A lot of Decorology readers actually own their own boutiques for furniture and home decor, from etsy online shops to actual brick and mortar stores, so I thought this article might be interesting.
via Apartment Therapy
While there’s an abundance of furniture in the world, there’s always room for new brands, designers, builders and sellers to enter the industry. How can that be? Luckily, online furniture stores rarely target the exact same audiences. There are shops at every end of the spectrum, from accessible home goods brands selling inexpensive furnishings for dormitories and starter apartments, to high-end styles more appropriate in dream homes.
If you want to tap into the furniture market, you’ll need to master using exclusivity to drive sales and brand your online furniture store. Part of doing so is coming up with a unique selling proposition (USP), also known as “a statement that succinctly outlines how your business, product or service is different from that of your competition.” Yes, you want to sell furniture. But why should shoppers buy it from your store? What exclusive edge do you offer your audience?
Consider these examples:
- Handmade furniture from local materials
- Mid-century modern revival furniture designs
- Free domestic shipping on any order over $1,000
- Vintage-inspired designs for creative decorators
- Compact furniture for urban spaces
Each one of these USPs has an angle on an otherwise broad industry. In just a few seconds, your USP lets shoppers know how you stand out from the crowd. It’s something to think about from the moment you start a furniture business because this critical decision will come to shape so much of your brand identity down the line.
via House & Home
Posting your USP on your home page somewhere after your page title but before your CTA is a great start, but you also need to consider how you can infuse your marketing and branding efforts with exclusivity. Vagueness is a lost opportunity for racking up sales and customer loyalty. If you have something only your brand can offer shoppers, make sure it’s garnering eyeballs in social media posts, email lists and blog articles.
In the spirit of offering shoppers something unique to your furniture store, how about a gift? As Huff Post points out, this is a great way to motivate shoppers to convert while clearing out excess inventory. And, since it’s the thought that counts, this move will boost social goodwill between you and the customer, tapping into the psychological concept of reciprocity. You may offer something small (and convenient to ship) like a desk lamp with the purchase of something larger (like the desk or office chair itself). If a customer buys a bookshelf, throw in a free nightlight. Or, simply tantalize customers with a mystery gift over a certain threshold using a banner promising a freebie with a purchase surpassing a certain dollar amount.
Furniture brands can also promote exclusivity through the content they offer users. Taking the time to create videos outlining how to assemble popular products will impress customers even after they place their first orders. You can write helpful how-to guides about styling certain pieces. You can create content outlining the sustainable materials used in your furniture, or the history of modern design. This content should not be overly promotional; rather, you’re providing genuine value to your target audience. This bodes well for the fact only about 20% of your social media content should be about your brand—the rest should be purely useful, enjoyable and/or timely.
When you start your web-based furniture company, you may feel intimidated at first because there are many others within the same market. But using exclusivity to drive sales and brand your online furniture store will set yourself apart from the pack and give customers something they can only get from you.