You’re not alone if you’re looking for a good furniture website development company. The thought of starting an online furniture store flashes the mind on many enterprising entrepreneurs. Selling stuff online is the gold rush of this era and furniture is just one part of a larger circus.
Before hiring a furniture website development company, a person or company must understand the essentials of a furniture store online.
There are many different things one has to keep in mind while designing a furniture store website. Some of these are technical factors, others are purely aesthetic, while a number of them are essential from a sales point of view.
The knowledge of these essential factors helps online retailers identify the best furniture website developers in the market. When it comes to website development in any given field, furniture or otherwise, there are a range of companies customers can choose from.
Thus, the only things for a customer to really know are the essentials of a typical online furniture store. If a customer knows the essentials, he/she can demand a certain level of features from the furniture website development company in an ecommerce platform.
In this article, we strive to list down the essential features of an online furniture store. When choosing a company for the design of the furniture web store, customers must make a checklist of all these features.
The Challenge of Furniture Store Website Development
The challenge of making a furniture store website is not just technical. Many businesses transitioning to the digital space tend to view website development as a technical marathon.
However, sound website development requires great instincts and creativity as well. Take the example of a furniture store. During the furniture store web design process, a tech professional must understand the human needs of a future visitor on the website. Phrases like user experience and mobile friendly may just seem phrases to a non-tech professional, but they represent a way of working for a developer or designer.
Making a furniture store website is not difficult at all. However, making a functioning, attractive, and vibrant website which actually converts visitors into customers is a real challenge. This is why it’s crucial to find the right furniture website development company.
Three Main Areas of an Online Furniture Store
To understand the essentials of an online furniture store, it is first better to divide the online store into three main areas. This helps is categorizing each feature according to the area in which it is needed.
The three main areas of a furniture store website are –
- Home Page – The first landing page you see when you arrive on the furniture store website. There are a whole host of features and functionalities on the home page to make sure visitors stay on the website and visit another webpage.
- List Page – The page that appears when you search for a product or choose a category is called a list page. A list page is full of products, their prices, discount rates, pictures, and other useful information.
- Product Page – Finally, a product page appears when a visitor chooses a product on a list page. This is the page where a visitor can read up on all the details of a particular product. This page should have a ton of information and features to convert an interested ‘prospect’ into a paying ‘customer’.
In this article, we will discuss each of these important sections in a furniture store website. The features discussed should ideally be developed by a furniture website development company.
Home Page: What a Furniture Website Development Company Must Add?
What all must the home page of a furniture website contain?
The importance of a home page is best explained by one factor alone – bounce rate. People who come to a website stay there for a longer time if the home page is engaging and informative.
What is special about the home page of Amazon and Flipkart when compared to other ecommerce stores? Their home pages are designed to invite people to explore the website further.
For those developing and designing their furniture e-commerce store, the goal is to make people explore the website. To meet this goal, the home page of a furniture store must have certain important features.
The important parts of a highly convertible furniture ecommerce store home page are –
- Clean Logo – The logo of your furniture store should represent your brand well. Remember, the style and feel of a furniture store logo would differ from an online retailer selling cars or anything else under the sun. There is a certain stylistic template unique to companies selling furniture. The logo of a furniture store must represent these stylistic traits.
Your logo must also represent the audience you’re trying to reach. If your furniture e-commerce store is targeting traditional buyers over the age of thirty, sticking with a traditional logo is a good idea. However, if you’re business idea is to sell cheap furniture to millennials, the website logo must appeal to a younger demographic.
- Chat Boxes – When building a furniture store in this day and age, simply putting uploading and listing products is not enough. Every furniture ecommerce website can offer 30-40k products on its website. The secret doesn’t simply lie in having more products and listing them on a furniture store online. Instead, furniture stores must try and help incoming visitors choose specific products.
When you visit a furniture showroom, a sales executive guides you along the journey and helps you choose the right product. However, when we speak of a website, there is a serious gap in guiding people to the right product. This is where the importance of a chat box comes in.
The chat option will allow prospective customers to get more information about the products on the furniture website. For instance, if a customer is unsure about whether the color of a couch goes with the tiling at his/her home, a sales executive can help through the chat option. The chat option is an essential feature and every good furniture website development company must provide it.
- Header Menus – Header menus are the options users see below or beside the logo on top of the home page. The categorization of products in a furniture e-commerce store is visible through the header menus. Ideally, the categorization of furniture products must be done on the basis of the target audience.
There are some obvious ways to categorize products on a furniture website. One option is a classification based on the type of products such as tables, chair, beds, storage, and so on. Another option is classifying furniture on the website based on its placement in a home such as living room, bedroom, office, and so on. Lastly, categories like ‘New’ and ‘Sale’ can help visitors see new and cheap products in the furniture store.
However, the important thing to remember here is creating menus based on the interests of the target audience. As explained earlier, if the target audience is younger, it is more likely the demographic is looking for cheaper options. Thus, making the ‘Sale’ category of the website more pronounced and vibrant is a smart choice. While furniture store web design is taking place, you must conduct a comprehensive market research study and figure out the type of categories the audience will immediately relate to.
- Search Bar – A search bar is an important part of a furniture store home page. The most important feature in the search bar is the ‘auto-suggest’ option. For instance, when someone types ‘coffee table’ in the search bar, a drop-down menu should display many different coffee tables on the website.
- Banner – The banner will most likely capture 80% of the space on the home page and a majority of the visitors’ attention. Typically, furniture stores can use the banner image to promote a specific product on sale or new to the platform. It is important for the banner image to contain a call-to-action button as well. This will offer the visitor a path to buying the product.
While working with the furniture website development company, make sure you get clarity on the placement of the banner image as it’s central to converting people arriving on the homepage.
- Create Visual Categories and Lists – Below the banner, the website must have a variety of categories displayed through pictures. The aim of doing this is to create an open interface to allow visitors to explore the website through different channels. While visitors can also access different categories through the header menu, a website must always offer multiple paths to explore the platform. Visual categories are much more appealing and improve the click-through-rate into the inner-categories of the website.
- Social Media Integration – Having an Instagram or Pinterest feed on the home page is also important. People buy furniture based on the aesthetic appeal of the products. Both Instagram and Pinterest are platforms designed to promote interactive content. Furniture websites must have a social media feed on the homepage. This allows visitors to follow the brand on social media and check out the content the store puts out.
- Email Newsletter Sign-up – Providing the email newsletter option is a no-brainer. As a furniture store, you will not always have people who come to your website and buy something. Some people may like your products but still remain a little doubtful about buying.
For such visitors, email sign-up is a great idea. You can keep reaching out to people who sign up to your newsletter on a weekly or monthly basis. These people are much more likely to become customers. You can have the email sign-up option in the footer or any other appropriate position on the home page. As an inbound marketing feature, you must ensure the email newsletter option makes it through the final furniture store web design.
List Page: Taking People One Step Further in the Buying Process
If a visitor is on a list page, the first task is complete and the home page has done its job.
The list page is the middle part of a typical buying journey. When selling something as expensive as furniture, you must remember to optimize each stage of the buying process for the customer.
A list page is a webpage which contains a list of different products. When you choose a category or search for something, the page you see is typically a list page.
Moving forward, we will discuss the features a furniture website development company must provide.
- Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs refer to the path a visitor took to reach the current page. An example of breadcrumbs is ‘Home ->Tables -> Black -> In Stock’. It offers visitors a way to go back to a previous page on their path by simply clicking on a link in the breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs also have SEO benefits. It is another reason why a furniture e-commerce store must have breadcrumbs.
- Filter Options – Usually, the left column of the list page contains various filter options. Since there are many products on the list page, it is important to offer visitors the option to filter down the products on the page. There are many ways to filter products on a list page.
The first option is to filter products based on colour. This is an obvious option and one every furniture website must have on its list page. The second option is filtering according to the material of the furniture. Different types of furniture are made up of different material such as wood, steel, plastic, and so on. On high-end furniture websites, you can even filter products based on the type of wood used such as teak, pine, rosewood, Marandi, and so on. Add filters based on your audience.
If you’re reaching out to a high-end affluent audience that knows a lot about furniture, adding filter options based on the type of wood used makes sense. The filter options must always reflect the type of audience the furniture store is trying to reach.
- Sorting Option – A sorting option allows visitors to sort products based on factors such as price and rating. For customers who want to see the cheaper products first, the sort option is essential.
- Showing Products Based on Availability – Some people may want to see all products irrespective of whether they’re available or not. Thus, you must make sure the furniture store web design process includes the creation of a ‘Show all products’ option. The selection of this option will show all products, irrespective of whether they’re in stock or not.
- Wishlist Option – Each product on the list page must have an ‘Add to Wishlist’ option. This allows visitors to create an entire list of products they like, but are not currently ready to buy. The website should also add this feature to get a better idea about the type of product people are more interested in buying. Using this information, a furniture store can run targeted sales campaign offering discounts on products placed most often in wishlists. As a marketing option, the wishlist option has great longevity.
- Basic Product Info – Lastly, the info of every product on the list page must also be displayed. Information like product name, original price, selling price, rating, and other details are important for a list page. Make sure the furniture website development company adds these features to your list pages.
Product Page – Converting Visitors to Customers
The final stage of a buying process on a furniture website is the product page. A visitor who is on the product page is highly likely to have a strong interest in buying the product.
There are little features important to add during furniture website development. It is important to ensure these little features make it to the product page and help convert more prospects into paying customers.
The essential features for a product page a furniture website development company must offer are –
- Product Image – The number one selling point of a product on a furniture website is the image. The better an image looks on the product page, the stronger are the odds of a prospect getting converted into a customer.
A website must offer a quick view option to get a closer look at the product. Another smart thing to do is to add an image which shows the product placed in its natural position in a home. For instance, if the product is a bookshelf, it is good to show a picture of the shelf containing many books and placed in a study room. An image such as this would help convince the visitor to imagine the product in his/her own home. If possible, a furniture website can also show a short product video.
- Reviews – Reviews are an essential part of a product page. A furniture store must ensure the people writing product reviews are verified owners. Verified owners only refer to people who actually bought the product from the store. Reviews coming from people who bought the product naturally carry more weight and are significantly more authentic.
- FAQs – It is natural for people buying something as expensive as furniture to have questions. The FAQ section clears some of the common questions people have regarding the product. These questions can include the warranty of the product, the return & refund policy, the delivery time, and so on. Websites can answer some of the general question themselves and additionally offer visitors the option to post their own questions. This will naturally make the website much more engaging and user-friendly.
- In-Stock Notification – In case the product is out of stock, the product page must have an in-stock notification. Through this option, the visitor can get an update when the product is again available. The visitor can provide his/her mobile number or email ID to receive communication from the furniture website. A feature like this can help a platform form a real bond with the audience. A furniture website development company must thus provide this feature.
- Price Drop Alert – Another good feature to maintain a relationship between a visitor and a website is adding a price drop alert option. In choosing to get this alert, a person receives an update when the price of the product drops. If a visitor is stalling on making a purchase due to financial restrictions, a price drop alert comes as a great feature. Through this feature, a visitor can even set a price at which he/she is ready to buy the product. When the price drops within this range, the potential customer will get an alert.
- Product Description – Lastly, the space to display the product details should allow easy point-wise dissemination of important details. A product description is also important from an SEO standpoint.
Other Important Features in a Furniture E-Commerce Website
Besides the three main areas of a furniture website, there are other areas which require some additional features. These features are important for the smooth functioning of the store and every good furniture website development company must provide the same.
The additional features include –
- Mini Cart – The mini cart is present to provide a brief summary of the order a customer is placing. It must contain a small picture of each product chosen, the quantity of the products & the option to increase or decrease the quantity, the total bill, and the option to checkout directly to the payment page.
- Cart Page – This is a longer form of the mini cart. The additional features in a cart page include shipping cost information. The aim is to let the customer know the cost of shipping on the cart page itself. All the customer has to do is fill in his/her zip code and know the shipping cost on top of the overall bill.
- Allow Guest Purchase Option – A furniture store must not make it mandatory for customers to create an account. Many people have privacy concerns about giving their information to a website. Some are just lazy when it comes to creating a separate ID on a website they may not visit for the next six or seven months (since people don’t usually buy furniture every other month). Allowing people to use the store as guests helps ensure greater sales and better user experience.
- One-Page Checkout – One-page checkout allows for greater optimization of the buying process. Instead of making people hop onto different pages to enter the shipping address, payment information, and finally confirm the order, one-page checkout allows all these details to be entered on one page itself. This reduces the number of steps needed to complete a page. Generally, furniture stores with a shorter buying process are more likely to get more sales.
- Mobile Friendly Website – Your customers are most likely to be mobile users. Thus, the furniture website development company you hire must create a mobile friendly website. The success of your online business depends on it.
- Branding is System-Generated Emails – Your customers will get a number of user-generated emails such as order confirmation, account creation, password resetting, and so on. Make sure these emails contain your brand logo. Only after seeing your brand logo repeatedly will customers start relating to your brand more. Customize system-generated emails to suit your branding needs.
The features discussed in the article represent some of the essential tenets of a furniture ecommerce website. If you’re hiring a furniture website development company, make sure it offers these features.