What do motorized furniture delivery trucks, furniture brand holding
companies, warehouse furniture showrooms and furniture e-commerce have in
common? Each was once a next big thing!
Some next big things caught on quickly in our industry, while others faced
stiff resistance. Furniture markets, for example, expanded rapidly from
one show conceptualized in 1891 to 17 must-see events for furniture
retailers just four years later. The adoption of e-commerce, however,
faced initial resistance from a majority of brick-and-mortar furniture
operations that saw this innovation as something their core customers
would never fully embrace.
Businesses cannot afford to risk being blindsided by innovations advanced
by competitors that put them at a competitive disadvantage. Neither can
they feel comfortable onboarding ideas that outpace their customers’
present needs, are not consistent with their brand’s promises or are yet
to be fully vetted. It’s a balancing act.
In this edition of Furniture World, you will find a number of next big
things I believe are worth your attention and consideration.
Technology: Check out the second installment of David
McMahon’s series on customer experience automation. It’s an idea whose
time has come for furniture retailers who need to improve customer
experiences while doing more with fewer employees. Today, full-scale
customer experience automation has moved from being a next big thing
to a full-on big idea to consider for most every home furnishings
Branding: Don’t miss Furniture World’s lead story—an
interview with branding expert David Blair. Blair explains why
furniture retailers should focus not only on the goal of delivering
excellent customer experiences but also why giving careful
consideration to how you want your customers to feel at each customer
touchpoint is essential.
Recommerce: Finally, please check out my interview
with Chris Richter, who believes that recommerce will be the next big
thing for furniture retailers. Recommerce, he says, fills a growing
desire among a number of demographic groups to participate in a more
sustainable, circular economy. For retailers, it has the potential to
monetize e-commerce returns, rethink the full lifetime value potential
of furniture items, cultivate new customers and build brand loyalty.
It’s an idea that could be a next big thing for Furniture World