Whilst independent retailers continue to keep high streets across the country afloat, others have made the switch to online-only platforms. Ecommerce platforms have long been valued for their convenience; shopping from the comfort of your own home is a luxury, it seems, the general public can get on board with. But what does this shift towards online platforms mean for furniture businesses?
Furniture is far more easily sold to customers who can see, touch and feel the materials it is made from. And, unlike an order from ASOS, a sofa is significantly more difficult to return if it doesn’t suit.
In fact, sofas are easily the item that causes the most difficulty to an online retail platform. In very few other items of furniture is the comfort and feel as important as it is with a sofa. For furniture retailers moving into the online market, significant previsions must be made to display these sofas in their closest likeness to reality in order to drive these sales.
You can only capture so much of the texture and look of fabrics on camera. Retailers will benefit from offering potential clients the opportunity to be sent a range of samples, preferably free of charge. Not only does this appear to the client as though you have gone above and beyond to help them, but approving the fabric in person can ultimately be what drives a general enquiry into a sale.
Whilst the upholstery is important, customers will be as interested in the filling and its pliancy as they will the fabric. It’s not reasonable to send full-sized seat cushion samples to every customer with an enquiry, but it’s worth keeping a few smaller examples of what goes inside your sofas on hand to share with positive leads.
Use Room Sets
Interior designers and property developers know that the key to making a sale is to dress up your product. Customers can better understand the products potential for their own home by viewing the ways professional designers have chosen to style it. Using accessories to dress a sofa can also achieve a more homely look. Dressing a sofa with cushions and throws has the overall effect of making the piece appear inviting.
When it comes to buying a sofa, the customer can never be overinformed. A piece of furniture this large, which stands as the focal point of the room, is a real commitment for buyers. Fair warning, clients will ask just about every question there is to ask and retailers should be prepared to answer them.
Providing your clients with as much information as possible about the item reduces the risk of having it returned to you. Dimensions, and not just width and depth, should be readily available to the customer on the platform. Seat height, chaise length and height without legs (and whether or not they are removable) are all details it's likely your customer is going to need to know.
Specify the internal makeup, fabric rub tests and leg finish. You can never provide too much information when it comes to sofas.