How furniture brands survive in the COVID-19 outbreak

Mr. Raghunandan Saraf, Founder & CEO, Saraf Furniture (4)
By Raghunandan Saraf, Founder & CEO, Saraf Furniture

The year 2020 introduced some profound changes due to the pandemic wherein the traditional ways to work, live, and play transformed instantaneously. Millions of consumers have started adapting to the digital shopping spree that included buying new homes and refurbishing their current homes during the lockdown. The retail home furnishings category continues to record tremendous growth in both site traffic and spend. Furniture as a smart investment is still attracting consumers through digital shopping platforms which is also the major reason why furniture brands are seeing the lockdown phase as a tremendous opportunity. The behavioral and lifestyle shift due to the pandemic restrictions has paved way for companies to make the right move that aligns with the consumer’s needs during and post the pandemic. Recognising and implementing digital strategies is still an uphill task for many brands. Understanding the vision on transitioning consumer patterns and commitment to adapt will help brands in mutating their marketing styles.

Initially, the inception of nationwide lockdown raised concerns related to the direct-to-consumer (D2C) approach which various furniture brands had been following traditionally. Furniture shopping had been hardwired traditionally as an offline shopping experience wherein customers directly interact with the seller to discuss product details. The lockdown enabled brands and consumers to explore the online commerce pool. The lower price options and boundless options for virtual exploration have dramatically given rise to innovative market trends while motivating manufacturers to research digital business possibilities. This overall blend of online and offline shopping experience has significantly enhanced customer satisfaction as they have enhanced access to convenience and quality.

Thus, the retailers and manufacturers are advancing themselves for the online shopping age which is making the furniture industry experience an upward growth trajectory. Retailers are now paying attention to E-commerce and technology as the segments have majorly changed the way people shop. Evidently, the ongoing digital transition and consumer behavior will help in retaining the swift growth of the furniture industry. Various retailers and manufacturers have responded promptly to the preference for online shopping that went up significantly due to the pandemic guidelines around social distancing. The pandemic has remarkably increased reliance on online retail for fulfilling buying needs, even the consumers that used to be skeptical about online shopping and digital payments are now progressing towards online shopping. This has made retailers and brands confident about the segment’s growth with technology-driven approach. The lockdown has activated enormous demand for office and home decor furniture while adding growth prospects to the furniture industry. The amplified demand for interior aesthetics is driving the online commerce world as more people now desire home remodeling.

The furniture industry is constantly reconstructing targeted strategies based on the ongoing market sentiment, and introducing products that meet the aesthetic and pocket needs of consumers. This will help in positioning furniture brands while stimulating demand for digital shopping options during and after the pandemic period. The novel COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new normal of remote and restricted shopping which is directly shifting traditional buyers towards adopting e-commerce. The facilitation of online shopping mediums by home décor and furniture market during the pandemic uncertainties will also enhance brand loyalty and sustained growth while giving rise to the sales and profits with each purchase.

Transformation in the digital space has entirely rewired the shopping mechanism, online experiences are being considered more gratifying than physical stores. Consumer behavior is the key element for advancement in the retail sector and COVID-19 has paved way for an incredible change for the retail industry. Technology has led this change while bringing in a great deal of progress and improvement. The COVID-19 pandemic has transfigured the industry by introducing unparalleled technology and is expected to guide consumers and retailers while navigating through the current crisis. With the swift growth in digital development, the sector may witness critical tech trends that will mutate the future of the retail industry for years to come. However, there’s more to expect from new-age tools like machine learning, data science, computer vision, augmented reality for the coming years as they have the potential to turn challenges into opportunities for improvement.

Problems can be transformed into opportunities, and 2021’s challenges for the retail industry are no different. Retailers are adapting and using the latest retail technology innovations to catch the pace of the market. Digital transformation and data-driven approach will continue to contribute to the newer realms of the competitive retail environment.

Neel Achary

Neel Achary

Neel Achary is the Editor of Business News This Week, He has 20+ years of experience in digital marketing, business consulting. He holds a master's degree in Economics.

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