The sales of loose furniture in e-commerce channels are quite challenging, especially the door-to-door service. These challenges are all related to the nature of the product (large and heavy metal components), which makes it easy to bring some after-sales problems when it is delivered.
E-commerce is changing the way products are developed and shipped.
Some suppliers are redeveloping their recliners. Taking the Abbyson brand as an example, the company established a business foundation in the e-commerce channel, and then developed offline customers.
Rodd Rafieha, executive vice president of the company, said: “Online customers prefer simple styles, while offline consumers pay more attention to functionality and style. Focusing on this type of consumption, the downstream channels have developed independent and unique product lines, and they have great advantages."
In addition, Abbyson's product series Milano also incorporates its own patented technology iTable mini, which can provide music playback, charging and many other functions.
E-commerce is also changing the Flexsteel brand's activity lounge chair product development method.
"For Flexsteel and our lifestyle brand, future developments will continue to take into account product packaging weight and ease of assembly," said product director Jenni Jungers.
Peyton Passons, vice president of marketing at Franklin Corp, believes that long-distance transportation of heavy reclining chairs and movable furniture is a challenge for high logistics costs and increased damage rates. "As our transaction volume with e-commerce partners continues to grow, we have evaluated and improved packaging standards to help reduce possible damage during transportation."
Scott Hill, senior vice president of sales at New Classic Home Furnishings, said that physical stores and large e-commerce companies that can provide high-quality transportation services make it easier to sell standardized loose furniture online.
Hill said: "Their delivery drivers are more aware of the weight of the products and the safe and effective delivery methods. It is another matter to deliver online products directly to your door.
For direct delivery, our biggest challenge is to enable consumers to understand, process and assemble products. By cooperating with manufacturers, we have reduced the size of parts and improved packaging to ensure that they can be effectively supported during transportation, while limiting packaging weight to control costs, so as to meet this challenge. "
In addition, the impact of e-commerce on product development also depends on the channel. He believes, “If you deliver goods by yourself through physical stores, you don’t need to make the above changes. We have proposed different development methods for direct delivery products, such as RTA, modular components to reduce the burden in the transportation process and solve the problem of transportation costs. . In the next few months, we will provide recliners and sofas that can be shipped directly."
Southern Motion e-commerce director Scottie Johns also pointed out the differences brought about by the online sales channels of loose furniture. He said: "One of our biggest challenges is B2C (Business to Consumer) logistics.
Most manufacturers do not stock, package, or deliver to the end consumer in the way retailers are used to. Due to the weight and volume of movable furniture, it is difficult for manufacturers to transport and directly deliver to the final consumer.
Therefore, we really prefer to work with brick-and-mortar retailers to sell, deliver and serve consumers. "
He also said: "The company is developing and producing armchairs for direct transportation. When the epidemic broke out, we were developing transportable products, and there were still a few months before the products were put into direct transportation.
We will provide a variety of methods, such as LTL (Less Than Truckload, Small Batch Freight) or package transportation to deliver products to online consumers. This summer or autumn, we will produce a second product, and then we will evaluate the return on investment and make a judgment. With the development of e-commerce, we ensure that we are developing products for this field, trying to reduce the shipping cost of direct delivery, thereby increasing the attractiveness of online products. "
Selling loose furniture online is also an area that Ashley is focusing on, but the product itself must also match the channel.
Al Matthews, its senior vice president of sales, believes that "It is a challenge to show the functions and advantages of event products online, but high-quality video editing and 360-degree product viewing can partially solve this limitation.
In the process of product development, it is necessary to comprehensively manage the size and ergonomic requirements to cater to the direct-to-consumer model, which is an important step for the length, width and total weight of the packaging box. "
Develop products in a modular way
Guy Ray, CEO of Manwah USA, said that the challenge of e-commerce channels has always been weight, size and transportation costs. He believes that some pure e-commerce companies try to sell low-priced products to avoid these costs.
"These inferior products cannot bring consumers the same experience, which is confusing and unfair for category development. Man Wah has always constructed our products in a modular manner and created our "limited unit infinite combination" model , So that our traditional retailers have obvious advantages when facing online retail."
Master Motion is also adopting a modular approach. Its CEO Michael Nanni (Michael Nanni) said: "We have completely modularized all products, so each modular seat can be connected together to form a sofa or home theater, so that online ordering and delivery becomes more It is easy, and the loss caused by transportation, handling and delivery is also less.
We also fully box each individual module for transportation to retailers or directly to retail customers to avoid any transportation damage, and there is no need to move or lift a 200-pound sofa. "
In addition to easier delivery to the apartment and the use of elevators, the modular approach is also suitable for mobile lifestyles.
News from: www.furnituretoday.com