Thursday, July 7, 2016

Furniture retailing online challenges

The new wave for furniture retailing is bricks and clicks. The question is it working? Are they getting more sales? The answer is an emphatic no. The reason is many of the websites are shying away from pricing online. Shopping carts on their websites is slow moving primarily for this reason.
Visitors to websites are quick to abandon the site if no pricing is shown. An infographic perhaps best explains this statistic

An overwhelming proportion (more than 80%) of visitors will leave.

A discussion on cause and effect of eating furniture is well worth the effort.

People buy furniture only when it is absolutely necessary. Very rarely it is an impulse buy. The factors that influence furniture buying include
·         Space planning
·         Color coordination
·         Accessorizing
·         Customizing

These factors are complicated. Only an actual brick and mortar store can provide the touch and feel experience. Importantly most retailers have built up an element of trust over a period of time. Their in house designers or decorator is on hand to give advice and when it comes to financing can be very creative for people who may have issues with credit. All said and done the local players are still coming to grips with ecommerce. Plus their overheads of selling from inventory make them less competitive than say Walmart or Amazon.
However in their defense it can be said that they are fast catching up. With the advent of facebook and other social media advertising local demographics is coming to the rescue of the brick and mortar shops. Communication is the key which the stores are now realizing. The first step in rectifying their fears is displaying prices on the website. Earlier they were wary of displaying with the logic that they were informing their competitors about prices. After a research survey (as the infographic) showed and also Furniture now reviews as also other reviews indicated price display is the only factor for a visitor to stay on the web page. Jakob Nielsen a top digital marketing guru sums up the attitude of the shopper. He or she does not read. They scan. That is why the price display should be prominent on the webpage.

This fear is being addressed as more and more furniture retailers are coming onto the ecommerce bandwagon.

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