The furniture retail market is a competitive arena, despite performing well in recent years the uncertainty of Brexit could be a bad omen for those selling big-ticket items like furniture. Retailers need to ensure their brand is engaging customers by offering more than just discounts.
Mintel research suggests furniture shoppers are spending increasing amounts of time online, before making a purchase in brick and mortar stores, completing their buyer journey by seeing the physical products in store. It would seem they have a need to consolidate what they have already screened out online. This shows that multichannel retailing is still the best business model in this sector. However, it doesn’t mean an online only retailer can’t succeed. There is plenty scope for online shopping growth and as the technology improves to help shoppers visualise products in their home it’s likely to become less of an issue for consumers.
“To succeed in tomorrow’s furniture market, retailers must create a compelling mix of great retail experiences which seamlessly work together to build a multichannel shopping experience.”
– Jane Westgarth, Senior Market Analyst, Mintel.
It’s no secret that mobile has dramatically impacted how consumers interact with brands – their intent-driven, decision-making micro moments have trained them to expect brands to immediately deliver exactly what they are looking for. If a brand wants to make it on to a shoppers ‘go-to’ furniture list, good brand awareness is essential in keeping furniture brands in the consciousness of buyers.
A shift in advertising
With consumers demanding more from the furniture they buy in terms of build quality and materials, advertising and marketing has shifted from focussing on price and discounts, to expressing personality and reassuring customers about quality.
‘In 2016 personality, trust and emotion remained high on the agenda for furniture advertising.’
– Furniture Retailing, Mintel Report 2016
So why is brand important?
Successful brands connect with their customers and present the correct balance of styling, values and price. With a potential slump on the horizon retailers must continually pay close attention to their branding and value proposition to stay relevant to consumers. They have to craft their image and respond to consumer expectations if they want to attract customers and convince them to buy into their brand.