These days, e-commerce is the way to go as more people prefer to shop from the comfort of their homes and have their goods delivered to their doorsteps. The furniture and home furnishings niche are one of the most lucrative e-commerce niches today. It is already a billion-dollar industry, and there are signs of continued exponential growth in coming months and years.
Getting into e-commerce has never been easier than it is today. Technologies such as SaaS e-commerce solutions have made setting up an online presence very easy. Initiatives such as crowdfunding have made entrepreneurship possible for more people. If you want to get into the e-commerce world and sell furniture online, now is the time.
Exploiting the online furniture business opportunities
For beginners, this may be an intimidating proposition. Like any other business, proper planning and execution are required if you are to succeed in e-commerce. Beginners, therefore, need a blueprint of how to go about setting up an online furniture business.
1. Decide on the furniture you want to sell
There are numerous of furniture items that you can sell classified according to use, material, type and other criteria. You also have the choice between new and used furniture. While it is tempting to sell any piece of furniture that you come across, this is not considered as good business practice. You will achieve more success if you concentrate your efforts on one class of furniture. You could choose to deal with antiques, wooden furniture, office furniture, decorative furniture, to mention but a few. This way, you will become the go-to expert for a specific class of furniture. For example, if you choose to deal with household furniture, you could be the one stop shop for beds, chairs, tables, couches, and others for new homeowners or those looking to upgrade.
2. Carry out a thorough market research
You have to understand some things about the online furniture business. For example, you have to know who your target market is, the furniture items in demand, peak periods of business, your potential competitors, offers that entice customers, etc. The research will give you an insight into the furniture business. It helps you determine how best you can exploit the existing and potential online furniture business opportunities. Going in blind is a sure way to failure.
3. Sourcing and storing the furniture
The next step is sourcing your choice furniture. For this, you can tap wholesale furniture shops or source directly from manufacturers and carpenters. Approaching furniture brands directly is a good idea since branded furniture is very popular among customers. Large furniture brands are no longer averse to offering furniture through small online shops thanks to the growing popularity of e-commerce.
On the other hand, sourcing your furniture from wholesale furniture shops is hugely cost effective and has the potential of earning you a good margin of profit over sales.
4. Storing and shipping your furniture
Although you will be running a virtual store, you may be forced to lease a warehouse to store your furniture. You have to get a large enough warehouse to store your furniture since furniture pieces are usually large. To lower operation costs, you can use the warehouses of furniture brands and wholesale shops against a nominal cost. You could also have a direct arrangement with your sources to dispatch furniture from their storage to the customers as per the order you receive.
On shipping, you can make arrangements with reliable courier companies to deliver your goods or purchase a delivery vehicle to make your own deliveries.
5. Build website and Sell furniture online
After you are done with the business side of preparations, the technical aspects remain. Build your e-commerce website and use furniture website templates to optimize it for furniture e-commerce.
You can now start marketing and selling your furniture online.
Everything you need to know about selling furniture online
Whether you make furniture, retail or resell it, the internet could be the perfect marketplace for you. You could sell furniture online and capture a market that a local furniture shop could not access in a million years. The larger furniture and home furnishings industry is quickly gaining traction online. As such, getting into e-commerce and focusing on the furniture niche would be a winning bet.
What do you need to sell furniture online?
Selling furniture online is no different from any other e-commerce venture. You need an online presence, furniture items, and traffic of potential buyers. For an online presence, it is best to use a combination of marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy as well as your own e-commerce website. This increases the chances of buyers finding your sale items especially if you are new to e-commerce.
Getting visitors to a new website takes time. It will take some time for Google to rank your site high and for online shoppers to know and trust it. As such you will need more than one sales portal preferably one with an existing high flow of traffic.
Top websites on which to sell furniture online
Steps for setting up a website to sell furniture
If you are planning on setting up a website for the business, consider the following steps:
1. Buy a memorable domain name
The domain name you buy will be the name of your website so you should find a name that is catchy and easy to remember. It is advisable, to begin with buying a domain name before you register your business. You can never be sure if your preferred business name is available when you do a domain search. It would not look well to have a domain name that does not match with your business name.
Find out the qualities of a good domain name before making your purchase. For example, you could opt for a .furniture domain extension if your goal is to sell furniture online.
2. Build a complete e-commerce website that sells furniture
You need to build an e-commerce website not just an ordinary website with listed items and prices. An e-commerce site must have payment gateways to accept different kinds of payments, the ability to calculate shipping costs and an SSL certificate to protect sensitive customer information.
Some e-commerce solutions today offer a complete package with everything from a shopping cart to a credit card processing system. They also have various plugins and templates for e-commerce functionality. You can use them to build a complete e-commerce shop to run your online furniture business.Set featured image
3. Make use of furniture website templates to fill your shop with incredible product photos and descriptions
The next step after building your online store is launching it. Before you launch, however, conduct adequate research about the setup of an online furniture shop. You can study other online furniture businesses to learn how they have set up their shops. A common characteristic of successful online shops is quality product photos and descriptive text. Online shoppers rely on these to make shopping decisions since they do not come into physical contact with the products before purchase. As such, you should make sure that the photos you take of your furniture and the description of its qualities and notable features give a true portrayal of what you are offering.
While choosing an e-commerce solution, you ought to find out if it can accommodate the needs of your online store. An ideal e-commerce solution should have an abundant selection of furniture website templates that you can choose from. It should have clean and striking professionally created themes that are and fully customizable to allow you to make any changes to your online store.