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Editor's Corner: The Thing About Next Big Things

Furniture World Magazine

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Editor's Corner

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 retailer./p>

  • 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 readers.

Russell Bienenstock is Editor-in-Chief of Furniture World Magazine, founded 1870. Comments can be directed to him at editor@furninfo.com.