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Consumer Delivery - Part 12 - Turn Turnoffs Around

Furniture World Magazine


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Survey indicates that poor delivery practices are a big problem.

A recent national survey of furniture consumers asked what problems they ran into while shopping. It came as a real surprise that 22% of the respondents cited inconvenient delivery. This customer turnoff ranked second after poor quality.

As if that wasn't bad enough, close to 15% also cited delivery damage, making that Problem Number Six.

While I know most, if not all damages can be avoided by careful planning, I also know damages can and do happen. But what I have a hard time understanding is how, out of every 100 consumers queried, 22 were turned off - and presumably away - by inconvenient delivery. That's 22 turnoffs too many-22 turnoffs that could and should have been turned around.

Time was, furniture deliveries were made almost exclusively between 8 a.m. and late afternoon or early evening on weekdays-hardly ever on Saturday, and never on Sunday.

Lifestyles change and so do industry practices. Most stores recognize that convenient delivery is good

business. It's especially important as more young working couples come into the market. Few have time to delivery-sit during "normal" hours.

One survey alone cannot give us the definitive word on the situation. But since this is a very reputable survey which sampled a few thousand consumers, I'd suggest taking its findings seriously.

When potential customers ask for but cannot get special deliveries- evening, weekend or specified-time deliveries-a store usually isn't getting all the business it would like to get.

To make the sales but avoid the burdens, stores which run their own delivery operations often farm out special deliveries. Most specialized furniture carriers are set up to deliver anytime as well as anywhere. And while special deliveries do cost more, customers understand and rarely object.

If inconvenient delivery turned off 22% of the consumers surveyed imagine how many convenient delivery can and does turn on.

Fortunately, inconvenient delivery is one customer turnoff which can be turned around quickly and easily-and without increasing operating costs.

Furniture World is the oldest, continuously published trade publication in the United States. It is published for the benefit of furniture retail executives. Print circulation of 20,000 is directed primarily to furniture retailers in the US and Canada.  In 1970, the magazine established and endowed the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library (www.furniturelibrary.com) in High Point, NC, now a public foundation containing more than 5,000 books on furniture and design dating from 1620. For more information contact editor@furninfo.com.