Furniture retailing is a constantly changing field. To remain competitive in it, you need to keep pace with increasing customer demands.
The following 5 trends reflect the expectations of furniture retailers in 2020 related to convenience, responsiveness, technology and development of furniture retail.
Since Internet users have successfully mastered extensions for browsers like Adblock, banner and pay-per-click ads can no longer cover the same number of people as before. Advertising through "opinion leaders" (people with a large active audience on social networks and blogs) is becoming more and more in demand.
A significant number of clients make purchase decisions based on the tastes of their favorite bloggers and influencers on social networks. AdWeek's research has shown that popular social media individuals can manage their audience's brand perception even more effectively than advertising on television.
The easiest form of impact marketing is to offer a free product to a popular blogger in exchange for public advertising on his or her behalf. One example is a handy office chair for a YouTube star who then uses it while recording her videos and mentions your store or brand in one (or more) of her YouTube spots.
If you sell expensive furniture, a review on behalf of an influential interior design expert can help give your brand extra credibility. Influencer marketing should become an important part of your marketing arsenal in 2020, as it is becoming increasingly difficult to reach out to demographic groups such as homeblenders and millennials with traditional means.
Furniture retailers face a high demand for multifunctional and high-tech furniture: mattresses with sleep-tracking function, electrically operated chairs, work tables with built-in charging stations, etc. Today's consumers expect every aspect of their lives to be enriched with technology. This opens up important additional opportunities for furniture retailers — the customer is willing to pay a premium price for the "smart" stuffing.
In addition, the cost of storage and transportation of hi-tech furniture is the same for cheaper or non-technology furniture. Consumers may wish to upgrade or replace their hi-tech furniture to keep up with the latest innovations. This opens up new opportunities for re-sales.
Generations Z and Y are too accustomed to buy goods online and receive them quickly — within 48 hours. For them, the process of buying furniture to order with weeks of waiting for its assembly seems to be a relic of the past.
Consumers are increasingly choosing cash payment options with delivery on the day of order. This pleases retailers who offer a small selection of models and colours that are available instantly or with much shorter lead times. Speed and convenience predetermine the choice of furniture buyers in 2020.
People who buy goods online expect that all their questions will be answered immediately, and now this expectation applies to the sellers in the store. The days when customers were ready to wait for the sales staff to go "behind the screen" to check availability or confirm the agreed price with the manager are long gone.
Now the audience expects the staff to be more knowledgeable and quicker than Google — otherwise, why travel to the store and not the online store? Sellers will not be able to live up to this expectation if their performance is not ensured technologically.
Leading retailers have equipped their sales staff with tablets and mobile devices running special applications. This allows employees to instantly communicate with colleagues in and out of the store, quickly browse catalogues and price lists, and confirm product availability and pricing with a few buttons.
Buyers want to know one thing first when buying furniture: how will it look in their living/working space? For a long time, customers had to rely only on their imagination, but technology has changed everything.
Furniture brands are beginning to offer their audiences the experience of online furniture selection so that customers can think of and appreciate different materials, shapes, textures, colours and accessories as well as different configurations of modular furniture. Buyers can do this on their own online or with the help of a sales representative in the store. The best of these tools provide a dynamically updated quota for each set of parameters.
Augmented Reality tools allow customers to view realistic 3D models of your products displayed in their own interior with a camera on their mobile phone or tablet. Both 3D configurators and Augmented Reality applications are becoming increasingly common in furniture retail because of their effectiveness as a sales tool.
As can be seen from these five trends in furniture retailing, the use of technology, whether through applications or by improving logistics, is more important than ever before. Those players in the furniture retail industry who can make the best use of modern technology will continue to survive and thrive in 2020.
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