A number of interesting, new direct-to-customer firms have entered the furniture industry in recent years. These brands are able to compete with market leaders by rewriting the conventional retail structure and selling directly to customers rather than through third-party retailers who take a share of earnings and pass along additional expenses to customers.
Direct-to-customer furniture businesses may better tailor their future product upgrades and new offerings to what customers need and want by interacting with customers directly and learning more about their requirements, desires, likes, and dislikes.
Additionally, the population’s living standards and lifestyle are changing due to the expansion of metropolises and the housing industry, which is driving up the demand for new furniture and home solutions.
Here are 5 D2C Brands that are Transforming the Furniture Industry
1. Pepperfry - Pepperfry, headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra offers appliances for the dining room, kitchen, bath, and housing. Pepperfry’s studio footprint currently covers 100+ cities with 195+ studios across India. In Northern India alone, Pepperfry has close to 90,000 sq. ft. of retail space with some of its largest studios and six distribution centers. Various cutting-edge technologies, including serverless architecture, machine learning, augmented reality, and virtual reality, are now being used by Pepperfry.
2. Sleepyhead - Bengaluru-based Sleepyhead is a D2C lifestyle home decor company created for Gen Z and young Indians who are digital natives. Sleepyhead, which defied all expectations for the category when it was introduced in 2017, is now one of the fastest-growing D2C mattress brands in India. With its carefully crafted items, the home lifestyle brand Sleepyhead today strives to make daily life enjoyable and fabulous. The company meets the unmet needs of the modern Indian consumer by making exceptional designs affordable without sacrificing quality or customer service.
3. Furlenco - Incorporated in 2012 by Ajith Karimpana, Furlenco is an Indian online marketplace for renting furniture. Furlenco provides furnishings on a monthly leasing subscription basis for the complete home.
The D2C brand struggled to attract new clients as the supply chain collapsed during the lockdown. But its rental-based business strategy continued to generate profits. Currently, Furlenco offers its customers the freedom of choice to select any furniture they want, access it in any way possible, and modification by returning or selling it back.
4. Duraster - Jodhpur-based Duraster is known for offering heirloom-caliber solid wood pieces. The furniture that it offers is redefining contemporary even though it is made of natural wood including Sheesham, acacia, and mango wood. The brand takes great satisfaction in the work of its artists and craftsmen, who produce the finest antique-quality solid wood furniture using vintage tools and conventional techniques. By opening three experience stores in Mumbai, Pune, and Bengaluru by the end of 2022, Duraster plans to give its clients an omnichannel experience.
5. InvisibleBed- InvisibleBed, a Bengaluru-based company founded by Prashanth Havinahal, saw potential in this transformation design category and launched its D2C platform in 2013. The company currently offers wall-mounted desks, sit/stand tables, full-size beds that fold into sofa sets, and other foldable furniture.
In the ever-evolving landscape of commerce, the transition from brick-and-mortar stores to virtual marketplaces has been nothing short of revolutionary. Over the past few decades, the advent of e-commerce has transformed the way we shop, offering unparalleled convenience, variety, and accessibility to consumers worldwide. However, as technology continues to advance and consumer preferences evolve, the traditional e-commerce model is undergoing a paradigm shift, ushering in a new era of retail: social commerce.
The roots of online retail can be traced back to the early days of the internet when pioneering companies like Amazon and eBay paved the way for the revolution in the retail industry. With the rise of e-commerce platforms, consumers gained the ability to browse and purchase products from the comfort of their own homes, transcending geographical barriers and opening up a world of possibilities.
As e-commerce continued to gain momentum, innovations such as mobile shopping and one-click checkout further accelerated the growth of online retail. With the proliferation of smartphones and the widespread availability of high-speed internet, shopping on-the-go became the new norm, allowing consumers to browse and buy products anytime, anywhere.
However, despite the convenience and accessibility of traditional e-commerce, there remained a disconnect between the online shopping experience and the social interactions that occur in physical retail environments. Recognising this gap, forward-thinking brands began to explore new ways to integrate social elements into the online shopping journey, giving rise to the phenomenon known as social commerce.
Social commerce represents the convergence of e-commerce and social media, leveraging the power of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, You-Tube and Pinterest to facilitate and enhance the shopping experience. With the introduction of features such as "buy" buttons and shoppable posts, users can now seamlessly transition from browsing their social feeds to making purchases, all within the same app.
One of the key drivers behind the rise of social commerce is user-generated content (UGC), which has become a powerful tool for brands to leverage in their marketing strategies. By encouraging customers to share their experiences, reviews, and product photos on social media, businesses can create authentic connections with their audience and build trust and credibility in ways that traditional advertising cannot replicate.
Influencer marketing has also played a significant role in the success of social commerce, with brands collaborating with social media influencers to reach new audiences and drive sales through sponsored content and affiliate partnerships. By harnessing the influence and reach of these digital tastemakers, businesses can effectively promote their products in a way that feels genuine and relatable to consumers.
Moreover, interactive experiences have become a cornerstone of social commerce. Brands leverage features such as live streams, Q&A sessions, and polls to engage and entertain their audience. By providing immersive and interactive content, businesses can create a sense of community and excitement that encourages users to actively participate in the shopping experience.
Personalization is another key aspect of social commerce that enhances the shopping journey for consumers. By leveraging data from social media profiles, businesses can deliver targeted product recommendations and advertisements tailored to users' interests and preferences, ultimately enhancing the relevance and effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
Furthermore, content monetization has emerged as a lucrative opportunity in social commerce, allowing creators to capitalize on their influence and creativity by directly generating revenue from their content.
Social commerce represents a new frontier in the world of retail, offering brands unprecedented opportunities to connect with consumers in meaningful and impactful ways. By integrating social elements into the online shopping experience, businesses are creating authentic connections, driving engagements, and ultimately, driving sales in a way that transcends traditional e-commerce.
As we continue to embrace the digital age, the evolution of online retail will undoubtedly be shaped by the innovations and possibilities of social commerce, ushering in a new era of retail for the modern consumer.
Ashna Ruia, Founder, LehLah
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