The numbers are in and it turns out there’s never been a better time to be in the furniture business. Already a $19.2 billion industry – with predictions that it will reach $42 billion this year – online sales for home furnishings account for one of the fastest-growing segments of e-commerce today.
With consumers feeling increasingly confident to purchase large items online, boutique and independent sellers stand to earn a big chunk of that $42 billion pie, but not before they have a strategic plan to take on big-box retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Wayfair.
Our 2019 Dream Decor Report uncovered that while today’s consumers are on the hunt for unique, one-of-a-kind items, they’re still turning to big online stores out of convenience and heightened expectations for fast, affordable shipping.
So what’s a small furniture business to do?
Here, we take a look at three major factors that might have your customers opting to purchase from e-commerce giants and what you can do to fix it.
1. High Shipping Costs
Of the customers we surveyed, 56% said they would avoid a boutique furniture retailer if they encountered high shipping costs at checkout, with 40% saying they’d turn to a major retailer if they couldn’t get free shipping.
With consumers putting a premium on low-cost delivery options, it’s important for small-scale shops to adopt integrated shipping solutions that bring convenience directly to potential buyers. Establishing a delivery price strategy is the first step for sellers looking to attract more customers, and could make all the difference in someone feeling confident to purchase from you versus the other guys.
Need help finding the right shipping price strategy for your business? Take this quiz to find out.
2. Delivery Windows
Not only has the ‘Amazon Effect’ heightened customer expectations when it comes to the cost of shipping, but also delivery times. Of those surveyed, 36% said they would avoid a boutique retailer if they had a slow or long delivery window – a tough issue to solve for without access to multiple shipping providers.
By integrating with uShip, your business will automatically gain access to competitive quotes from our nationwide network of carriers who are waiting to take your items from pickup to destination and into your customer’s room of choice. Not only does this first-to-final mile solution result in reduced damages, but uShip partners reported seeing a reduction in transit times.
3. Budget Buster
Finally, 26% said they feel it’s simply too expensive or difficult to replace their current furniture. Though this is a tough paint point to solve, retailers who focus on shipping innovations, such as instant rates at checkout, tracking, and first-to final mile delivery can take advantage of those customers who are willing to pay extra for top quality products.
uShip In-Home Delivery aims to help all furniture sellers better compete with the Amazons of the world, even brick-and-mortar shops that aren’t currently selling their products through a dedicated e-commerce platform. Our fully-managed network of furniture shipping solutions gives you powerful pricing tools, fully managed logistics services, integrated checkout options for those with an online market, and, of course, access to thousands of reputable transporters across the country.
Learn more about uShip In-Home Delivery and see how partnering with us can help you compete in today’s booming furniture market.