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Ecommerce for online furniture sales

Ecommerce is an ever evolving industry with various innovations to sell different types of products to the vast online audiences. 110 IDEAS analyses various Ecommerce businesses that might help us understand how this market works and how it might be improved. Today we look at furniture ecommerce and understand it’s intricacies, trends and areas of improvement.

Furniture sales online is a difficult market for the following reasons.

  • Expensive Inventory: Accuiring furniture or manufacturing it is a difficult and expensive affair. Without an expert or experienced busniess accumen inthis field, one cannot hope to start this business at any scale.
  • Real Estate Cost: Storage of inventory for online sales is an important factor to consider. This is often tied to easy access/connectivity to major transport hubs for cost effective transportation of orders. Getting the right place to store your inventory that is balanced between these 2 factors is also a milestone a business much acheive. 
  • High cost of transportation and packaging: Furniture is normally dismantled and transported as a pre-assembled product that the customer must build. This is a tough task for the customer and acts as a big con for online furniture purchases. The flipside of the same is to build the furniture unit and pack it effectively and ship it to the customer adding the the cost of the product significantly.

Considering the points above as a small list of many difficulties in this business, we can safely assume that there are significant entry barriers to furniture sales online that other ecommerce markets. Hence this is advised to only established businesses or entreprenuers that have solved the above issues.

Why is furniture sales online an important retail avenue?

  • Consumers have migrated to online purchases today as a quick and easy avenue to reseach products, compare them and make an educated purchase.
  • These consumers are mostly saleried professionals and businessmen that might  not have the time fight thier way through traffic and find the right business house to buy from.
  • Designing furniture or making it from scratch is also a time consuming and expensive process whereas buying ready furniture is quick and easy and mostly cheaper that custom furniture.
  • Hence for at least 15% of the Indian population living in urban settings will opt for an Ecommerce platform to buy thier furniture.
  • For established busniesses that already have retail stores for selling thier furniture inventory, an Ecommerce website will add loads of value to their brand and allow them to increase thier revenue by being able to sell all over India.

Post consideration of these points, we will now discuss the process of managing an ecommerce furniture sales platform for an established furniture maker or retailer.

  1. Building an ecommerce platform:
    • It is advised to always build your own ecommerce platform especially if you have your own retail store or manufacture your own furniture. This gives you full control of your product in the market. 
    • Building the right Ecommerce website with the right user interface will make all the difference.
    • A good website propels the online presence of the company and also improves it’s ability to convert visits to sales.
  2. Product Photography:
    • Ecommerce without product photos is impossible. This task must be included as a mandate after every product finished.
    • It should be done before it reaches the retail shelf.
    • A product photos repository should be maintained at all times.
  3. Product descriptions:
    • Product descriptions must be recorded in a pre-meditated templated
    • This will reduce time and help record all the features of the product more effectively.
    • Good descriptions help in online sales.
  4. Uploading all products to the website as it comes in for retail.
    • This step should be done on the same day as the product enters the retail store.
    • Getting a product live online fast will improve it’s chances of being sold from the physical store faster as well.
  5. Linking your POS in your retail store with your website inventory. 
    • Unless you are a furniture manufacturer who is confident he can reproduce an item at the same cost for a backorder that comes online after it is already sold, marking an item sold online is paramount.
    • This often takes place when an item is sold offline but not marked as sold on the online protal. 
    • This might give the consumer a negetive perception of the business even though it was just a small mistake.
    • The solution to this is to have a POS system that links your online and offline inventories on one platform.
    • This requirement must be communicated at the time of website development.
  6. Website Marketing:
    • A website must be marketed using social media and SEO.
    • Whatsapp marketing, Email marketing and offers must be used to draw people who need furniture to your portal.
    • This is an ongoing activity that can be easily budgeted for in your current marketing budget.
  7. Shipping of orders:
    • Established businesses will have no troule in finding logistics partners to packa nd ship online orders.
    • This can be achieved through various new app based logistics companies at low costs.

Conclusion: Once you have gone through all the points above and feel that your have the pros to start your own online furniture sales website, no one can stop you. However if you feel you need the help of a professional to manage the entier ecommerce operation, you can  always reach out to us.

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