The best ecommerce platform for furniture & homeware brands
January 11, 2024
Choosing the right platform is a critical decision for any furniture and homeware brand.
While there are an array of platform options available to merchants, we believe that Shopify ticks all of the boxes for sustainable growth in the furniture and homeware sector.
In this blog, we take a look at the key considerations when choosing an ecommerce platform in the furniture and homeware industry, delve into the features that make Shopify our platform of choice, and take a look at two of our own website builds.
What do furniture & homeware stores need from an ecommerce platform?
There are many things to consider for any brand choosing an ecommerce platform, but to make the decision easier, let’s narrow it down to the three key features required to run a successful ecommerce furniture business:
Design flexibility: the design and aesthetic of any furniture or homeware store is just as important as anything else. Your design choices represent what your brand stands for, and should feel in keeping with the style of products you sell to create a consistent and immersive experience throughout every part of the shopping process.
Seamless functionality: functionality is of course vital for any ecommerce website, but furniture brands in particular often require specific or bespoke functionality to deliver an online experience that matches that of the experience you’d have in-store.
Advanced inventory management: inventory management can be rather complex for furniture companies, especially those who offer made-to-order or bespoke products. The pandemic and resulting furniture and homeware ecommerce boom has raised customer expectations in terms of fast shipping and live order tracking, meaning a robust warehouse system is a must.
Now let’s take a look at these three elements in more detail, and the Shopify features that will help you achieve them.
Shopify offers an extensive library of professionally designed themes, many of which are specifically tailored for furniture and homeware stores. These themes are not only visually appealing but also optimised for user experience, ensuring that your customers have an immersive and seamless shopping journey.
Shopify can help you to create a unique online identity. With a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor, you can easily customise your store without the need for extensive coding knowledge. This flexibility allows furniture and homeware brands to showcase their products in the best possible light, emphasising the unique design and craftsmanship of each item.
For users who have the resources to achieve deeper levels of customisation, you can easily upload your own custom-build themes and storefront, meaning your ecommerce website can reflect your brand every step of the way. Shopify Plus users are also able to fully customise their checkout pages, giving brands the ability to collect additional information, embed date pickers for more customised delivery options and track customer behaviour.
While consumers still prefer desktop when it comes to making more expensive purchases for the home, we are in an era where mobile shopping is steadily taking over, and brands across all industries should be prepared for this. Shopify ensures that your furniture and homeware store looks stunning and functions seamlessly across all devices. The platform’s responsive design provides a consistent and straightforward shopping experience for customers, regardless of whether they are using a desktop, tablet, or smartphone.
Shopify’s app store offers a wide array of third-party applications that can enhance the functionality of your store. Whether you need tools for product bundles and upselling, customer support, or integrations between online and physical stores, Shopify’s extensive ecosystem allows you to integrate the tools you need to scale your business efficiently.
Shopify supports a multitude of payment gateways, giving customers the flexibility to pay in their preferred method. From credit cards to digital wallets, Shopify ensures a secure and hassle-free checkout process, instilling confidence in your customers and reducing cart abandonment rates. This flexibility also increases the likelihood of conversion as it allows customers to pay for high-value products in a way that works for them.
Perhaps the biggest challenge ecommerce businesses in the homeware industry face is replicating the in-store experience online. Big furniture or high price point items are generally highly considered purchases, and it’s a lot harder to win the sale when the customer can’t physically feel the item or try it out before parting with their money.
We’ve seen an emerging trend over the past few years for augmented reality, with IKEA recently capturing attention for their own AR integrations that allow customers to see how any item of furniture will look inside their own homes.
Shopify offers its own AR tool, plus several third party tools through the Shopify App Store, which allow you to overlay augmented images, 3D models, and videos of your products onto their live surroundings.
Seamless inventory management
Managing a diverse inventory of furniture and homeware products can be challenging, but Shopify simplifies the process. The platform allows you to organise your products with ease, whether you have a handful of items or an extensive catalogue. Advanced filtering options and categorisation ensure that customers can effortlessly find what they’re looking for, whether they’re filtering by room, product type or trend.
Stock tracking and alerts
Avoiding stockouts and ensuring timely restocking is crucial for maintaining customer satisfaction. Shopify’s inventory management system allows you to track stock levels in real-time and set up automatic alerts for low-stock items, helping you stay on top of inventory and prevent missed sales opportunities. There are also a multitude of Shopify apps on offer that allow you to automate many of your processes across fulfilment, product/customer tagging, discounts and more.
If you’re running ecommerce and brick-and-mortar locations simultaneously, Shopify’s POS system offers a seamless omnichannel system, syncing your inventory across both channels and allowing you to manage everything from one dashboard.
Best furniture & homeware ecommerce websites
Funky Chunky Furniture
Funky Chunky Furniture operates a direct-to-consumer business model, selling made-to-order, real wood furniture from their North East-based warehouse. After a period of rapid growth, it became apparent that their old website wasn’t equipped to help them achieve their goals. Intelligent inventory management and order tracking were integral to this build, as many of their products (such as wooden shelves) have a lot of variations such as length, colour and finish. We used Linnworks to automate many of Funky Chunky’s processes, to limit the amount of manual labour involved and keep incorrect orders down to the minimum. Find out more about the build here.
Long-time client Gingerlily needed a new website that reflected the quality and style of their world-famous silk bedding collections. Design flexibility was a very important aspect of this build, as we needed to create a digital experience that feels as elegant and luxurious as the product. Bringing the luxury retail experience online is no easy feat, but the levels of customisation offered by the Shopify platform meant we could ensure the Gingerlily brand and aesthetic was present at every step of the purchasing process and that products were showcased to perfection. Take a tour of the Gingerlily London website here.
It’s clear that Shopify stands out as the go-to platform for furniture and homeware brands – get in touch if you’re ready to start your Shopify journey.