Furniture market has long been revolutionizing with multiple designer brands coming in. These brands showcase some really trendy furniture that fit the usage style of generation X. Such brands are usually present online and hence catch the attention of the young crowd. It has also been predicted that in coming times furniture market will be overtaken by online brands. So, if you want to build an eCommerce store for your furniture brand, now is the time to do it!
You must now be concerned about which platform to use in order to help you build this store. For choosing the best platform you need to go through several things and look into your needs for your platform. Firstly, explore your own business, its category type, its size and your strategic plan for at least 2 years in the future. You need to first pinpoint the needs of your business in your own notebook before you start building upon the idea.
Following are the things you need to know:
The type of product and the probable needs: For example, if you are selling a product, you need to show the various images related to it and also mention all its details from material type to the size. On the other hand, when selling services, no such details need to be mentioned. So, the number of pages for each item to be sold differs.
Type of store: It is another important thing you think of while making the project plan. If you want a retail online furniture store then you need to add a number of product categories on your platform. On the other hand, if you are looking for building a wholesale store then the same categories are reduced to a great extent.
Target audience: It is the criteria of utmost importance. Local businesses might need just display of products and no pages for payment gateways and delivery. On the other hand, if you are making a store that aims to do national and international delivery, well then you need to be very cautious about these pages.
Future expansion plans: The above three points are aimed at decision making regarding initial set up of the e-commerce store. You also need to know about the scale and size to which you further plan to extend the functions of your store. This is vital because in case you have plans to improve the scale of your business then you need to choose a platform that provides you the scope of expansion.
Scalability comes with an obvious need for speed. If the platform allows scalability but it results in your eCommerce store being slowed down then you need to think about your choice. The platform must be so chosen in order to allow the store to be up and running without any delays and interruptions.
Now that you know about your business characteristics, you now need to choose the platform. It must satisfy your above-jotted business needs and also take care of these certain other important things.
- Presence of Marketing & Sales Tools: Marketing is important for any and every business, more so if the business is newly formed. After you are clear about the basic needs of your store, you must next look into the marketing plans. You might opt for a digital marketing company for promoting your website but if you are starting a new eCommerce store altogether, it is important for you to choose a platform with inbuilt marketing as well as sales tools. These features are useful and can be very helpful for you to promote your store in the initial stages.
- Mobile & SEO friendly: Along with marketing tools, there are some basic features that are must-have for any e-commerce building platform. These platforms should be SEO-friendly in order to promote the business and its popularity. Secondly, they should be mobile ready. As is known, nowadays people have a preference for surfing on their smartphones as it is more convenient and can be done on the go.
- Customizable: Imagine a scenario when you are done setting up the initial version of your eCommerce store. You think it is all good and doesn’t need any more changes; but then, you come across a competitor! Now you feel like making some changes to your store’s look and features to make it more attractive to the customers. Therefore, in the light of such probable scenarios, you need to make sure to choose platforms that can provide you with customization options and thus ease your life.
- Secure & Safe: Security and safety are utmost priority for any of your item, be it a small bag or an entire website. Therefore, when you choose a platform for building your eCommerce store, you need to be sure that it has all the security provisions. Security is also interlinked with the stability of the e-commerce store which is another important factor.
- Easy to use: All the other things kept aside, the most important factor in finalizing a platform for building your eCommerce store is the ease of use. Once you have gone through all the other requirements you will need to look at how easy is it to use the platform. The user manuals and developer documents should be easily available. One might need to read and access them at any point in time in the day. Similarly, the user interface must also be easy to understand and use especially for tasks that are to be done on a regular basis like updating of products and images. Other things like platform installation and software upgrades also need to be fast and effortless. Additional tools, themes, and designs must be available and easily usable in order to facilitate smooth working of the eCommerce store. Therefore your platform needs to be such that even if you do not have programming skills you don’t face a lot of problems with the setting up and initialization process.
Keeping in mind all these needs, Magento could be your choice of platform for building your eCommerce furniture store. Firstly, it is a platform that has been specifically built for making e-commerce websites, therefore, it has all the necessary features all in one place. It provides features like customer segmentation, allowance of the building of products and up-selling as well as cross-selling.
Secondly, it provides SEO optimization and is also mobile friendly. This makes it easy to make your website more visible and conveniently usable even on smartphones. Marketing and sales tools are also self-built in Magento as a platform which makes it a perfect match for your online furniture store. A new furniture marketplace could use all the marketing help that it can readily access. Moreover, Magento connect marketplace is also accessible at all times to download any additional features and regular updates. In other cases, third-party apps can also be easily integrated to make it convenient to increase the feature base according to the need of the customer.
Thirdly, Scalability is not an option in Magento rather it is an imbibed feature. Magento understands the need for a scalable website not just for the eventual increase in terms of traffic but also occasional influx. The obvious need for future business expansion for an eCommerce website is to have a platform that can take the load of consumer traffic and provides stability to the store. You cannot just start with all kinds of furniture initially but you rather keep adding things with time. Moreover, e-commerce websites are dynamic especially furniture websites during the festive season and hence need a base platform that can take the load of their continuously changing environment. This basic need of scalability along with stability is provided by Magento.
Fourthly, Magento as a platform is highly customizable. As it is known, Magento is tailor-made for building e-commerce websites. Therefore, it also has a lot of themes that can suit different types of businesses. Like your furniture business might need a different kind of structure for the website compared to your friend’s grocery store business. Moreover, it is also customizable in general i.e. changes and alterations can be made to it with ease. Another great point about using Magento is that you can also use the same back-end platform to build two or more front-end websites.
Fifthly, safety is the utmost priority in Magento community. Being open sourced, there are continuous upgradations provided by Magento developers all over the world. These upgradations or security patches are readily available in the Magento to connect marketplace for you to access.
The furniture industry has an intensive competition and hence a lot of dynamicity and security threats. In such situations, you are all the more in need of a trustable platform that can provide you a go-to place for all your needs and improbable issues. Magento is that trustable platform. It provides you with exactly what you need with all the built-in features and the additional updates. Magento is thus your best choice for building any kind of e-commerce store and in specificity for your online furniture store.
Ronak Meghani is a co-founder of Magneto IT Solutions Pvt. Ltd., A leading Magento development company in USA & India.