Selecting furniture and décor for your home can prove to be a perplexing task especially when you have to move stores to stores to select the perfect one. People get a proper feel of comfort and quality of sofas and furniture when they lay on it. However, online businesses have gained the trust of the customers in the last decade or so by providing the stuff of their dreams. People also get the option of choosing from a catalog of different brands without having to trudge in the sun for hours and hours. Customers can replace and select another one in case they find a fault in the one they ordered.
This online trade of décor and furniture has not only proven to a game-changer for the customers but it has also increased the sales of various furniture businesses that were never heard of. Furniture mobile apps provided a golden opportunity for the furniture stores to telecast their business to a larger audience which in turn has massively improved the number of sales these businesses otherwise used to do.
Now, further going into this topic of online furniture app development we will have a look at some of the key aspects that affect its working process but first let us have a look at what the future holds for these online furniture businesses.
Why Invest in Furniture Store Mobile App Development?
An offline business store of furniture is a mouth-watering idea but if one decides to create a path of online trade then it will create absolute mayhem in terms of generating revenue. The following statistics will give you a fair enough idea of how the business of online furniture trade has established itself and how it will continue to break the ceiling that has been put above it.
The revenue of the furniture business in the United States in the year of 2018 was a massive $304.3 billion. While it has already preceded the expectations that were put above it, its revenue is only going to surge upwards in the coming years.
From a period of 2018-2021, the rise of the furniture business is predicted to be at a rate of 0.2% annually. This number might seem small at the first glance but when we look at the amount of $304.3 billion it racked up, then going by that number it will add a massive $60 billion every year.
Value of the Furniture Market Worldwide 2020 – 2027
Most Sought After Furniture Categories on Furniture Stores & Apps
Furniture can be of many different kinds but some types of furniture are needed by people for their homes. If they are planning to move to a new home or just redecorating their house then they will most likely pick a few items from the below-mentioned furniture categories. So, keeping item stock of these furniture categories will prove quite beneficial for an online furniture store.
- Chairs and sofas
- Armchairs and recliners
- Dressers and wardrobes
- Bookcases and shelving units
- Couches and futons
- Dining and coffee tables
- TV stands and media furniture
Popular Furniture Store Mobile Apps Across the Globe
Williams-Sonoma, Pepperfry, IKEA, Overstock, Taskers, Ashley HomeStore, La-z-boy, WayFair are some of the popular online furniture stores and apps in the world.
Attributes of a Successful Online Furniture Store App
The more of the stunning qualities that we add to the online furniture store of ours, the more it is to going to attract customers. Let us have a look at some of the major attributes that we can add to our online furniture store so that it appeals to more and more audiences.
Friendly & Self Intuitive UX & UI
The user interface is the first thing that customers on your app are going to encounter so you should make sure that it is super friendly which will in turn create a first-class user experience for the users. Users should be able to find all the stuff they are looking for on your app effortlessly and without any lags. The more attractive and up to the point your interface is, the more customers will remember your app and decide to visit it again in the future.
Flawless furniture photography
The photography plays a vital role in the online business as users are only able to embrace the furniture product through the photos of it. Try to click the photos of the product through all the possible angles which would make the decision of buying furniture for the customers a lot easier. Clicks of furniture should be crystal clear and presented in such a way that customers can’t resist buying them.
Provide 360 views of the furniture store
Customers, most of the time, visit an online store with things to buy already in their minds. However, if we provide a complete 360 view of the furniture store then they will be able to have a look at all the brilliant pieces of furniture and all the latest collection that has been added to the store. Customers then will most probably buy stuff that they thought wasn’t required by them and this will clear out products off the store to generate instant revenue.
Provide necessary furniture details
Proper education of all the furniture types should be provided to the customers so that they can make a smart choice for themselves. Details of wood used in the furniture, guide of what things the wood is vulnerable to, how to keep the furniture clean in order to make the furniture last long. Providing proper knowledge to the customers about the furniture will make you stand apart from the race and create a loyal customer base for you.
Space planning & Interior designing
When customers visit an online furniture store, they find a lot of furniture attractive but in the back of the mind, they have a thought going on which keeps on telling them that there is not that much space in their house so they drop the idea of buying furniture because of lack of space. If you guide your customers on how they can create space in their home and help them decorate their house to match the furniture they are planning to buy, then they will focus all their attention on buying more and more stuff.
Provide furniture customization options
It happens a lot that a customer rejects a product that they liked at the first instinct just because of a particular design in the item they found odd. If we provide the customers with an option of changing that particular design and customize it according to the product they desire, then in all likelihood the customer will buy that item.
Free shipping, fittings, and insurance
Since furniture shopping is costly, customers should be provided free shipping of their items. All the necessary fittings required in the house should be done by an expert which would be provided by you. Insurance cover should be included in the trade so that the customer will be able to receive the maximum possible amount by the insurance company in case the furniture gets tarnished.
Provide interior design consultant
If the furniture app owners include the attribute of providing an Interior design consultant then it will raise the stakes of the app to another level. Interior design consultants set up the house of the buyers in such a way that the furniture they are buying produces the maximum effect. This gesture will also create a rapport between the dealer and buyers which will lure them to the app every time in the future.
Custom and Personalized packaging
Furniture and décor items are quite sensitive as a little scratch here and there can tarnish the beautiful appearance of furniture. To tackle this costly mistake, the company should look to turn towards custom and personalized packaging. This type of packaging provides the utmost guarantee of the safety of the furniture item.
100% Return policy
Providing this feature will emit a sense of calm amongst the customers as they will be assured that the item they will be buying can be returned, so customers then can go a shopping spree. Customers should be able to return the item for any valid reason and this will create a sense of trust between the seller and buyer.
AR-powered Furniture Store Apps for More Conversion
Creating an augmented reality powered online furniture app will take your online furniture business to the next level. Augmented technology helps the business owners to visualize everything from data to people which leads to users seeing everything from all the possible angles. Augmented reality is virtual reality and the real world combined together.
Through augmented reality, retailers are able to showcase their products to the customers in a virtual manner. This enables the customers to actually test how the product will look in their homes or offices and this will provide a competitive advantage for them over others. Augmented reality applications have provided totally new insight into marketing furniture. Through AR, the company can use animations to test how a piece of furniture fits in, and that gives a gaming approach to the furniture business along with providing necessary product information and super attractive 3D experiences to the customers.
Also Read: How To Develop AR Shopping App Like IKEA?
General Features of Furniture Mobile App
User Panel Features
- Social login/signup
- Manage user profile
- View product catalog
- Browse through products using custom search and filters
- View and give product reviews and ratings
- Share or refer products via social media
- Ask questions
- Push Notifications
- Add products in the cart
- Multiple payment methods
- Multiple language support
- Track product delivery
Furniture Store Owner Panel Features
- Create and manage profile
- Add/remove/manage products
- Manage furniture prices
- Add discounts and offers
- Accept payments
- Manage product returns
- Provide support via chat
- View/analyze sale data
Admin Panel Features
- Manage store owners and users
- Optimize/manage product categories
- Manage payments
- Manage shipping and delivery
- Generate various reports
- Manage CMS
Advanced Features of Furniture Shopping App
Social Sign up/Login
This is the first feature that users will encounter upon entering the app. You will have to provide a username and password in order to access the app. However, nowadays apps have started to allow its users to log in the app through their social media accounts which proves super beneficial as users don’t need to remember their usernames and passwords.
Upon entering the app, you came face to face with a chatbot that will guide you through the app and answer all of your queries related to the app.
Push notifications act as a timely reminder for the users as they keep them updated with all the latest trends in the furniture world. Notifications are a tool that reminds the users about all the latest collection that has been added to the furniture store or a particular set that they asked the store to bring for them.
The users should be allowed to search the item of their dream by using the images of that item. Users don’t like to type the name and details of the item instead they prefer saying the item’s name through voice command and that feature needs to be included in the app.
If a camera is included in the app, then the customers will be able to click the pictures of the furniture items for having a look at them later on. Users can also make a video of the furniture set to get a complete 360 view of the furniture set.
Effective CRM System
CRM is short for Customer Relationship Management and it deals with the aspects of exchange that a business has with its customers. Greater the amount of customer-related data it contains, the better the CRM System will be able to provide the understanding of these processes.
Efficient Content Management System
A content management system is an application that is used by the apps to manage their web content and in the process allowing multiple contributors to create, edit, and publish. In other words, a CMS system is used to manage the creation and modification of digital content.
Multiple Payment options
Flexibility in the mode of payments is a great way of making the users feel at home. A variety of payment options like credit cards, debit cards, UPI, PayPal will make the process of buying stuff a lot easier for the customers.
Loyalty programs come in the form of discounts, special offers, and several other benefits but only for those who have been associated with the app for a pretty long time and maintained a great rapport with the app.
Real-time dashboards and analytics
With the help of real-time dashboards, you will able to analyze, track, and report on the company’s data in real-time through interactive data visualizations. These are pretty helpful in providing the most relevant operational reporting data and make it effortless for you to maintain data on a consistent basis.
Multi-Lingual and Currency Support
Furniture apps are used by customers that are spread over different continents of the world so if the app contains the option of receiving payment in various currencies then the task of paying for the purchase will become quite easy for the customers. This high-quality gesture will not be forgotten by the users and they will be bound to return to the app.
This feature within an app is vital as it is pretty helpful in minimizing tax liability. The prime motive of having tax management is to ensure tax efficiency.
Order management integration
The order management integration feature is tasked with the responsibility of tracking sales, orders, inventory, and fulfillment. What it does is that it allows people, processes, and partnerships paramount for the ordered products to reach customers.
PIM is referred to as Personal Information Manager and as anyone can guess by its name, it functions as a personal organizer. PIM has a hold on all the product information within an enterprise and with the help of that, it provides a 360-degree view of the product data.
Marketing and Promotion tools
There are various marketing and promotion tools involved in getting an app on the map but the major ones among them are advertising, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing, and referencing.
Tech Stack Required for Developing an Online Furniture Store App
- Push notifications– Twilio, Push.io
- Payments– Braintree & PayPal, E-wallets, Stripes
- Datastax– for data management
- SMS, Voice, and Phone Verification– Nexmo, Twilio
- Database– MongoDB, Cassandra, HBase, Mail Chimp Integration
- GWT– for powerful programming
- Mandrill– for managing emails
- Debian– the universal operating system
- Cloud environment– AWS
- Streaming Media System– Helix Universal Server, Nimble Streamer, Wowza streaming
- Real-time Analytics– Hadoop, Spark, Cisco, Apache Flink, IBM, BigData
Use of Cloud Platforms for Hasslefree Functioning
BaaS is Backend-as-a-service one of the cloud platforms that helps the app work like a charm. BaaS enables developers to focus on the frontend of their applications and leverage backend services without even maintaining them.
BaaS vendors provide pre-written software for activities that take place on servers, like for example user authentication, remote updating, database management and push notifications.
MBaaS Mobile-Backend-as-a-service is simply BaaS intended especially for building apps for mobile. While some sources consider BaaS and MBaaS to be interchangeable items, BaaS services don’t necessarily have to be used just for mobile applications. However, it is capable of providing what the users require and that is smooth functioning.
Including PWA for online furniture app
Development Team Required for Furniture Shopping Mobile App
Here is a short list of members that will need in your mobile app development team to complete the furniture app project.
- Project Manager
- Delivery Manager
- Front-end Developers
- Android/ios Developers
- QA Testers
- UX/UI Designers
- Back-end Developers
Development Process of Furniture Mobile App Store
Developing an online furniture store consists of four steps in general
1. Installing Magneto 2
Magneto is the leading eCommerce software platform which is a superb solution that contains out of the box functionalities like payment portals, easy to use admin panel along with drag and drop layouts.
2. Choosing and buying a design theme
Magneto contains hundreds of thousands of ready-made themes that are designed for some specific niches like shoes and clothes. From them, you have to choose the one which is best for your website and mobile screen.
3. Install shipping and payment methods for your specific reason
Magneto 2 supports a variety of shipping platforms and methods that sets your warehouse location, delivery charges, and placing of the delivery address. Almost all the payment methods are available through the Magneto platform such as PayPal for Worldwide payments, Paybox for European clients, and Braintree for North American clients.
The user should be provided with a terrific experience taking from his order to its delivery and acceptance. You need to select a trusted logistics partner to handle courier services and delivery.
Estimated Cost for Developing an Online Furniture Store
There are a number of variables involved in creating an online furniture store. These variables are,
- Number of pages
- The design theme
- Marketing support
- Branding elements
- Maintenance and technical support after the work on the website is done
- Usage of advanced modules like chatbots, advanced ecommerce solutions.
Build cost for creating a simple website is around $3000 or less while a complex website will cost you around $100,000. take a look to know more about the cost of furniture app development
Online furniture store development demands a lot of thinking and investment to succeed. However, in this pandemic where every online activity is surging developing an online furniture store is not a bad idea at all. Investing your energy along with these useful tips in this arena will reap you endless benefits that you always wanted to associate with your furniture online quest.