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How is an omnichannel retail experience transforming the furniture industry

Zee Business logo Zee Business 13-10-2021 zeebizindia@gmail.com (Zee Business)
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It can be quite a challenging task when you navigate to the local stores, choose the carpenters and materials to suit your needs. It takes a lot of time and proper research is a must. Thankfully, the invention of mobile technology and social media brings one of the biggest changes in the furniture retailing industry, where online stores do all the hard work. However, after the pandemic, when comfort in home furnishings is booming, retailers have given rise to omnichannel retailing for a better customer experience. In this, shoppers ceaselessly move between the different channels of brands but still enjoy a unified experience. To understand more, Virendra Ranawat, Co-Founder of WoodenStreet throws some light on omnichannel retailing.

 

Explaining what is Omnichannel Retail, Virendra Ranawat, says, "Omnichannel retail is an e-commerce strategy that focuses on delivering shoppers an impeccable buying experience across digital and physical channels. Most of the people are confused between multichannel and omnichannel commerce. Both are the same, with a slight yet most significant difference between the two. Multichannel commerce sells furniture products across multiple platforms, whereas omnichannel retailing connects all the services and channels to improve the customer experience. Wait, this is not a new strategy but a powerful and consistent marketing formula, especially for the furniture marketplace. In short, omnichannel retail fuses the online presence of the brand with the traditional in-store channel. "

 Describing why is there a need for Omnichannel retailing in Furniture Industry, Ranawat added, "After the pandemic scenario, when the consumer shopping journey has made a big turn in the market, why is omnichannel retailing popular among many furniture brands? Here are some of the major reasons mentioned below: - 

Lack of Credibility 

Strong brand credibility in businesses is very important for building the trust of customers and future relationships as well. Well, in India, people believe more in referential marketing and prefer to shop from local stores. Thus, credibility is always a concern as people have a fear of being duped. Unfortunately, the alarming rates of security breaches shake the overall trust of shopping furniture online at best. 

 

Intangibility

Furniture is like a huge investment. And until and unless we feel the product, the perception of risk while buying the online furniture increases. This is more difficult for the old-school people who love to try before purchasing. In this case, we can just read the product descriptions and virtually see the image. 

 

Loss of Faith 

Online shopping is like buying products in a virtual world. Thus, this eliminates face-to-face communication, which results in the loss of power of persuasion. The customers don’t get the chance to talk to the salesman while buying the products and vice versa, unlike the physical stores. 

 

The aforementioned are some of the reasons that introduce the demands of omnichannel retailing in the furniture e-commerce industry, regardless of relying on single or multiple channels separately. 

Opining on how is omnichannel retail is bringing up the new wave in the furniture industry, he says, "Here are some of the outcomes that seem like the new wave for the furniture industry after the reap of an omnichannel strategy. 

 

Seamless Shopping Experience to The Customers 

As the majority of the customers use smartphones and laptops, this makes furniture shopping easy at their fingertips. While integrating with the social media channels on a website or app, you connect the customers with your brand on different channels and draw the attention of new product arrivals, coupons, exciting discounts etc. Once they’re on your website, you also showcase the physical stores and provide the subscription to the newsletters so that they are updated with the new collection in your Inbox. In this way, the furniture brand will always be in the sight of the customers. Hence, it makes a smooth and convenient shopping experience for the customers, whether their choice is to buy from a website, app, or moving to a store. 

 

Marketing by Data-Driven Target of Customers

The omnichannel retailing strategy enables data-driven marketing. How? The brand can easily track the in-store customer purchases of products as well as from digital media. Based on these insights, brands can get the data of products that are more on-demand and becoming the center of attraction in the market. Even Geo marketing can be done, which eases the marketing efficiency in the furniture industry. 

 

Consistency in Online and Offline Mode of Shopping 

Whether the customers want to buy online or offline, omnichannel retailing provides a convenient and flexible experience in terms of prices, products and services. Also, those who have added the product to the cart can visit the nearest store to experience the furniture in their own way. In contrast, customers can scan the QR code at the offline store to know about the products with minimum assistance."

"Consumer behavior in India keeps on changing. Thus, the omnichannel strategy helps to understand the 360 degrees perspective of consumer purchases, which results in delivering worthy products at better prices and strengthening the relationship with the customers," Ranawat added. 

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