It is now well understood that furniture retailers are amidst a period of unprecedented change. Customer expectations for products and shopping experiences are higher than ever. Reaching customers is more complex than ever, with digital marketing outpacing traditional media. Competition is fiercer than ever, with traditional players building scale and the Wayfairs and Amazons of the world gaining share.
Tiger Furniture Solutions recently released their 2019 Furniture Industry Primer, “When Standing Still is Not an Option,” which addresses this disruption in the home furnishings sector, noting that traditional furniture retailers face decreasing brand loyalty from younger generations of furniture shoppers. At the same time, the Baby Boomer generation, an important demographic for traditional furniture retailers, are downsizing their homes and purchasing smaller-scale pieces, potentially indicating retailers should rethink their merchandising strategy. All while private equity firms are funding large discount chains that are quickly closing ranks on furniture retailers.
While painting a bleak picture for independent furniture retailers, the report also helps illuminate a path forward, noting that, “With deep industry knowledge, strong supplier relationships and enduring connections to local customers, independent furniture retailers enjoyed remarkable success and stability for decades.”
Fundamentally, we believe these core assets continue to be the foundation of success today. It’s how they are brought to customers that needs to change.
It’s perhaps most analogous to what happens to a strong performing store on a rural route when a superhighway is built nearby. The store’s offering may be as good as ever, but if everyone is now speeding by 10 miles to the south, you need to move the store. Or at least advertise on that new highway.
As tempting as it is to dust off the dated internet moniker “information superway” and belabor this metaphor further, we’ll resist – you can see where this is heading. Porting online what has always made your business successful is a great first step in getting in front of more customers with an offering – easy, modern shopping – that appeals to all demographics.
How do you do that?
Blueport’s omnichannel platform is purpose built to tackle furniture’s unique challenges and offers a full suite of features focused on bringing a retailer’s native advantages online.
- Our leading furniture-features are out of the box, enabling retailers to focus on differentiation, rather than reinventing the wheel.
- We offer tools to easily optimize a retailer’s site, plus best practices, benchmarks and expertise to surface opportunities and help capture them.
- We speak the language of furniture retailers – we’ve got the specific nuances of the furniture industry down pat, with a deep understanding of complex promotions, store operations and so much more.
Released last fall, the Blue(re)port: 2018 Omnichannel Furniture Benchmarking report laid out the path forward for those furniture retailers looking to keep pace and eventually pull ahead of their competitors. Take Lovesac for example, who launched on Blueport in early 2018 and reported Q2 sales up by 60% their first quarter on the platform.
Retailers use the Blueport platform to get ahead – and stay there – while honing in on what they do well: growing legacy systems, investing in salespeople, and enhancing the store experience. By partnering with Blueport to manage their ecommerce operations so they can focus on expanding their store legacy, traditional furniture retailers are positioned to succeed in the shifting furniture retail landscape.
As a furniture retailer, the time to act is now. Standing still, as described by Tiger Furniture Solutions, is not an option.
If you’re a furniture retailer looking to make that quantum leap, Blueport can help. Make sure to download the Blue(re)port: 2018 Omnichannel Furniture Benchmarking and contact us today to learn more.