Furniture Industry Facing A New Normal

- Nov 13, 2020-

Furniture Industry Facing a New Normal: COVID Commerce Accelerates Digital Supply Chain

As consumers transform their homes to accommodate life in the pandemic era, furniture brands, retailers, and manufacturers must seek out tech to survive

As people look to transform their homes to accommodate life in the pandemic era, consumers are increasingly turning to shopping for furniture online. In fact, online orders for all products, from the essentials to home repair and furnishings, have surged more than 80 percent in North America since January, according research from GoodData. Binge-worthy shows like “The Home Edit” have only fueled demand as families seek to modify their living spaces.

That may be good news for furniture brands, retailers, and manufacturers trying to maintain sales revenue during uncertain times, but the shift in consumer behavior isn’t without its challenges. With the unprecedented demand, supply chains are facing mounting pressures as they attempt to manage scaled-back operations, inventory levels, materials sourcing, and new technologies to facilitate business communications, such as invoicing, outside of the office. And that’s just in-house.

With stay-at-home-orders across the country still in effect, and in-store traffic at a minimal, consumers are increasingly more comfortable taking their shopping experiences online — and they may never return to their pre-COVID buying habits. That means the seamless buying experiences offered by online retail giants such as Amazon will be forever cemented in consumers’ minds. 

Accelerating the Digital Transformation On-Site

With many companies still reliant upon outdated processes, they risk getting left behind in the post-pandemic world. The challenges from COVID are surmountable to be sure, but so too is the opportunity to reevaluate technology’s role in the supply chain process. Failing to embrace these technologies now can create critical bottlenecks companies may never recover from.

Understanding how different facets of the supply industry are managing disruptions to their operations can help all industries identify solutions to weather the storm.

Whether companies have limited the number of workers on-site to keep them safe, or have reduced the labor force to streamline costs, employers need to invest in technology that will allow them to communicate with their staff, customers and vendors.

For one, furniture companies need to have an easy-to-use online experience that will keep their customers satisfied and mimic an in-store experience. Companies need to ensure their ecommerce pages include a clear product title, high-quality images, reviews, customer testimonials, and other content like video to entice customers to make a purchase.

Meeting the eCommerce Demand Surge with Mass Production

As customers struggle to quickly make room for offices and virtual learning, on-demand manufacturing is on the rise. Furniture companies need to have a supply chain that is able to handle the influx of orders. With the focus now shifting to ecommerce, it has placed pressure on furniture manufacturers to produce products at a pace they may not have previously been prepared for.

When dealing with mass production operations, efficiency is key, and fully-connected and integrated systems add value. But, relying on historical data to generate forecasts simply may not work. It’s important to look at real-time data, consumer trends, and other “demand signals” to determine future planning.

Running a business operation during the pandemic has shown companies they need to be agile and quickly react to changes in the market.

In fact, CXD has made a new trend in digital operations: CXD Alibaba International Station. This is an operation that conforms to the international trend, facilitates online shopping and consultation, and is also a new way to showcase our CXD products and hotel/apartment engineering one-stop service.

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