It would be best to have the right range and a well-thought-out marketing strategy to make money selling furniture online. A business plan helps uncover your idea’s strengths and weaknesses even before the first sale. Classic online shops are not the only sales channel.
Hard-Fought And Yet Full Of Potential: The Furniture Market
If you search for furniture online, you will quickly come across some big top dogs that seem to dominate the entire market. In addition to a broad online presence, many of these furniture stores have a large network of branches so that interested customers can look at the sofa or bed before they buy it, feel it, and sit or lie on it to try it out. The good news: the market is highly competitive but not fully occupied. If you want to get involved, it depends on the right niche and perfect (online) service. You can find out what that means below and our step-by-step instructions.
Your Furniture Shop: Advantages Of Online sales
Selling furniture online has several advantages over starting offline:
- You can start small(er) and don’t have to fill a certain area. This not only saves time but also costs.
- You reach a larger target group geographically than if you were only represented by one store in a specific region.
- You can try out new things more easily. This applies to the introduction of a new product as well as marketing measures or services.
- You are free(er) in how much time you invest in your business and where you work from – both are fundamental advantages of an online business.
Selling Furniture Online: Important Requirements
As with any start-up, there are a few formalities you need to consider when selling furniture online. For example, you should register a business in advance and decide on a legal form for your online shop. In the course of finding, it is also advisable to find out about sensitive commercial insurance for founders and the topics of accounting and taxes.
Instructions: Sell Furniture Online – Step-By-Step
How can you start successfully in the furniture business? We’ll show you step-by-step how to do it. The individual points are often mutually dependent and do not have to be processed in the specified order. You should create a business plan if you have dealt with all points. This not only serves as a template for investors and possible trading partners but is primarily your master plan to compare your idea with reality, identify opportunities and risks, and use or avoid them.
Step 1: Assortment Planning
Before starting the foundation, you should deal with your assortment. To not compete with well-known furniture stores, you should ideally find a niche, such as used furniture, self-made unique items, or elegant or original seating furniture, tables, etc. Also, consider where this furniture comes from: do you make it yourself or buy it? This not only has an impact on later pricing but also on delivery times, the need for a warehouse, the type of shipping, and marketing.
Step 2: Market And Target Group Analysis
Look at the furniture market and your niche in particular: which suppliers are there online and offline? How do they communicate? What is the pricing? Based on detailed market analysis, you can derive where there is still untapped potential and where you can be better than your competition. The target group is closely linked to the market. Work out which audience you want to address. Important characteristics are, for example, age, financial situation, and values.
Step 3: Your Company Profile
If you know who you want to sell which furniture to online, you are dealing with your actual business. On the one hand, this means the structure, i.e., whether you work alone, for example, whether you hire staff or have to look for (trading) partners. It would help if you also looked at your skills, strengths, and weaknesses. On the other hand, you should think about the type of communication, possible (online) service, and your external appearance.
Step 4: Commercialization And Marketing
If you want to sell furniture online, your online shop is an obvious idea. However, this idea has alternatives or sensitive additions – for example, sales via Instagram and other social networks or already-established online marketplaces. We go into more detail about the advantages and disadvantages of these sales channels below.
Think not only about where you sell your products online but also how. On the one hand, you must make your website known; on the other hand, Targeted online marketing is worthwhile. For example, place advertisements on Google, send newsletters, or book campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.
Step 5: Logistics
Since furniture is usually a large product, you should not underestimate the point of logistics. If you want to store and ship the furniture, you need a lot of space, know-how, and workforce. It is often easier to use so-called dropshipping providers. They take care of the storage and shipping of the goods for you.
Step 6: Costs And Funding
So that your idea of selling furniture online can be put into practice, it depends on the right calculation. There are various sorts of expenses:
- The initial costs consider everything important for the foundation itself – from the fees for registering your company to the expenses for implementing your online shop with WordPress or another system. The running costs consider all expenses related to the shop’s operation. This can be hosting fees but also expenses for product photography and adding new products to the system.
- Oppose expenses to income: Calculate prices for individual items and make assumptions about sales. A profitability preview shows what circumstances and when you will profit with your furniture shop.
- Depending on the capital requirements and existing equity, there may be a need for financing – so you either need an investor or have to take out a loan from a bank. By then, at the latest, the business plan will also interest outsiders.
Shop Or Social: Where To Sell Your Furniture Online?
There are three ways to sell your furniture online. There is no either/or – it is often the combination of several channels that leads to success. In your online shop, you have the greatest flexibility in how you want to present and sell your furniture. At the same time, however, the effort and the susceptibility to increase errors if you do not have sufficient technical and design understanding.
Online sales platforms offer a good alternative because the infrastructure is given, and some professionals can support you with problems of all kinds. However, you are limited in terms of design, and you pay a commission for each sale. Amazon and eBay are among the largest online sales platforms in Germany. The third way to sell furniture online is through social selling. You sell directly via Facebook, Instagram, and Co. Here, too, there are design limits, but the exchange with the target group and thus branding and loyalty are easier.
Sell Furniture Online: Content Is King
Selling furniture isn’t just about hard facts; it’s also about a lifestyle and a feeling. Since it is impossible to touch the table online or lie on the sofa to try it out, high-quality images and meaningful texts are elementary components of your success. Regarding product photography, don’t rely on clearly recognizable images but also on ambiance – i.e., how a table looks decorated or a bed made up.
There is also the option of optimizing images for Google. The same applies to the texts: facts are important – preferably in lists – but mood and feelings should also be conveyed. In your online shop, you can not only use product descriptions for information but also, for example, category pages. This content is also suitable for targeted search engine optimization.
Conclusion: Sell Furniture Online – This Is How It Works
To be successful in the online market for furniture, the first thing to do is to have the right product: It is better to specialize in a niche or a product, as you will hardly be able to compete against the wide range of furniture giants A carefully drawn up business plan shows where opportunities are on the market, which target group is suitable and how you should specifically structure your furniture business.
Central issues are logistics, but also sales and marketing. For maximum freedom, an online shop is suitable for sales. Thanks to construction kits and other tools, even beginners can sell furniture online in this way. Social selling and sales via online marketplaces can be a useful addition.