Furniture Retailing - UK - August 2010
- Just under half of adults (25 million) look for lasting quality when deciding where to buy furniture. Retailers need to prove their quality credentials through inviting customer reviews and demonstrating how items can stand up to heavy usage, including the kids.
- Service is also important and four in ten adults (20 million) are influenced by the presence of knowledgeable and helpful staff when choosing between stores. The role of staff needs to be one of consultant rather than sales person, identifying customer needs and coming up with a shortlist of best options.
- Visiting showrooms is a key part of the multichannel buying process for furniture. Four out of ten adults (20 million) visit a number of furniture stores before buying, so there is an opportunity for retailers to make visiting a showroom more of an experience in itself through making them look and feel more like a home.
- More than a third of adults (18 million) browse websites before buying in a store, while a fifth (10 million) browse and purchase online. There is scope to grow the number of purchasers for certain types of product, but furniture needs to be brought more alive through the use of pictures and videos that present it in the context of the home rather than on a blank page.
- To shorten replacement cycles for furniture, retailers need to target the needs of different lifestages with particular product ranges or put a heavier emphasis on particular features for certain groups such as young adults still living at home, new families or empty nesters.
- Lessons could be taken from the fashion market in terms of helping customers ‘create a look for less’. Redecoration of a room (33%) and wanting a new look/style (30%) are important reasons for buying furniture, so furniture retailers should focus on helping customers create a complete home interiors look, including furniture, on a limited budget.
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