What You Need to Know to Operate a Furniture Store
As a consumer, you want to know where your furniture comes from and where the materials used are sourced. You want to support a company that is environmentally friendly and supports important things. Buying furniture from a responsible company will ensure that your furniture is made from high quality materials. Whether you purchase your furniture from a retail store or from an online retailer, you should be able to get the information you need.
Business entity for a furniture store
If you want to operate a furniture store, a business entity will help you meet the legal requirements to run the store legally. Obtaining a CO is essential, as it shows that your business meets local and federal regulations. In addition, you'll need to check on the zoning regulations of the city where you're going to operate, and ensure that you are compliant with any local building codes. Insurance is also necessary.
The location of your furniture store is crucial to its success, as it will help you attract a steady stream of customers. You'll also need to establish an operations plan, which details the steps you'll need to take to reach your objectives. The operations plan for your furniture store should have two sections: the short-term processes you need to undertake to serve your customers, and the long-term processes you'll need to complete in order to grow your business.
The customer segment you target will affect your furniture store's style and atmosphere. For example, a store focused on baby boomers would require different pricing, different product options, and different marketing campaigns. It's a good idea to break your target market down by age group and psychographic profiles. It's easy to find demographic information about your target market on government websites.
Online furniture consultations
Online furniture consultations with furniture store representatives are an excellent way for customers to view and feel the products in-person before they make a purchase. This allows retailers to show off the features of different products and make them more appealing to consumers. Online furniture consultations have also increased sales for some companies.
The concept behind online furniture consultations was first introduced by Jerome's Furniture, which wanted to offer a more engaging shopping experience. Though showrooms still remain open, the company offers virtual appointments to its customers. This innovative concept garnered the company the 2021 Innovation Award by Podium, a company that recognizes the most innovative approaches in the furniture industry.
The company has also implemented a buy-now-pay-later flexible payment option for furniture customers. This method has increased online conversions by 36% and the average order value by 88%. Customers can also benefit from click-to-zoom features and full-screen viewing modes.
Future of the furniture store
In order to compete with e-commerce, furniture companies are looking at omnichannel strategies. Although many customers are used to shopping online, they still prefer the touch and feel of physical stores. By integrating e-commerce and omnichannel strategies, furniture stores can provide an experience that is different from a traditional brick-and-mortar store.
One technology that is already influencing the furniture industry is augmented reality (AR). People have a visual preference and AR allows them to experience a product with no pressure, without leaving the comfort of home. In fact, research shows that engaging with AR increases the likelihood of a purchase. It can even be used to show customers how a product looks like in the store before making the purchase.
Online sales of furniture have dramatically increased since the 2000s, but brick-and-mortar furniture stores still dominate the market. Currently, e-commerce sales only account for 5 to 6 percent of retail sales.