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Why are furniture brands opting for an omnichannel retailing approach?

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Consumers are rapidly warming up to the idea of buying furniture online, but the need for physical stores has not gone away as it is where customers visit to observe, touch, and feel the product. The world’s luxury furniture market is likely to grow by 4.5% CAGR from 2022 to 2032 and is highly fragmented due to the presence of distinct players. Retailers in the furniture business need more than just leads, sales, inquiries, and customer showroom visits. They want to grow their business quickly above the traditional channels, and also need to cut back on the number of employees and keep track of their inventory & order management. 

One of the major reasons why furniture businesses are opting for an omnichannel approach is because it allows them to operate more efficiently by managing inventory, delivery, and customer service across channels. Further, it can ease the process for customers to navigate to the furniture store, choose the design, material & style to suit their lifestyle requirements. Therefore, an omnichannel strategy for furniture businesses will mark a clear difference between brands that offer a unified experience and those that do not.

Why is there a need for omnichannel retailing in the furniture industry?

The customer shopping journey has made a drastic change after the pandemic. Here are some major reasons why there is a need for omnichannel retailing in the furniture industry:

Loss of faith: People prefer to buy things online because it is convenient and sometimes cheaper. However, there are also some disadvantages of online shopping that people usually don't think about. First of all, when people buy furniture online, they lose the opportunity to communicate with the salesmen, touch, feel & evaluate these products in a physical furniture store. This can lead to dissatisfaction with the purchase because the buyer is not sure if they are getting a good quality product.

Intangibility: In a brick-and-mortar world, shoppers can touch, feel, and try on furniture products before buying them. This is not possible with online shopping, where customers have to rely on furniture photos and product descriptions to make their purchase decisions. Another disadvantage of intangible furniture products is that buyers may never know what they are getting until they receive the product. There is no opportunity for customers to inspect or judge the quality of an intangible product.

Lack of credibility: There are several reasons for the lack of brand credibility in online furniture shopping. Customers often find it difficult to differentiate between reliable and untrustworthy sources when shopping online. Additionally, fraudulent activities such as counterfeiting are common on the internet, which can further erode customer trust in eCommerce brands. 

How can omnichannel retailing bring positive changes in the furniture industry?

1. Seamless shopping experience

A seamless shopping experience in the furniture industry means a lot for its customers who were shopping the traditional way: Visiting-Touching-Feeling-Transacting (complete physical experience). An omnichannel powered furniture business enables customers to do furniture shopping from any channel like an online store, physical store, social media - anytime, anywhere from a remote location, even at odd hours. 

This way the furniture brands can connect the customers on different channels and ensure a frictionless shopping experience on different touchpoints whether their choice is to buy furniture from a website, app, or from a store.

2. Improve customer experience

Are you aware that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a greater experience?

Every customer dreams about transforming their house into the comfiest spot-on Earth. They have visited multiple brands and are constantly inspired by them. Finally, they purchase and bring home a great piece of furniture. When they place it in their room, they discover that it does not fit the interior. 

Omnichannel retailing can avoid poor shopping experiences like this and improve customer experience using:

Augmented Reality (AR) technology

Customers can create a 3D map of a room using Augmented Reality furniture apps, then decorate it with their favourite design products from a catalog, rotating and converting them as desired. Then you can photograph these 3D models in their actual environments and share them with your friends via social media or other exciting ways. The technology can also create virtual product catalogs and empower customers to check out products online.  

Wayfair offers customers the option of using the Wayfair View app which is a mobile application that enables users to place 3D images of furniture in their own homes. That is a simple and fascinating approach to determine if an object will look well in a particular location.

Read Now: Enhancing Omnichannel Retail Strategy using Augmented Reality (AR)

Another brand PepperFry, an online marketplace for furniture & home decor, is leading the omnichannel revolution in India by launching studios across the country that integrate virtual reality experience to their website. The top furniture brand aims to be available for their customers through as many touch points as possible, offering great variety at a great price point.

Endless Aisle Technology

One of the most significant benefits of an Endless Aisle technology for customers is to give them the supreme ability to get the product they desire and when they require it regardless of whether the store has it in stock. 

Endless Aisle benefits in furniture industry

Need minimal infrastructure: An endless aisle for furniture retailers eliminates the need for many showrooms, each taking up thousands of square feet to showcase furniture. Instead of bigger showrooms, they can build gallery-like businesses that offer compelling shopping experiences to customers.

Limitless furniture as inventory: With a restricted number of furniture pieces in-store, it becomes challenging for sales representatives to show more products to customers. An endless aisle is an ideal tool for displaying and selling more products without worrying about the in-store inventory. The win-win combination of in-store sales experts and the endless aisle technology can take furniture sales to new heights.

Fynd Endless Aisle solutions have helped over 1000 brands transform their brand stores into eCommerce stores with endless inventory and are backed by world-class technology to boost in-store walk-ins and sales without relying on in-store inventory.

Know more about Fynd Store – More than an Endless Aisle Solution here.

Click to read: 4 most impactful ways to impact omnichannel customer experience 

3. Build brand credibility across channels

Omnichannel retailing is an excellent way to build brand credibility. It has been observed that most of the customers prefer to go for a shopping experience which is consistent in all the channels and are comfortable with it. 

Omnichannel retailing strategy assures consistent branding across all channels including digital, print, and in-person interactions. This can boost customer trust in furniture brands that offer this service since they can seamlessly do online shopping as well as offline shopping. The more the visibility of the brand on every channel, the greater are the chances of growing brand credibility.

4. Utilize cross channel data to connect with the customers

Omnichannel retailing helps you collect some interesting cross channel data for consumer behaviour towards the furniture industry, which can change the way you interact & engage with the customers.

Data captured in offline channel: Customer name, mobile number, email id

Data captured in online channels: Most used channels, in-store behaviour, most liked pages/products, favourite products, repeated purchase, purchase frequency, engagement data, behavioral data, identity data, conversion rate, bounce/walk-in rate, cart abandonment rate, preferable payment modes.

Merging & analyzing this rich data from all the channels can help retail businesses in

Predictive analysis: An omnichannel customer data can help predict customer actions even before it takes place. You can also predict the revenue you would be generating from the target customer and the product in the next quarter. This would help manage your stocks, inventory and avoid circumstances when a product goes out of stock.

Personalization: Unified customer data can help retailers provide a personalized experience to every customer by identifying them as a new customer or existing customer category. It can be in the form of personalized shopping recommendations, curated products, discounted offers, upsell, and cross-sells. 

Smooth customer service: Smooth customer service implies promptly responding to the customer's inquiries, unified responses and experience across all channels, and giving them valuable answers or solutions at the earliest. This is only achievable if you collect customer data at the right time and in the right manner.

Conclusion

The furniture market is no longer limited to brick-and-mortar stores and a limited online presence. Consumers want to buy their furniture online and also want to be able to visit a physical store. It’s a difficult balance of being able to satisfy both of these desires, but furniture brands can do it by implementing an omnichannel approach and reaching their customers through all possible channels. That’s why furniture brands are turning to omnichannel retailing strategies to help reach shoppers in a way that’s convenient and efficient.

Fynd has built omnichannel-powered brand websites for world-class luxury furniture brands Pottery Barn and West Elm that provide excellent customer service and exceptional products to customers in India. Our omnichannel strategy helps to understand the 360 degrees perspective of consumer purchases, which results in delivering worthy products at better prices and strengthening the relationship with the customers.If you are a furniture brand and still have not furnished your store with omnichannel, Book a demo today! Join Fynd and be an indistinguishable part of the omnichannel growth story.

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Why are furniture brands opting for an omnichannel retailing approach?
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