Are you in the online furniture business? Are you planning to launch a furniture e-commerce website? If you are, you already know there’s fierce competition out there.
From large retailers who sell every type of merchandise to specialty sellers who focus strictly on furniture to your local neighborhood stores, you’re going up against a large, well-established industry. How do you stand out from the crowd? Let’s see what we can do.
Get the Edge With Furniture Website Development
One way is with a powerful, functional and beautifully designed furniture ecommerce website. You can make your brand and your business stand tall and command attention. Powerful features and SEO strategies allow your name to climb high in the search rankings. When customers visit you, a website that’s engaging to use makes it easy for customers to buy from you.
You’re probably thinking, “It all sounds great. How do I get a website like that?”
That’s where we come in.
So What is the Basic Code To Get Your Furniture E-Commerce Website Up and Running
As your website development team, we can help you start strong. We have extensive experience designing e-commerce websites. In this article, we're going to talk openly about what you can expect.
We know you have questions, and we're here to answer them with total honesty.
How long does it realistically take to get a full-featured website up and running? We're going to break it down here with some typical examples based on our experience working with many other customers.
What features do you really need? We'll give you recommendations based on that experience. We craft software solutions designed specifically for you.
We believe in being honest with our customers. Our advice and recommendations aren't just based on our opinions. We back them up with data that we get from our business analysts and industry experts. We'll tell you which applications our most successful clients are using.
What's the Best Tech Stack for Your Online Store?
For such kinds of websites, we recommend using one of these four combinations of tech stacks. They are:
- WordPress and WooCommerce.
- PHP7 Laravel.
- Python Django.
We’ll go into these in more detail below. Besides these platforms, keep the following in mind.
- Your website must have an appropriate design that incorporates high levels of UI (user interface) and UX (ease of use). Expect the design portion to take from 80 to 120 hours.
- Once we develop your website, we put it through a rigorous testing step to release and iron out all the bugs.
- We run a testing launch before we launch the final e-commerce site. All these steps assure you have a well-functioning site. They also require additional project hours.
How To Build the Finest Websites In the Furniture E-Commerce Industry
You’ll have a team dedicated to your project and your success. We understand it can be confusing to deal with highly technical issues. We’re here to help clarify the terms and guide you through the process.
Step 1: Choosing a Technology Stack
WordPress and WooCommerce ~ 240 hours
This is a good choice for many e-commerce businesses because WooCommerce has many features you can use to expand your site as your business builds. With this stack, you can add a lot of ready-made extensions and plug-ins. WordPress itself is one of the best-known CMS for a reason. It's very convenient and it definitely reduces time for developers to create a content management system from scratch.
The downside to this tech stack is it can’t support numbers of visitors more than 300-500k per month. If you’re ever in a position where you get a such rush of visitors, you’ll need to upgrade, and by upgrade I mean create a new site with a different language. WooCommerce won't expand with you if your business takes off.
Shopify ~ 230 hours
This is a popular e-commerce solution. Over 1 million online businesses trust Shopify to help them sell. Shopify is easy to use, and you can customize your site with an endless array of extensions and plug-ins.
Shopify is almost a “set it and forget it” site with 24-7 customer support.
Shopify has some disadvantages. It’s not as intuitive as other tech stacks. Shopify also requires a monthly subscription. The biggest downside, however, is that Shopify can't grow beyond a certain point. Like WooCommerce, it won't expand beyond a certain point.
Python+Django ~ 370 hours
Django is a free, open-source software platform that allows coders to work at top speed. It’s a powerful programming language that’s easy to learn, versatile, fast to write and highly adaptable. This tech stack had a range of advantages that worth of attention:
- It supports model-view-controller (MVC) design paradigm
- Provides robust security features
- Easy to extend and scale
With Python Django, you can get an e-commerce website that can tolerate enormous amounts of traffic. If you need to host tens of millions of visitors at once, this tech stack can handle it.
PHP7 + Laravel ~ 280 hours
The best feature of Laravel is that every e-commerce website on it is custom built. There are no templates or designs you can just plug in and edit. On Laravel, you build each site from the ground up. Laravel is adaptable, easy to use and able to produce elegant, powerful websites. Laravel allows your development team to function with full creativity.
It has few downsides, but one is its cost. Because it can do so much and requires a top-to-bottom custom build, it will cost more than the other tech stacks. We think it’s worth it, but the choice is yours.
A Note About Furniture Website Development Time
Please note that though we'll need almost the same amount of time on most of these tech stacks, there are two exceptions we want to point out right away.
- If we’re using Python Django, expect the development and design time to take about 20% longer than it would take with the other platforms. That’s because of the complexity of Python and the need to work on its dedicated servers.
- If we’re using Shopify, we will create a Shopify application and buy a separate server to host it. This will require additional time and expense. Creating the special software features we list below will also take longer with Shopify. Since Shopify has many built-in programs, we must first dismantle them before we can install our own.
We always keep you informed of changes to the timeline or budget.
Step 2: Creating Features to Boost Your Business
Our creation of your e-commerce website doesn’t end with the design of your website. We then add special features that help your customers envision a new home with your products.
These features are not built-in parts of any shopping platform or website designer. As creative people who are also coders and engineers, we build software from the ground up. We don't use plug-in programs. We create unique software specifically for your website.
Where Our Talent and Experience Shine
This takes time, and it also takes a deep understanding of what technology can do. This is where our combination of creativity, imagination, technical knowledge and love of innovation meet.
What can we add to your e-commerce site? Here are some examples of the software we can create.
Realistic Color and Fabric Depictions ~ 160 hours
Many people are hesitant to order furniture online because they can’t touch the fabric or see what it looks like up close.
We can add custom software that takes care of this problem. With this software, customers can view the furniture from all angles and zoom into a close-up look at the fabric. Instead of the blurry look you normally get from a close-up, this program magnifies the threads, surface and nubs of the fabric. It’s the next best thing to seeing it live.
With this feature, it’s easy for browsers to imagine your furniture in their home. After that, the decision to buy it becomes much easier.
Customization Tools ~ 320 hours
Would you like to turn customers into designers? We'll add software that lets them build their own versions of your furniture by picking the size, color, fabric and hardware. They can then resize, reshape and reconfigure the furniture.
Customers with a creative side will appreciate the ability to design a unique piece of furniture. All customers will relish an opportunity to buy furniture that fits their specific needs. The custom furniture market may be small, but it is a strong, growing segment of the furniture industry. Tools like this will help you position yourself as a leader in customer service and technological innovation.
Please note that adding this feature will add significantly to the design and development time of your website. This is a sophisticated application that uses technology similar to gaming technology. If you do a lot of custom business, it's worth the extra time and expense.
Augmented Reality - custom-built
Augmented reality has transformed website design. Don’t mistake it for virtual reality, which transports users to a phony or virtual world. In augmented reality, you see fabricated images that layer on top of real ones. For instance, you might see a photograph of a field of flowers with an overlay graphic of a girl standing in the field. The addition of the girl is an overlay or augmented image.
SnapChat filters are a good example of augmented reality.
The fashion industry uses augmented reality to let you “try on” clothes, and the beauty industry lets you try on hairstyles and lipstick colors before you buy.
How does this apply to the furniture e-commerce industry? It allows customers to see how your furniture would look in their home. They can do this online, instantly and without having to move any furniture.
Major furniture retailers like IKEA are exploring the advantages of augmented reality in their online furniture showrooms. You can get the same advantage with a similar application that we'll build just for you.
Flexible Payment Functions ~ 8 hours
There are many payment processors. Most will process payments from major credit cards, debit cards and PayPal. Your payment processor should include these options at a minimum.
If you want to expand your customer base, consider offering flexible payment plans that allow customers to use credit. Furniture is a high-dollar item, and your customers will buy more if they can extend their payments. Consider offering the PayPal Credit option, which gives customers six months of no-interest credit.
Other options you may want to consider are cash on delivery and direct carrier payments. Customers in countries outside the US commonly use these payment methods.
Building a payment system into your website is usually fast compared to other software applications. In most cases, it takes four to six hours.
Order Tracking ~ 25 hours
Most customers insist on a way to track their shipped orders. Whether you use regular mail, UPS, FedEx or other carriers, you can give every customer a tracking number and an expected delivery date.
We can build and install an automated service that will:
- Email the customer to confirm ordering and shipping.
- Give the customer a tracking number.
- Email or text the customer with a link to the tracking site.
- Confirm delivery of the order.
Your furniture ecommerce website can do this automatically while you concentrate on boosting your sales.
Step 3: Extra Touches for Amazing Furniture eCommerce UI/UX Design
All these features work together with your tech stack to create a furniture e-commerce website your customers will enjoy using. High UI and UX levels lead to greater engagement, better customer retention, repeat sales and a steadily growing business.
The following features will add more value to your site.
Clear, Sharp Images
Blurry, unclear pictures will kill interest in your products. At the same time, there are sellers out there who seem content to offer cheap-looking images to their potential customers.
As creators and designers, we understand the power of images. Your furniture images should be more than just snapshots. They should be carefully crafted graphics that show your product in amazing detail. If you want to sell to high-end customers, you need high-end graphics. They give you a professional image and make your website stand out.
Dimensions and Measurements
The biggest frustration among online furniture buyers is not having information about the product’s dimensions. Many furniture stores seem determined to hide this information. They make customers hunt it down, send emails and otherwise try to get the information before giving up. Nobody will buy furniture if they don’t know if it will fit in their home.
Don’t make this mistake. Put the size information in large type in a clear, prominent spot. Be sure nobody has to hunt around to find the height, width or depth of your item.
To bring the dimensions to visual life, add a picture of a person or object next to the item to show its relative size. Many people find this a helpful way to make sense of the numbers.
Sticky Contact Headers
While you might associate sticky contact headers with tacky e-commerce sites that urge you to “call us now” or “order here,” these headers are an important way to guide customers into action. The worst thing you can have is a customer who’s ready to buy and can’t find the order number or order form.
Your sticky header doesn’t have to be tacky-looking or annoying. We’ll design an unobtrusive but clear banner that will show up on every page and make it easy for the customer to hit a button and place an order.
This is a simple addition that takes about an hour to install.
Online Chat Feature
Customers love having instant access to a customer service representative who can answer questions and help them process an order. Many big and small businesses use chat features to help customers resolve straightforward issues. If you can spare people to work as help agents, a chat feature is a fantastic addition to any e-commerce website.
We’ll Build a Beautiful, Functional Furniture E-Commerce Website for You
Are you ready to launch an online furniture store with the features and functionality that will help you compete successfully in this market?
Web Design Sun is an award-winning website development company that specializes in helping small- and medium-sized businesses develop a commanding web presence. We create websites that combine technological innovation with gorgeous design.
- Outstanding experience and the portfolio to prove it.
- Professionalism and a focus on customer service.
- Realistic timelines and budget.
- A shared vision of your success.
If you’re ready to launch a new website or want to redesign your existing one, contact us today.