Brainstorming Success for Furniture Dealers

Twelve action items to stimulate sales

By Janet Weyandt, YSN

What can independent furniture dealers do to improve their odds of success?

The economy is a challenge, the housing market is as recalcitrant as ever and people’s tastes and whims are impossible to predict or pin down.

It might seem hopeless, but strategic thinking and creativity can help independent furniture dealers (as well as appliance merchants) maintain and increase their market share. Home News Now compiled a comprehensive list of action items to give dealers some food for thought:

  1. Diversify Product Offerings: Expand product lines to appeal to a broader range of customers.
  2. Focus on Value: Lots of studies suggest the shopper is trading down, so furniture dealers should emphasize the value proposition of their products. Highlight quality, durability and unique features to justify prices and differentiate from competitors.
  3. Customer Engagement: Now, more than ever, we need to boost the shopping experience. Enhance customer experience through personalized service, online chat support and responsive customer service channels. Engage with customers through social media platforms to build relationships and loyalty.
  4. Promotions and Discounts: Offer innovative and attractive promotions, discounts and bundle deals to incentivize purchases. Furniture dealers ought to consider running clearance sales or seasonal promotions to move inventory and generate cash flow.
  5. Optimize Your Online Presence: Invest in e-commerce capabilities and optimize your website for seamless browsing and purchasing experiences. Leverage digital marketing channels such as social media advertising, email campaigns and search engine optimization (SEO) to drive traffic to your online store.
  6. Flexible Payment Options: Provide flexible payment options such as installment plans, layaway programs or financing to make purchases more affordable for customers during economic downturns.
  7. Streamline Operations: Furniture dealers should evaluate and streamline operational processes to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Look for opportunities to optimize inventory management, logistics and supply chain operations.
  8. Customer Feedback and Adaptation: Solicit feedback from customers to understand their preferences and needs. Use this information to adapt product offerings, pricing strategies and marketing tactics accordingly.
  9. Local Partnerships and Community Engagement: Furniture dealers can reap a lot of benefits out of partnering with local businesses, including interior designers and real estate agents. Engage with the local community through sponsorships, events or charitable initiatives to enhance brand visibility and goodwill, to expand your reach and to tap into new customer segments.
  10. Invest in the Store Experience: Enhance the in-store shopping experience through store layout improvements, interactive displays and sensory elements. Create inviting and inspiring environments that encourage browsing and increase the likelihood of purchase.
  11. Monitor Trends and Adapt: Stay informed about industry trends, consumer preferences and market dynamics. Continuously monitor competitors and adapt your strategies accordingly to stay ahead of the curve.
  12. Focus on After-Sales Service: Furniture (and appliance) dealers should make it a priority to provide excellent after-sales service, including prompt delivery, assembly assistance and hassle-free returns. Building a reputation for reliability and customer satisfaction can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

In addition, Furniture Technology Source (FTS) has a full suite of furniture-specific tools and platforms designed to enhance the profitability of independent furniture and mattress dealers.

Despite the growing influence of online shopping and the headwinds of economic turbulence, home furnishings dealers can wring profit out of the chaos by taking advantage of the ideas and programs devised to meet their unique needs.

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