In theory, furniture stores should always do well because people have homes and will always need furniture. Unfortunately this is not always the case. So what makes one furniture or homeware business successful, and another one flounder in this highly competitive market? We have rounded up some useful tips to help propel your homeware or furniture store forward.
Watch your costs
An easy way to improve your furniture or homeware store’s bottom line is to look across your business and see if there are any realistic places you can cut costs. Covid forced a lot of businesses to do this and in the long term this is very good practice which should be revisited regularly. If you look carefully, there are a lot of places you can shave costs to improve your bottom line. Delivery for example, is a great place to save on operating costs. So carefully track this, and ensure you are charging correctly for delivery. Another way to save is to find the best payment processor for your business. This often includes equipment and repairs, which will save your store money in the long term.
Advertise to your market
Before you advertise to your market, you have to know who your market actually is and how to speak to that customer. The way to do this is to talk specifically to their needs. Once you understand the playing field, promote your strengths in an authentic way. Also think about how you can offer your customer added value for example by offering free delivery for purchases over a certain amount or by offering a design service.
Low prices do not always equal lots of customers. Competitive pricing is really about giving a value-add that will bring customers to your door. It really comes down to your value proposition and how much you’re asking people to pay for that. Pricing also comes down to the earlier point of really understanding your customer. Your pricing needs to appeal to your target market, their location and demographic. You can also up the competition by offering an add-on service like customization. This is sometimes risky and should be executed carefully and based on research to justify the time and effort behind the initiative.
Train your sales team
Your sales team are the interface between your customers and your products. They have to have a really strong knowledge about the product lines and a clear understanding of different price points. They then need to be able to use this information and engage with the customer in a dialogue around their specific needs and wants. Meaning that they need to be skilled listeners. At the end of the day, customers are simply people who love having their needs heard and met and your sales team can facilitate this experience. When the customer experiences this feeling they will become loyal and generate positive word-of-mouth about their experience.
Show and tell
Customers often don’t realise what they want until they see it. By creating alluring displays and interactive spaces in store of your products in situ, you will be helping your customer visualize your products in their homes. This will then close the gap between “imagining” and “having”, which means more sales for your store.
Excellent customer service
Your furniture store cannot afford to give customers bad experiences. Rather they should strive to build good relationships with customers and create an environment of trust and loyalty. This ethos needs to extend from floor to warehouse staff. It can come down to simple things like clear and polite communication and setting realistic expectations for your customer. This applies to the business owner too – treating your workforce well fosters courteous and respectful conditions that will be passed onto the customer.
Provide really satisfying delivery
Delivery services are integral to furniture and homeware stores. Remember that this is not just a means to an end, but rather it is the final touch point with your customer. Remember that you want your customer to have a beautiful experience with your brand from beginning to end. This comes down to delivery staff who can put a satisfying ‘full stop’ at the end of the purchase. Great delivery staff are polite and presentable, and can clearly communicate around delivery and set up. Your delivery staff must understand the intricacies of handling and assembling furniture, and the entire process must smooth and helpful.
The bottom line
These are just a few ways that your furniture or homeware store can get ahead in such a competitive climate. While many of these changes require working capital to get things going, Merchant Capital small business funding can help you grow your home furniture store and take it to new heights. Contact us today and get a cash advance.