In a recent column, I talked about the need for our sector to change it up, employ new strategies, take calculated risks and generally wow customers with new concepts, iterations and creations.
In that column, I offered a short list of suggestions that I thought might help retailers jump-start their businesses.
This time, I put together a similar list of ideas that may possibly help manufacturers and suppliers with a fast break to the net.
Here’s my list:
- Diversify Product Offerings: Expand the product line to cater to a broader customer base. This might include different styles, sizes, materials or price points.
- Focus on Customization: Offer customizable options to meet specific customer needs. Personalized furniture can attract clients looking for unique pieces.
- E-commerce and Online Presence: Strengthen online sales channels and improve the website for easy navigation and purchasing. Online presence is crucial in today’s market.
- Marketing and Promotions: Create targeted marketing campaigns and promotions to attract customers. Highlight unique selling points and any special offers.
- Collaborations and Partnerships: Collaborate with interior designers, home stagers or influencers to showcase furniture in different settings or through social media channels.
- Customer Experience: Enhance the overall customer experience by providing excellent customer service, efficient delivery and after-sales support.
- Cost Efficiency and Innovation: Invest in efficient manufacturing processes to reduce costs without compromising quality. Innovation in materials or production methods could provide a competitive edge.
- Sustainability Initiatives: Embrace eco-friendly practices and promote sustainability in manufacturing. Many customers are becoming more conscious of the environmental impact of their purchases.
- Target Niche Markets: Identify niche markets or trends and tailor products to meet their specific needs. This might include furniture for tiny homes, ergonomic designs or multifunctional furniture for small spaces.
- Customer Feedback and Adaptation: Regularly gather customer feedback and adapt products based on market demands and preferences.
- Financial Strategies: Explore financing options or flexible payment plans to make purchases more accessible, especially during economic downturns.
- Networking and Trade Shows: I realize most suppliers already participate in industry events, trade shows and networking opportunities to showcase products and build relationships within the industry. But when was the last time you colored outside the lines and welcomed your buyers into a showroom that left them energized, excited about your products and anxious to reimagine what they saw onto their selling floors?
- Sell the Wow, Not the Why. At our heart, we are a fashion business that speaks of craftsmanship, comfort and safe havens. When we sell by the pound instead of by the promise, everyone involved loses.