Choosing to purchase furniture from an online furniture store comes with a whole heap of advantageous, and allows you to save money where it matters. In just a few minutes of reading, find out exactly why purchasing from an online furniture store may be the best move for you, as well as how to use it to your advantage.
Online furniture store versus a physical store
While physical furniture stores offer a unique experience and the ability to touch the pieces in which you are interested, online stores make up for this in several different manners.
As you open each product, you will find alongside it an informative set of details and descriptions that you assist you in getting a feel of what the product is like, and what it can do for your home and desired space.
You will also avoid having to ask the salesperson embarrassing questions concerning the furniture jargon he may use during your interaction. You can simply open another Google tab and search to your heart’s content.
At your time and leisure
We have all experienced the detriments of making a rushed decision and seriously regretting it later. When in a pressured situation where you are expected to make a fast choice, impulse buying is often the result.
This means that you can come home with something that is not at all what you had in mind, or something that was not part of your budget expectations.
When you shop for furniture online, you can eliminate this risk. Shopping online means that you can use whichever device you have available to you. You can scroll through the store on your phone or laptop at your leisure, lying in bed or curled up in your favourite seat with a cup of tea in hand.
Taking the time to reflect and consider can make a huge difference in the outcome of your purchase and your overall satisfaction as a customer.
Saving where it matters through an online furniture store
Budgeting has never been easier. Unlike a trip to a physical furniture store where you will be confronted with bright and dizzying price tags, most likely exorbitantly expensive, you can expect to see a range of much more affordable pieces.
The online furniture store world is highly competitive, which means that various stores, especially those who have similar target markets, will be competing to offer the most attractive prices.
Also, avoiding the persistent sales representative doesn’t hurt. Understandably, these employees need to make their quota and earn commission. However, this is not so good for you as the buyer, seeing as this may contribute to a product costing more than it would online.
If you are concerned with missing out on a personalized experience, make use of the customer care portals. Any good furniture store has a high-functioning and efficient customer care service, whether it be online, via telephone or email. This should assist you in gaining more confidence in the company and its trustworthiness.
Payment options are also plentiful when dealing with online furniture stores. Usually, they readily offer various payment methods as well as payment plans for those who wish to pay for products over a longer period of time instead of paying upfront.
These payment plans are helpful to those whose budgets are lower, so that you can save in other areas and alleviate a burden of spending a large amount of money at once.
For example, if you take a liking to the Lola 2-seater couch valued at R1,699, you have some leeway in terms of payment. In this case you are offered the option of receiving a Lay-by, with a small deposit of R180 and the opportunity to pay off the rest via payments of R135 per month for 12 months.
This is a great way for some to purchase from an online furniture store, allowing you the space to pay off your piece over time.
Advice on choosing an online furniture store best for you
Like each individual has their own specific likes, dislikes and preferences, one needs to find the correct online furniture store based on the former aspects. Not all online stores offer the same products, and you may find that the styles offered by one in particular do not impress you.
Perhaps then it’s time to open up a new tab and continue your search. When you do take a fancy to a store, make sure to do your investigating. There are few things more disappointing then forgetting to read the fine print and Ts and Cs and finding yourself in a sticky position after your purchase.
To avoid this, make sure to do adequate research on the company’s return policies as well as the terms and conditions, especially when it comes to payment options and lay-bys.
Another important note is that one should always check for the validity of an online furniture store. This can be done through a few simple ways, such as checking that the URL doesn’t have bizarre and random characters, doing a quick social media check, reading customer views, and even contacting the company directly.
The best times to buy online
Perhaps even more often than physical stores, online stores offer impressive sales at certain times of the year. If you are looking to stick to your budget, keep the following in mind when you plan to make your purchase.
• The festive season: perhaps one of the most opportune times to buy furniture is the time period just before Christmas and towards the new year. Stores know that customers will be hosting friends and family who they’ll likely wish to impress with some updated furniture or guest rooms.
• Easter and Ramadan: both these periods are marked by prayer and community gathering, meaning that similar to the festive season, people may perhaps be looking to update their homes to accommodate incoming visitors.
• Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day: these holidays are marked by shoppers frantically searching for last minute gifts for their loved ones, meaning that online furniture stores are likely to offer sales and specials
Try to choose a furniture store that supplies predominantly locally made products. This shows that they care about the community, as well as stimulating the local economy, something that is extremely important since South Africa’s economy’s demotion to junk status.
When you purchase from such stores, you are contributing to the local economy in your own way, meaning that you may be improving the livelihoods of others in your country, something to be proud of.
Choosing a store that takes social responsibility seriously in this manner means that you are likely to have a very pleasant experience with them during your purchase process and future purchases.
Tips on utilising an online furniture store
Online stores can be great fun if you know how to use them effectively, and can be confusing and frustrating if you don’t. Not everyone is technologically savvy, and that is okay. The good news is that online stores are becoming more and more accessible and user friendly.
The following tools are provided in order to make your search for your desired piece of furniture an easy experience.
A Wishlist is a great way to keep tabs on the furniture pieces of your dreams, and to ensure you don’t lose these pieces in the endless stream of products. By simply clicking the heart icon, you can save that gorgeous product onto your own list to look over later if you are feeling indecisive.
This saves you the time, and battling with your memory, when going back to examine that piece again as you consider your potential purchases.
Filters make it easier to refine your search. Without having to fall down the rabbit hole in search of that pink couch you have in mind, you can simply type your product keywords into the search bar, and find yourself looking at what the store has to offer in that category.
This can save you a whole heap of time in the long run.
Most online furniture stores offer their customers some interesting catalogues, which is a collection of products – usually on sale – that are typically organised by particular uses. For example, a lounge catalogue may contain a couch set, a chair, a coffee table and a carpet.
Catalogues make your tasks as a customer easier, by providing you with a frame of reference and even the exact plan you had in mind for your space.
Although infection rates may be decreasing, the number of victims to the worldwide pandemic are not. Leaving your home and entering a public space is not advisable unless completely necessary.
Luckily, an online furniture store can give you the opportunity to do your shopping from home, without coming into contact with the crowds and store employees. Keeping your family safe has never been more important.
While taking home that new piece of furniture on the same day is a different level of excitement for customers, there are rewards for being patient.
Online furniture stores work with courier or delivery companies of their choice, hand selected to ensure that you receive your product timeously and in perfect condition. Deliveries usually take between 2-5 working days – but this is largely dependent on your location.
If you live in an urban area you are likely to receive your purchase within this time frame. If, however, you live in a more remote and rural area, you may have to wait longer, and pay an extra fee in certain cases. In general, delivery fees range from around R250 and upwards.
This may seem like a schlep, but what you pay here in extra is perhaps what you save on petrol and effort, as well as the tasking experience of carting your furniture in your cramped boot or hiring a bakkie or van to do it for you.
If you are considering contracting your own delivery company, keep in mind that the existing relationships between online furniture stores and their couriers likely means that they have certain bulk prices, meaning that they are in fact saving you money.
The loneliest number is 1
In terms of delivery, keep in mind that in purchasing only one item such as a coffee table or chair, and then a few weeks later discovering that you need a new carpet for this space, can incur more costs on your behalf.
For this reason, it is advised that before taking that leap and placing your order, you take the time to walk around your home and decide what it is you really need or desire, and seriously consider what those items may be.
Once you do so, you may notice that there are other aspects of your home that you wish to improve or replace. Now that you’ve established this, you can make a bulk purchase, if your budget allows, which will save you delivery fees in the long run.