The furniture selling industry is one of the many industries that have been massively hit because of the Covid-19 virus pandemic. Having rapidly engulfed the entire world, the effect of this deadly virus on people, businesses and economies has been unprecedented.
Factors Impacting Furniture Businesses
Various Covid-19 related factors have contributed to the declined sales and revenue of furniture selling businesses.
One major factor is that the majority of people remain confined to their homes either voluntarily or mandatorily at this time. Due to the pervading feeling of insecurity about their financial future, they have restricted their purchase to only essential items like food and supplies and buying furniture is not a priority for them now.
The second factor is that the supplies of furniture products from China have got delayed or disrupted due to the problems in manufacturing and shipment of products on account of Covid-19. China is the biggest manufacturer and exporter of furniture items in the world.
Thirdly, Italy, a country based in Europe, which exports some of the best furniture throughout the world is in the severe grip of Covid-19 (Novel Coronavirus). This consequently has led to the postponement of Salone del Mobile, the largest furniture expo, that earlier was to be held in the month of April, but now has been shifted to June, 2020. At this event, leading furniture manufacturers from the world showcase their products to an international audience. Apart from China, Covid-19 has also led to a significant decline in the export of furniture items from Italy.
In this way, the combination of all these Covid-19 related factors has affected the functioning and profitability of the furniture sellers globally.
If you are an owner of a furniture selling business which is witnessing dwindling sales and profits because of Covid-19, you may be feeling skeptical about what the future holds for your business. You may be wondering what to do to lessen the impact of Covid-19 on your business or you may have resigned to your fate and simply taken to waiting and watching till things get better.
Instead of allowing pessimism and despondency to take the better of you, you should feel optimistic about your business’s future and take a positive approach to deal with the challenges. You should have a firm resolve to bounce back your business to the position of strength.
Here are some useful tips from the knowledgeable eCommerce specialists who gathered these while working for their furniture clients. These tips from them can help you mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on your furniture selling business and spring it back to profitability and prosperity.
Reorient Your Marketing Message
In the pre-Covid-19 situation, people were buying furniture mainly to add to the aesthetic appeal of their homes, but this is not the case in this Covid-19 scenario. People now are spending all the time in their homes and many of them are even working from their homes. So they want something that helps them stay comfortable and productive.
Rather than marketing your products in the normal way, you should change your marketing approach and market your products by saying ‘Our Store offers Great Furniture that gives you utmost comfort and helps to take your productivity to new levels.’ In this way, you can spark customers’ interest in your products and generate demand for your products. For your business to be a success, your marketing has to be in sync with the current times.
Send Personalized Email Newsletters
At this time many of your customers may not be buying your products due to Covid-19 related concerns, still you need to communicate with them and engage them. You have to make them feel special at all times and convey to them that you value their support and trust in your business.
Sending creatively designed and personal email newsletters to your customers and prospects in their inboxes, is one of the best ways to communicate with them and engage them in this precarious Covid-19 situation when they are glued to the web on their devices for either work or relaxation.
Through newsletters, you can inform customers about important Covid-19 developments pertaining to your business. Also, you can use newsletters for telling them about your new products, special promotional offers, articles and providing other useful information about your business which adds to their life in some way.
The use of newsletters on a regular basis helps to imprint the memory of your brand in your customers’ minds and enables you to forge strong and long-term relationships with them.
Prioritize Customer Safety
While purchasing furniture products from your website or store, customers may have some concerns about their safety from Covid-19. They want to know what specific measures your business is taking to protect your customers, employees and partners from Covid-19 during work, transportation of products and delivering them to customers.
Mentioning various Covid-19 prevention and protection measures that your business is taking in terms of cleaning of hands, disinfection of premises and products, practicing social distancing, etc. on your website, would help to allay fears in the minds of customers about their safety and health.
Also, you should inform customers about the closure of any of your store/stores and warehouses or their reduced opening hours and delayed deliveries due to Covid-19 restrictions in place, so the customers don’t face any inconvenience due to this.
By taking these measures and highlighting them on your website, you can win the trust and appreciation of your customers. They will get the impression that your business indeed cares for them.
Explore New Markets
In case you are facing disruption in the supplies from the suppliers and manufacturers based in China or Italy due to Covid-19 related issues in their manufacturing and transportation sector, you need to explore new suppliers and manufacturers in other markets around the world or in your own country. Before hiring them, you need to ensure they are trustworthy and have a proven track record of product innovation and service promptness.
Though hiring new suppliers and manufacturers may escalate your costs, this would help you maintain business continuity and let you fulfill the needs of your customers
Make a Resilience Plan
Apart from adapting your procurement, working, inventory, transportation and delivery processes to deal with the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, you also need to create a resilience plan for preparing and responding to the future crises and minimizing their adverse impacts on your furniture business.
A strategic resilience plan involves monitoring and assessing any crisis-laden situations and gaining an enhanced understanding of the challenges involved with them, which can disrupt your business. The plan helps you design adaptable operations, which let you quickly respond to reduce the impact of crises on your business and recover it fast from them.
By following the above-mentioned advice from experienced remote eCommerce managers of Matrid Technologies, you can effectively mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on your furniture business and move it to a position of strength and financial abundance.