6 Innovative Ideas for Your Furniture Business’ Online Shop

Updated 2 months ago
Lindsay Vine
August 12, 2021
6 min read

More businesses are realizing that if you’re not online, you almost no longer exist. The rapid adoption of ecommerce among all consumer demographics now makes it essential to offer your goods and services across multiple digital channels along with your brick-and-mortar operations. Even if you already have an online presence, the best way to stand out from your competitors is to keep up with the latest innovative ideas for your furniture business. 

The majority of consumers who now regularly buy furniture online expect your ecommerce shop to have all the bells and whistles that giant retailers like Ikea have to offer. It’s not enough just to list your products, you’ll need to inspire your customers by giving them the ability to assemble, match, and configure products according to their unique taste and style.

In this blog, we’ll cover everything from the best way to present your furniture items to how you can provide an engaging, personalized experience to your online shoppers. 

Top 6 Innovative Ideas for a Furniture Business Selling Online

Right now, the homeware and furniture industry makes up a large portion of ecommerce sales. Of the $150.5 billion in sales as of 2021, more than 12% were bought online. Even skeptics now trust online retailers with their furniture, decorative accessories, appliances, cookware, and gardening equipment. 

Whether it’s to set up home offices, hang new art, upgrade lounges, or decorate a reclaimed attic or basement, the furniture industry continues to grow. If you’re a retailer that needs help with your ecommerce furniture business strategy, here are the top six innovative ideas for 2021.

1. Allow Customers to Co-Design Furniture with Product Customization

When it comes to people’s homes, everyone can be an interior decorator. The way people decorate and layout their homes is often an extension of their personalities. Considering most people will spend about 93% of their time indoors (and even more so during the pandemic), giving your customers the ability to co-design products is one of the best ways to attract more shoppers to your online furniture shop. 

Customers may want to customize the color, finishing, material, or pattern on an item to match their unique style and personality. Including these options in your online store immediately elevates you above most online furniture shops. In ConfigureID’s 2020 consumer insights report, there was a notable increase in demand for product customization of 233%, and it will only keep growing from here. 

By adding a product configurator to your furniture ecommerce site, you can boost sales, increase brand loyalty, and meet your customers’ evolving expectations. 

2. Don’t Skimp on Quality Imagery for All Your Products

Online shoppers want high-quality images for any item they’re buying online. You cannot underestimate the value of providing exceptional product photography on your ecommerce site. Soon, visual search capabilities will influence most people’s buying decisions (according to research from ViSenze). 

When you market your furniture on different social media platforms, the way you present and highlight certain elements can have an immediate impact on a shopper. You should also make sure the images you use match the product to a T. Weebly found that 22% of online product returns are due to the item not matching the image used on a site, leading to disappointed and disenfranchised customers. 

To get the best images for your furniture business, you should: 

  • Make sure you focus on the product using minimalism and simplicity while capturing the form
  • Use unique images as much as possible (compared to catalog or sourced images)
  • Provide as many images as possible from many different angles (the more the better)

If you have some experience in photographing your products for brochures or other marketing materials, be sure to upload the highest resolution available. For ecommerce furniture stores that are just starting, it’s best to trust a professional photographing service with this task. 

3. Deploy 3D Product Visualization for an Enhanced Experience

One of the best ways to elevate your furniture business online is to provide photorealistic 3D models of your products. With interactive 3D visualization, customers can rotate items up to 360°, view them from all angles, and zoom in and out on specific elements.  

Technologies like WebGL allow you to offer this elevated user experience on any device right in the browser with no need for any special apps. 

3D product visualization is a great way to make your online furniture store stand out above your competitors and drive conversion rates. When combined with product customization features, it’s the best way to demonstrate all the elements a customer would need to know before purchasing with confidence. This is especially true for high-ticket furniture items.

Consider the following:

  • Up to 90% of consumers want to see products in a 360° view online when making a purchase
  • By now, 60% of online shoppers want 3D product visualization included on ecommerce sites
  • When you give customers 3D, they are willing to pay as much as 20% more for the item

Using 3D product visualization on your online furniture store will also boost your average order value and provide a more engaging experience for your visitors.

4. Deliver an Omnichannel Ecommerce Experience (Including Mobile Shopping)

You can only grow your online furniture sales if you are everywhere your customers go. To increase visitors, conversions, and order values, you’ll need to deliver an omnichannel experience that includes building mobile-friendly product pages, advertising on social media platforms, and adding valuable content like blogs, infographics, or videos to your website. 

Getting in front of a larger market for a furniture business is tough. In today’s competitive ecommerce environment, you’re competing with some of the biggest retailers in the world including Amazon, Wayfair, and Ikea. Wherever these enterprises are reaching out to customers, you’ll need to match or exceed their efforts. While this allows you to compete on different platforms, devices, and service channels, it has the added benefit of your doors always being open to any new customers. 

5. Continue Providing Personalized Service to Every Customer

The main attraction for customers when shopping for new furniture in a brick-and-mortar store is the personalized service they receive. They are free to ask questions from knowledgeable professionals, build a relationship with the sales staff, or compare different items in real-time. 

When you start selling your furniture online, this personalized touch may fall through the cracks. If customers don’t feel valued, cannot find specific information, or need to wait for an answer, you risk losing the sale. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you’ll need to craft a digital strategy for your furniture business that focuses on providing as much of a personalized experience as possible. 

Providing personalized services to customers online may include:

  • Using analytics to segment customers based on key data (location, geography, age, or any other information you can source)
  • Developing personalized buyer journeys based on these segments
  • Allowing each customer to personalize their furniture item online to meet their exact needs using a product configurator (like ConfigureID)
  • Recommending certain products using their purchase history or bundling items that are commonly bought together

6. Merge the Online and the Real World Using Augmented Reality

Finally, you can use augmented reality (AR). This is an emerging technology to take your online visual content to the next level. Customers can integrate virtual pieces of furniture or any other product into their very own living spaces, offices, or outdoor areas to see how they will look and fit in with their surroundings. 

One of the biggest issues with buying furniture online is that age-old question: “But will it fit?” With AR, a customer can take the virtual 3D model of the product and see how it will fit into a specific space (or if that rug would really tie the room together as they thought).

The AR technology you choose must be mobile-friendly since it’s much easier to use on a mobile phone or tablet than on a PC. 

You can also combine AR services for your online furniture business with product customization capabilities using a platform like ConfigureID. This way, your shoppers not only get to co-create their furniture, but they also get to see exactly how it will fit and what it will look like before they make the purchase.  

With AR, you can:

  • Boost your conversion rates on mobile devices by as much as 11%
  • Increase your customer engagement by about 66% by allowing customers to play with different furniture items around their homes
  • Create personalized, engaging experiences using virtual product placement and fitment for customizable and personalized items

Implement Your Latest Furniture Business Ideas with ConfigureID

ConfigureID is an award-winning product customization platform that allows you to implement a successful and innovative furniture business strategy online. It allows you to offer online furniture customization with photorealistic 2D or 3D visualization, and augmented reality experiences all with one cloud-based platform.

With more and more consumers switching to ecommerce for their homeware and furniture shopping needs, you’ll need to adopt these six innovative ideas if you want to remain competitive. ConfigureID empowers you to build immersive furniture customization experiences that boost average order values, increase engagement, and foster loyalty.

To start implementing these innovative ideas in your furniture business, schedule your free demo of ConfigureID now. 

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