Selling furniture on popular online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart is fine. But upgrading your own eCommerce website with modern technologies like 3D product configurators & Augmented Reality (AR) offers technical superiority in manufacturing, marketing & sales over competitors to scale up the furniture business.
72% of furniture eCommerce sites already have 3D, or 2D digital draping or planning to implement it in 2022, says the State of Furniture ECommerce Experience 2022. It is only a matter of time before Digital Draping, 3D Product Configurators, and AR is universally adopted.
Among various eCommerce storefronts that could be included in your website and dozens of website design inspirations, furniture eCommerce websites must move beyond just 2D product images. Improving technical capabilities must be subsequently followed by a well-thought marketing & sales campaign.
4 Steps to Build Furniture Brand Online
Here is where we propose a four-step furniture brand building strategy nudging your customers to arrive at a purchase decision more confidently.
This blog caters well to D2C furniture marketers and those furniture retailers who also have a formidable offline presence.
1. Invest in the Right Tech Stack
Say, hello to 3D Product Configurators! It is built over configure-price-quote (CPQ) software for real-time size updates and dynamic pricing.
A. 3D Product Configuration for Pre-Fabricated Furniture
Furniture Retailers or Brands can benefit from different product configurator software integrated into their eCommerce websites. Both .gif images here showcase a glimpse of two different types of 3D product configurators in action.
First .gif is the 3D couch configurator where it allows customers to add/remove seating capacity, and choose fabric and color. Second .gif is the 3D table configurator that allows customers to choose the shape, tabletop size, tabletop color, base size, and base material. However, in both cases, only standard sizes are offered for product customization.
B. Exclusive to D2C Furniture Brands:
Custom-Make the Entire Product Structure with 3D Configurators
Give your customers a free hand in DIY furniture design. With a 3D furniture configurator of your own, your customers could easily build their custom furniture from chairs and couches to tables and entire furniture sets.
In fact, your average cart value may increase as the propensity to buy is higher when customers can purchase multiple compatible pieces with a single order.
How valid is this argument?
Consider hypothetical LEGO blocks in form of furniture pieces available in variable sizes. As customers unleash their creativity and build custom-sized furniture, the cart value is bound to be more than the arrived cost of regular, standard-sized furniture.
To precisely deliver the custom dimensions as requested by the customer, the rendered designs by the 3D product configurator will have to be fed seamlessly into your automated manufacturing process.
Get inspired by KILO – a Dutch furniture manufacturer that feeds custom design specifications directly into its CNC machine for precision manufacturing.
“Let customers Configure & Visualize while you Manufacture with high precision – endless possibilities with a 3D Product Configurator!”
C. Step Up the Game with Augmented Reality (AR)
You simply search for what you see! By integrating AR tech into your 3D configurator, you can let your customers visualize the actual furniture in their living space even before having to place an order.
Look how IKEA had already adopted it. You can also have a similar mobile application for your brand. Web development companies like ColorWhistle can make it happen for you!
Further, ERP systems & CMSs can be fed with data from 3D product configurators to offer valuable insights into customer trends and best-selling products.
Don’t be disappointed if you’re a furniture retailer with a formidable offline presence. You must still consider investing in 3D configurators and enhancing walk-in customers’ experience. Keep reading to understand it better
2. Create a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy
Every industry is rapidly increasing its marketing budgets and the focus remains exclusively on digital strategies like search engine optimization, rich content, pay-per-click ads, social media marketing, video marketing, etc.
Even offline furniture retailers are investing heavily in local SEO, and PPC services to improve their store visibility online and increase walk-ins.
However, 7% of U.S. adults do not use the internet. The statistics may not affect your business but you don’t want to isolate these older generations of customers who may have the potential to buy furniture. Moreso, at any given time, even certain sections of the younger generation maintain digital vacation from time to time.
Ideally, digital marketing is where you should reserve the highest budget with a little budget for traditional offline marketing like billboards, or print publications.
3. Keep Your Customers Coming Back
You should know that the cost of acquiring new customers far exceeds keeping current customers. However, it doesn’t mean that you keep sending dozens of emails/text messages on regular basis to get feedback responses or share discount sales with that existing customer.
Furniture is not a $1 dollar that everybody buys on a regular basis. Neither are the discount offers so true to believe. Even the customers are now aware of the age-old trick of hiked-up marked prices and unreal discounts to arrive at jaw-dropping selling prices, thereby, making it a “supposedly” steal-breaker deal.
We suggest you invest in rich content marketing. Instead of sending promotional content and too-good-to-be-true deals, engage your customers in curated lifestyle blogs to get inspired and buy specific furniture from your catalog!
4. Train Your Sales Team for the Tech Challenge
3D configurators can be used by your sales personnel at your offline store for demonstration. It can immensely boost customer confidence as it beat usual catalogs and serve as an interactive aid.
For D2C brands and online retailers, the realistic representation of how furniture would appear will assure minimal risk of returns, thereby saving operational costs. Further, offline retailers can expand into smaller spaces and save on more inventories for display.
Where to Begin?
All you need is to hire a Technical Consultant, Product & Marketing Strategist, UX Engineer, UI & Web Developers to overcome the tech challenge. It’s also important that you engage a seasoned agency to utilize the best assets of both the digital and traditional marketing worlds.
Professional & creative teams at ColorWhistle can help you create power-packed furniture website solutions from scratch, i.e website design, popular website frontend solutions to 3D configuration. Digital marketing remains to be one of our core services. Please note that we are yet to test our capabilities in the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality arena.
Web or mobile, a Custom 3D furniture configurator can be optimized for each end device.
You may also contact us to demand any custom requirements. We would be delighted to hear from you.