Whether you make furniture, retail or resell it, the internet could be the perfect marketplace for you. You could sell furniture online and capture a market that a local furniture shop could not access in a million years. The larger furniture and home furnishings industry is quickly gaining traction online. As such, getting into e-commerce and focusing on the furniture niche would be a winning bet.
What do you need to sell furniture online?
Selling furniture online is no different from any other e-commerce venture. You need an online presence, furniture items, and traffic of potential buyers. For an online presence, it is best to use a combination of marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy as well as your own e-commerce website. This increases the chances of buyers finding your sale items especially if you are new to e-commerce.
Getting visitors to a new website takes time. It will take some time for Google to rank your site high and for online shoppers to know and trust it. As such you will need more than one sales portal preferably one with an existing high flow of traffic.
Top websites on which to sell furniture online
Steps for setting up a website to sell furniture
If you are planning on setting up a website for the business, consider the following steps:
1. Buy a memorable domain name
The domain name you buy will be the name of your website so you should find a name that is catchy and easy to remember. It is advisable, to begin with buying a domain name before you register your business. You can never be sure if your preferred business name is available when you do a domain search. It would not look well to have a domain name that does not match with your business name.
Find out the qualities of a good domain name before making your purchase. For example, you could opt for a .furniture domain extension if your goal is to sell furniture online.
2. Build a complete e-commerce website that sells furniture
You need to build an e-commerce website not just an ordinary website with listed items and prices. An e-commerce site must have payment gateways to accept different kinds of payments, the ability to calculate shipping costs and an SSL certificate to protect sensitive customer information.
Some e-commerce solutions today offer a complete package with everything from a shopping cart to a credit card processing system. They also have various plugins and templates for e-commerce functionality. You can use them to build a complete e-commerce shop to run your online furniture business.
3. Make use of furniture website templates to fill your shop with incredible product photos and descriptions
The next step after building your online store is launching it. Before you launch, however, conduct adequate research about the setup of an online furniture shop. You can study other online furniture businesses to learn how they have set up their shops. A common characteristic of successful online shops is quality product photos and descriptive text. Online shoppers rely on these to make shopping decisions since they do not come into physical contact with the products before purchase. As such, you should make sure that the photos you take of your furniture and the description of its qualities and notable features give a true portrayal of what you are offering.
While choosing an e-commerce solution, you ought to find out if it can accommodate the needs of your online store. An ideal e-commerce solution should have an abundant selection of furniture website templates that you can choose from. It should have clean and striking professionally created themes that are and fully customizable to allow you to make any changes to your online store.
E-commerce Marketplace vs. Personal Website
The furniture and home furnishings niche are ideal if you want to carve out a place for yourself in the global online marketplace. Everyone needs furniture and the growing trend of shopping online does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
As you venture into the e-commerce world, one of the biggest decisions you have to make is where you want to sell your merchandise.
E-commerce website vs. personal website
If you want to sell furniture online, you have the option of either building your own website or using an e-commerce marketplace. Thousands of SMEs prefer e-commerce marketplaces for the convenience and traffic they offer. Krrb, Chairish, Etsy, Craigslist, and Amazon are some of the trusted e-commerce marketplaces that facilitate buying and selling of furniture online.
A personal website allows you more control over your online shop, and you get to keep a larger percentage of the sales income. However, the freedom and control come with numerous hassles. For example, when you create a new website, you have to attract the traffic. This means marketing campaigns and search engine optimization (SEO) both of which cost money.
The cost of setting up to sell furniture online
For a 15% commission on your sales, you can get a slice of Amazon’s global pulling power. By simply uploading photos, accompanying descriptions and prices of your products, you can set up shop on the retail titan. Amazon will also store and dispatch your goods for an additional fee. This makes it very easy for newbies to set up their businesses online.
Setting up an e-commerce website is not as challenging and expensive as it used to be. SMEs can now easily afford it. For example, setting up a small e-commerce business now only sets you back around $2,500. This will cover product listing and display, navigation structure, search features, shopping cart facility and secure payment gateways. This checklist is however bound to upsurge as the business grows.
Ease of use and the benefits of tools and add-ons on e-commerce solutions
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) add-ons can provide you basic e-commerce website functionality to get you online and trading for $500. A range of tools from e-commerce solutions such as Shopify dramatically helps in analyzing customer data. They make it easy for “non-techies” to analyze data on customer lifetime value, purchase frequency, net profit, gross margins and so much more.
You can also get technical help such as furniture website templates and SEO support for as little as $4.50 from DIY website providers such as Weebly, SquareSpace, and Wix. However, these cheap solutions are not always the best. You may need to spend more hiring a developer, which may cost you upwards of $5,000.
The value of the control that selling furniture on your website affords you
After you have set up your website, you cannot just sit back, relax. You have to improve and adapt your website to meet arising needs constantly. For example, if most of your website visitors are using mobile, you have to optimize for mobile to give them the best user experience. This is an advantage for proactive business people who would want to adjust their websites in minutes.
In a nutshell, setting up your furniture business on your personal website is more expensive and hectic than using a trusted e-commerce platform. However, if you are committed and do not want to rely on or give control of your business to third parties, a personal website is the perfect solution for your furniture business. Creating a bespoke website with an easy to use and intuitive e-commerce platform like Shopify could contribute significantly towards the success of your online business venture.
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