6 Questions to Ask When Comparing Furniture Ecommerce Platforms
By Blueport Team Nov 30, 2022 10:15:00 AM
Choosing the right furniture ecommerce platform is a big decision.
These key questions will help you determine which platform — along with its features and tools — offers your business the best solution.
Key Questions About Furniture Ecommerce Platforms
1. Does it meet the unique requirements for furniture retail?
Furniture retailers face unique challenges in bringing their businesses online. Generic commerce platforms don’t provide the out-of-the-box features and tools for furniture retailers’ complex merchandising and omnichannel needs. One of the first questions to ask is whether the solution can meet the needs of furniture ecommerce.
A best-in-class solution can enable ecommerce in a way that also supports brick-and-mortar store sales, creating a unified shopping experience for customers. Here are other important furniture ecommerce features:
- The ability to showcase furniture with comprehensive online merchandising tools
- Sophisticated promotion display capability that is consistent with in-store messaging
- A full product information management (PIM) system to manage a robust catalog
- The ability to create and maintain product relationships such as collections, variants, and recommendations for your customers to shop.
When looking at functionalities and features, speaking to other businesses like yours that use the platform will give you insights into how the platform may help transform your business as well. Additionally, asking questions about which features have been most important for their success may offer additional insights into new opportunities for your own site.
2. What will the startup and ongoing costs be?
When deciding which furniture ecommerce platform is best for you, consider your budget. Take a look at both startup costs as well as ongoing costs.
Ask questions to determine the costs for implementation, hosting, training, ongoing operating costs, and maintenance and improvement. Often full platform solutions may actually replace more existing costs than you realize, so make sure you are comparing apples to apples when evaluating the price.
3. Will it fit into my current tech stack?
Your business is different from other retailers, your current tech stack may also differ from theirs, and you may need various features and integrations to make operating your furniture ecommerce site easy. When looking for the best furniture store ecommerce platform for your company, you need to consider the technologies you are already using and whether a solution has experience working with similar solutions.
Integrated third-party features and other software integrations streamline operations by sharing information. The more your solutions integrate, the less your systems operate in silos which can cause additional cost and errors.
When you research potential solutions, map out your existing infrastructure and tech stack to determine if the platform you are investigating is complementary to your current set of business solutions. Then, resolve operational holes with some of the comprehensive features available in a furniture ecommerce platform that your customers expect.
4. Does it offer marketing and sales tools?
Choosing software that supports marketing and sales efforts can increase effectiveness and empower your team. As more customers perform online research before making big-ticket purchases, failing to leverage these tools can be costly.
- A seamless online shopping experience that provides a consistent experience online and in-store.
- Mobile-optimized online experience.
- Social media, email, and SMS text marketing integrations.
- Geolocation tools.
- The ability for a salesperson to save a quote in a store and enable a shopper to purchase online.
- Salesperson attribution for online purchases made after the customer has left the local store.
- The ability to start shopping online and finish in-store.
The best providers will answer yes to all of these questions.
5. What is on the platform’s roadmap?
The right ecommerce platform will support your current business objectives, but it is critical that it stays ahead with new features and expanded technologies.
As you are comparing platforms, ask:
- Which new features are currently scheduled?
- What does the longer-term roadmap look like?
- Do users have a say in what new features are developed?
- Is there a cost associated with adopting new features or moving to new versions of the platform?
Your business growth is in some measure reliant on your furniture ecommerce platform, the company’s dedication to continuous improvements, and client enhancements based on changing industry trends and customer feedback.
6. What are the support capabilities?
You want to make sure your software vendor is there for you when you need it during implementation and into the future. Find out if the platform you are researching offers these services:
- Comprehensive implementation of the features and tools you need for your unique business.
- Launch services to understand your business, optimize your unique advantages, and deliver the ideal omnichannel shopping experience
- A customer success team available to help you get the most out of your furniture ecommerce software.
The Benefits of the Right Platform
Researching and selecting the right furniture ecommerce platform can be a daunting experience. But with the right one in place, you will have the tools you need to achieve your goals, improve the customer experience, and grow your business overall.
We created Ecommerce Software: A Comparison Guide to lead you in making the right decision for your furniture ecommerce solution. Get yours today!