Online furniture sales are booming. Got furniture sitting away in your old house that you want to sell, or looking to learn how to sell furniture online? You have come to the right place.
While internet-based business is soaring, consumers are looking to buy furniture online too. With many people having online stores, they are carving their own niche in the market and making it hard for others to claw back.
In this article, we will discuss how you can sell furniture online.
You may have thought it over but I can assure you it isn’t that difficult. So, I have put together 7 easy steps to help you get started.
1. Select a selling platform
As a first-time online salesman, it can seem overwhelming to decide where to sell your furniture. Of course, there are several online platforms available for selling every day but you need the perfect platform.
Perhaps you wish to sell off personal furniture; online marketplaces are such a great option. But if you wish to make a small business (or hobby), then you might need to use a website builder.
Online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay or Etsy are organized eCommerce sites that let you create an account, upload products for sale. They are very easy to set up, drive their own traffic, and have a vast audience.
As mentioned earlier, they are great if you have few furniture pieces to sell and you’re seeking quick sales. Because of the nature of these platforms, there’s a lot of competition from other sellers. For instance, Amazon has millions of sellers displaying products every day.
Most online marketplaces charge transaction fees on products you sell. Some charge up to 10% transaction fees which include shipping and payment transactions.
eCommerce Website Builders
An eCommerce website builder allows you to create and customize your personal website with a built-in drag-and-drop editor. With builders like BigCommerce, Shopify, and Squarespace, you can create and customize your website as you wish without needing coding knowledge.
Now, this is perfect for you if you’d love to sell furniture online at your own pace without worrying about competition. It’s also a brilliant way to grow your brand if you’re looking to carve a niche in the furniture business.
Here, there are a variety of features and design templates to choose from allowing you to be as creative as you can. Everything from product listings to checkout pages will also look like you –your unique brand!
eCommerce builders charge fees per month and most builders have different pricing plans. Since you want to sell furniture, here are some of the perfect builders along with their interesting plans (little/no transaction fees!) just for you.
- Wix eCommerce: starts at $23/month, no transaction fees, ideal for beginners.
- BigCommerce: starts at $29.95/month, no transaction fees, and great for scaling websites.
- Square Online: starts at $12/month, 0.5-2% transaction fees, has the best marketing features
2. Upload Furniture Photos
After selecting which platform you want to sell with, next create your online profile and start to upload furniture photos.
If you select an eCommerce website builder, you need to create a domain name first. Then, customize your pages to give a unique branding whether you choose online marketplaces or eCommerce website builders.
Customize Pages with an Online Marketplace
If you’re concerned about the appearance and personalization of your store, then customizing pages with an online marketplace may not be for you. Online marketplaces may not offer a certain degree of customization, but some offer a few features.
For instance, Etsy allows you to set up your ‘shop home’ type of storefront with your selected styles, fonts, and colors.
Customize Pages with an eCommerce Website Builder
Here, you’ll get higher levels of creative freedom and design capability on your website. More interesting, all these can be designed without being tech-savvy.
Wix eCommerce and BigCommerce for instance, have hundreds of paid and premium templates, some are even furniture-themed. After selecting a template, you can start to customize everything including fonts, colors, menus, headings, galleries, and page layouts.
Builders allow you to add an About Us page so your customers can understand your brand better.
Once your store looks ready, then you click upload. Now, you can start uploading furniture. Here are a few things you should consider:
- Descriptions: A perfect product description needs to be informative and convincing enough. Be clear about the essential details such as weight, dimensions, and materials of construction.
- Product photos: Even if it’s new furniture, no one is going to purchase a bad-looking photo of your product. Use high-quality, clear images to display your furniture. Most people will get attracted to a photo first.
- Pricing: Your pricing should equate to the value of the furniture at that time. Is it freshly made, second-hand, or eager to be rid of? Compare with other furniture stores and settle for a benchmark.
3. Set Up Payment Process
The above steps should lead you to this: getting a reward for your labors! In this case, your reward for selling furniture is monetary. You can arrive at this by setting up a payment process.
Online marketplaces and eCommerce website builders offer a variety of payment processors for transactions. Of course, there are hundreds of payment processors, only you can decide which is convenient for you and customers to use.
Some platforms also let you use multiple payment processors, for example, BigCommerce. But in general, you need to consider the following in choosing the right payment processor:
- Fraud prevention
- Compatibility with other software
- Does it accept multiple currencies or accept both debit and credit cards?
- And yes, the cost
4. Sort Out Shipping and Delivery
When you make sales, you’ll need to ship the furniture. Here are the basic shipping settings to put in place:
Shipping Origin and Address
You need a definite location to ship from. This will set up how the shipping rates and taxes will culminate. That said, selling furniture online gives you the liberty to ship from your garage, shop, or office.
If you’re selling in large quantities, you can also ship from a furniture warehouse or manufacturer.
Where would you like to put your business reach? Locally or internationally? Whichever you decide, note that it costs more to ship across certain locations so you can set the right shipping zones along with their rates.
You can add or delete shipping zones as your business expands. This means customers in such zones will not have access to express shipping.
Shipping Rates and Methods
There are different shipping options you can offer to your customers depending on your ability:
- Exact shipping costs: charging the exact amount it’ll cost for shipping through couriers
- Flat rate shipping: charging a fixed price to ship across a particular shipping zone.
- Free shipping: not a usual option however, it’d feel nice to offer such freebies sometimes. Customers are always thrilled about this option.
You also need to ascertain which courier services you’d be using to convey sold furniture to customers. There are a number of popular and reliable courier services.
Some of these courier services offer real-time shipping quotes for users of BigCommerce. These shipping quotes help keep costs to a certain minimum and give customers the liberty of options to choose from.
5. Promote Your Furniture
As you may have guessed, setting up an online store doesn’t mean customers will be trooping in immediately. There are a number of promotional tools you need to grow your store and improve sales whether you sell through online marketplaces and eCommerce website builders.
Some of these built-in tools include:
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a tool that makes your website or product listings rank on Google and other search engines. Some eCommerce platforms try to demystify this technique and make it easier for you to use.
Marketplaces allow sellers to input page titles, relevant keywords, and page descriptions for each product listing. This enables search engines to learn more about your products and match your pages to relevant search results.
Popular eCommerce builders like Shopify, BigCommerce have SEO guides and tools to help you out. Paying attention to SEO functions will also help drive traffic to your website.
Multichannel selling is a great way to incorporate other media asides from your website to sell your furniture. Some eCommerce platforms even offer integrations for social media platforms, helping you manage your sales from one place.
Link your store to social media platforms and place ads from time to time. Social media is a sure place to find an audience for any product, you can find your customers on social media than waiting around for people to stumble upon your store.
Writing personalized emails to customers is an ideal way of establishing personal contact with your customers and updated on your furniture brand.
You can send pop-up emails explaining a new discount, promos, and other events happening with your brand. You can also prepare an automated appreciation email for customers who purchase your product.
Most eCommerce website builders come with built-in email marketing tools, so you need not get worked up about the entire process. It even gets more interesting when you link your business blog to the emails –a trusted way to keep your brand afresh in their minds.
6. Manage Inventory
Congratulations! It’s laudable that you’ve arrived here. Perhaps your store has started attracting sales and orders keep flooding in daily. You’re elated that you did it.
Well, the next issue of concern is managing your inventory. You need to track your inventory to be sure when you’re going out of stock, need replacing, or removal. The last thing you need is to sell off a piece of furniture and forget to take down the photo and then sell it again…
In order to avoid such anxiety, some website builders have got your inventory covered. For platforms such as Wix eCommerce and BigCommerce, once a product goes out of stock it labels ‘Out of Stock’ on the storefront.
Thanks to this sensitive touch, you can run your store without worrying.
7. Grow Your Online Store
The best way to expand your furniture business is using an eCommerce website builder ( if you haven’t already). So if you already began using builders like Wix, Square, or BigCommerce, you only need to upgrade to higher plans.
Upgrading to a higher plan on these dedicated eCommerce platforms opens you up to an advanced range of features to grow your business. Some of the advanced features include premium support and abandoned cart recovery.
You’ll see that BigCommerce is pricey –that’s because it offers a large room for business expansion.
Glad we made it to the end! Selling furniture online is a very easy process. The majority of the customers shop online before they ever go into a store, so you have the opportunity to reach potential customers.
To sell your furniture online, all you need is a nice platform, a good description of your products, pictures of your products, and a strong marketing campaign.
You can always go over this article over till you completely understand every bit of it. Selling furniture online has never been this interesting. Now’s your time to dig in.