent purchases that are sure to take place.

If you're in this retail space and your program isn't performing as well as it should, take a look at your timing and your offer. If you're in this retail space and you gave up on new movers because your program didn't work, take a look at a fresh strategy.

TMM Direct can help. Email: or call 803-831-5310. Ask us for a competitive bid on your campaign!

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