Our Online Furniture Store
Are you skeptical or may-be afraid to buy furniture from an online furniture store? Uncomfortable that you cannot touch, feel, and sit on the items and express your likes and dislikes with the sales consultant?
25% of South Africans feel the same and are hesitant to make their first purchase online. An online furniture store that is interactive during the buying process is there to assist. They will provide information to help and ensure that you are making the correct choices, answer your inquiries about a delivery, guarantees, color options, deliveries, and the likes.
“There are a whole bunch of people who don’t like to shop. But there are also people, maybe, who even do like to shop but are very time-pressured. And so shopping online can save people time.” Jeff Bezos
What are the differences between the online furniture store and the walk-in furniture store that we get to know over the years?
• Online furniture stores are in the true sense of the word a replica of the walk-in furniture stores as we know it over the years. The essence lies in the difference between “browsing versus walking” through the store.
• One of the biggest differences comes in the fact that you need to understand how to browse to get the information in the online furniture store that you are looking for. The walk-in store is designed to satisfy the physical shopper walking through and the online furniture store is tailored at the online shopper browsing.
• Online shops are packed with lots of information related to the product(s) that you are interested in and if you don’t manage to find it, you can ask the friendly virtual assistant that will gladly assist you. Over time you will understand where certain information can be found in online stores (just like to learn where to find in walk-in stores over years).
Take the 10 pointers below into consideration in your search for your preferred online furniture store, then take that step and buy that first item online!
1. Not get caught in that pricey store
That awkward feeling of walking into a store that is not within your budget range is illuminated (and all those excuses that you must think off to get out).
Looking at the prices of products of the online furniture store will quickly give you a feeling it the furniture is in your price range or not.
2. The convenience of an online furniture store
Online shopping is a great and convenient wat to compare prices, find bargains and save money from anywhere with an internet or mobile data connection. You can browse when you have free time, may it be lunch/tea-time, waiting to be picked up or after the kids are in bed. Websites are 24/7 “open”, might not have online assistance late in the evening or early in the morning but still, you can get a lot of comparison and browsing done.
Online shopping does have great advantages over physical stores and is a win-win for the modern time-pressured consumer. Add the convenience of nobody walking behind you or looking over your shoulder and not feeling guilty of that white -lie “just browsing”. You can enter and exit an online store as many times as you like in your process of comparing prices, quality, design, etc.
3. No pressure to buy but still access to support and assistance
In-store purchases next to the sales agent is for some of us so overwhelming that we feel a bit forced to decide (with the sales agent next to us). The benefit of an online furniture store lies in the fact that you are not pressured by a sales consultant to make the decision straight away. You can think about it and continue to purchase when you are ready and satisfied with your decision.
Online furniture stores still offer technical knowledge and assistance in the form of the “pop-up virtual assistant” (that little thing that pops up when you just arrived on the website). You can ask questions and advice as and when needed on the page with-out the pressure to answer / or make the decision immediately.
You can ask multiple questions to the virtual assistant. They are there to assist from measurements, stock availability, the progress of a delivery, etc.
4. Bigger variety available at the online furniture store
The online furniture store usually displays a bigger range and a wider variety of colors than the walk-in store. This takes away that scary and overwhelming feeling of picking a color from a small color sample.
It is costly for furniture stores to keep a full range of all the available colors, shapes, and sizes in store (and need to sell it as displayed stock at a later stage). To look at the product in that preferred color hook up onto the online furniture store where photos or pictures of additional colors are displayed.
Ask and test that online assistant! They might just have more pictures of colors in stock that are perhaps not even displayed on their website.
“You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice…..until paid”, Online shopping world, Mr van Tonder
5. Detailed product descriptions that you can study as many times as you like
– Walking into a world where the terminology and things to consider is not part of your everyday life is usually a bit overwhelming. The online furniture store differs in a big way from the walk-in store because you can study product descriptions in your own time and at your own pace (and search to understand the terminology that you do not understand).
– Experience of the technicality and true durability of a product still lies with the trained salesmen and ladies of the furniture stores. Remember to check with that virtual assistance before you make a final decision, they might just point something out to you that have been overlooked.
– Measuring and planning to fit furniture in a room or space have some interesting issues that you would not have predicted in advance. With the online furniture store you can check and re-check sizes and measures in the comfort of your house or office.
6. Learn from the experience of other customers
You can learn such a vast variety of lessons from the online reviews of other customers. It is like getting feedback without even need to formulate the question in your mind (or paying the school fees).
– Reviews from other customers will give some peace of mind when dealing for the first time with an online furniture store that you have not used before (and give the assurance that the company exists).
– You will also understand what the typical problems of some of the furniture pieces are and if this is of importance to you.
– These reviews will also highlight service delivery problems such as duration to deliver. Knowing this in advance helps to manage your expectations (and disappointments).
7. Missing out on deals due to work responsibility
The online furniture store gives you the opportunity to still make use of special offers after the close of the normal business hours. For those with high-pressure work environments this comes as a great relief and help.
Online shops also run online-only-deals with higher discounts due to the lower cost of online marketing.
8. Understand what a save online payment option is
As the popularity of online shopping increases, so have the risks, with more and more people trying to scam you out of your money or steal your card details. Thankfully, if you follow a few simple rules you can have a safe and secure online shopping experience.
– Make sure the website of the online furniture store is secure and legitimate. Be on the outlook for the following signs to know that you are shopping safely:
-Padlock symbol – There should be a padlock in the address bar next to the website address.
-Website address – This should start with https://. The S stands for secure
– Only pay if you can use one of the following save South African payment options: PayFast, Ozow, and Snapscan. These payment options are secured, and you can have the peace of mind that your card information is safe.
– Use your own or work WI-Fi where security is high and stay away from public and free Wi-Fi where the security is low.
Online furniture store offers the same payment options that are available at walk-in stores. Credit and debit cards, electronic bank transfers, cash, lay-buys, or credit accounts. If you feel uncomfortable with a small online furniture store that you have not used before you can always opt. for the “pay on delivery” payment option.
9. Do you know what should be in that guarantees and return policies
Guarantees communicate the company’s commitment to stand behind the product or service they provide. Most online companies indicate on the bottom of the page their policies with regards to guarantees and returns.
Some of the points that you can expect from an online furniture store are:
– Money-back guarantee on unsatisfactory goods delivered, not delivered, or if you decide to cancel the transaction (within a reasonable time frame).
– Mass production of goods always brings along a couple of quality issues that slipped through such as a missing handle, too little screws, etc. The online furniture store must indicate as part of their guarantee policy their willingness to attend to this kind of small problems within a reasonable time.
– The online furniture store must also clearly explain and set out the return (and repair) policy and procedure.
– Most product guarantees and warranties lie with the manufacturers. The online furniture store most also set out the process and support that will be provided if you need to make use of these.
– Lastly but not least, ensure that the company indicates clearly on the site that they will not miss-use all that personal information that they obtain from you
10. Affordable and reliable delivery of an online furniture store
Most courier companies in South Africa do not deliver furniture meaning the online furniture store will either deliver themselves or contract a 3rd party for the delivery of your goods. Furniture delivery does take a bit longer to get delivered and the timeline should be indicated but usually range between 2 – 5 days.
Ensure that the quoted fee does include delivery since the delivery fee of bulky goods is usually expensive and might influence your purchase decision.
Also be specific about your delivery address, available times to receive, and any obstacles that the delivery guys might come across like 10 floors with a narrow staircase, etc.
Enjoy your journey and the visit to the online furniture store. May you be pleasantly surprised with quality goods, on-time delivery, and a safe payment environment, and may it be the start to explore the online world more and more.