Features of furniture selling online
Let’s consider the main nuances of selling furniture on the Internet, outline the main difficulties and show you how to solve them.
1. High average check
Furniture is an expensive pleasure, the purchase price can be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Accordingly, this is not a product that you can forget about if it suddenly turned out to be of poor quality. For that kind of money, people can fight: demand a refund, spend money on examinations and even sue.
What does it give us?
Understanding that your furniture must be of high quality, comply with the declared characteristics, and not allow manufacturing defects. Lack of details, wrong color, scratches, and chips can be a reason to start a trial.
There are also pluses. The higher the average check, the higher the margin can be, which means your profit.
2. Long selection process
Other niches are characterized by spontaneous purchases: I saw a product – I liked it – I bought it. Furniture is a product for years, so people can choose the same sofa or nursery for a long time. This is especially true for children’s furniture: parents are responsible for the health of their child and prefer to revise a lot of options in many online stores.
What does it give us?
Both cons and pros. Cons – abandoned carts: people put off the options they like, then go to other sites and forget about the products they have chosen.
Pros – If picky shoppers still choose your store and are satisfied with the quality, there is a good chance of getting positive reviews and recommendations.
3. Leaving buyers offline
If, in addition to your online store, you also have an ordinary furniture store, it is a better situation. Customers visit the site, select several models, write down SKUs and go offline. There, they examine the furniture from all sides and make the final choice. In this case, the money remains in the business – although it can be difficult to track it. If there is no offline store, customers look at the furniture on the site and buy from competitors. It is clear that during a personal visit of a person to a store, it is much easier to persuade him to buy than by phone or online chat.
What does it give us?
If you have an offline store and the site is just an addition to it, set up your CRM system and data analytics systems to track every purchase. Google Analytics will help to collect data on traffic and conversion on the site, Mindbox – data on the number of orders from email campaigns, call tracking – data on orders from the phone, and its own CRM – to take into account data on offline sales.
If you only have a website, pay more attention to the service and the work of managers with clients. Let them memorize all the characteristics of the goods, memorize scripts and answers to objections, they should be gentle and polite. There is another option – to hit prices and reduce them to a minimum, but in this case there is a risk of being left without profit.
Think about whether it is worth immediately aiming at a large online store with dozens of categories? You may not be able to pull the terms that they offer to customers. We would advise you to start with a narrow niche – for example, upholstered furniture, and if it does, gradually expand.
Also, pay attention to brands. You can start cooperation with one brand and present its collections to the fullest. Or build contacts with multiple brands, breaking them down into product categories.
To understand better what exactly assortment do you want to see on your site you can search through different online shops and search for inspiration. New York Furniture Outlets is a good example of a well-thought online furniture shop with an interesting assortment.
Finally, pay attention to related products. It can be interior items, home accessories: paintings, vases, figurines, cute little things. We recommend that you place them in a separate category and show them to users in product recommendations when viewing product cards.
Oversized cargo will not arrive to your client by mail or to the office of a transport company. Everything is serious here: roomy transport, forwarder, loaders, and you will have to keep an eye on all this. Inattentive attitude to the product is fraught with you, you know what, so be responsible when choosing employees.
Promotion of an online furniture store
1. Create a website
To create an online store, you can use the most appropriate for you platform. After creation, you need to have a clear division into categories, brands, filters by prices, and other characteristics.
2. Fill the site with content
It can be of several types:
Product cards and catalogs. Here we write all the characteristics of the furniture, and in as much detail as possible. Manufacturer, purpose, color, size, price. And, of course, a photo: from all possible angles, even better – in real interiors. And not only the general plan of furniture, but also small details: fittings, materials texture, decorations, and so on. Recently, IKEA released an application in which the selected model can be substituted anywhere in your apartment – in my opinion, just a brilliant and very visual piece.
Video is also a good topic. There are tons of video ideas you can use. This is a video review of a furniture collection, an interview with a supplier, a product presentation, an assembly video, and etc.
Useful articles. Determine your target audience again and write for it. The general wish is to communicate with the reader as equals. Your target audience – people are smart, successful, and quite wealthy – they won’t get low-quality content. Next, break down the target audience into segments and cover each of them. Parents will be interested to learn about safe and environmentally friendly materials that are used in the manufacture of furniture. Newlyweds – about arranging a new apartment. Office workers – how not to get tired during the working day.
There are many topics, and they are truly inexhaustible. Enter multiple categories or hashtags to make it easier for users to find content for themselves. For example, the following topics might work for a blog:
- furniture market novelties;
- trending articles on interior design;
- advice to housewives;
- smart House;
- useful life hacks.
The same content can be duplicated in social networks, only shorter and with a direct appeal to the audience – to share opinions, comment, tell friends.
Reviews. When buying expensive goods, you will inevitably read reviews – few people want to give their hard-earned money just like that. Motivate your customers to leave reviews, preferably with a photo of furniture in a real interior. Publish them both on social networks, on a blog, and on a separate page of the site. Note that reviews in an online furniture store should also be designed for the target audience: not emotional, but reasonable, well-reasoned.
3. Launching an advertising campaign
It is better to contact the agency – they will tell you which types of online advertising are preferable for you. Usually, this is:
- contextual advertising – ads on different platforms, search engines, which is assessed by the number of clicks – that is, transitions to the site. the more people get to your site, the more sales you can make;
- social media targeting – both in thematic groups on interior design and in more local groups. For example, in the communities of parents, residents of new buildings, even business groups will do – your target audience is sitting there;
- SEO website promotion. Moreover, it is better to advance not through high-frequency requests.
Also, pay attention to your brand image. Publish on well-known resources, order ads from bloggers and opinion leaders.
We have already written that a modern online store should be omnichannel. That is, the client can place an order not in one way – through the website, but in several ways. Alternatively: through the order form on the website, through a mobile application, by email, by phone, in social networks. This means that we need to work on all these areas: the percentage of completed orders will increase significantly.
4. Advertise offline
Nowadays, conferences and forums dedicated to design and architecture are constantly held in large cities. Among the speakers there are also representatives of small business – why don’t you be in their place? For a symbolic contribution, you can tell a warm audience about your store, and invite people to the site.
Another way to attract attention is to participate in thematic exhibitions. Make an agreement with the organizers, put up a stand, and distribute catalogs of furniture presented in your online store to everyone. Of course, do not forget about business cards, leaflets, and brochures, where the website address, office contacts, and a group in social networks are indicated.
That, perhaps, is all. It’s not that difficult to create an online furniture store from scratch. It is much more difficult to constantly invest in its promotion, surprise buyers, and stay on the wave. Good luck in promoting!