As more people invest in their living spaces (we can thank the good old Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns for that), the furniture and home decor sectors have seen a massive uptick in demand.

This surge, together with the evolution of e-commerce, sets the stage for both opportunities and challenges in furniture sales.

Unlike smaller items, e.g. clothing, furniture poses unique logistical hurdles. Just imagine trying to fit a sofa into a standard parcel locker… Yeah, exactly.

So in this article, you will learn about the top threats in this market, as well as strategies on how to overcome them.

💡 As part of our Flying with Shopify video podcast, we recorded an episode on selling furniture online with the E-Commerce Manager of the Polish furniture brand OPTISOFAMateusz Kasprzak. In this piece, we used some insights and tips he shared during the interview. Make sure to check it out – it’s a must-watch! 

Now, let’s see how you can properly handle furniture logistics to meet the growing customer demands:

Top challenges in the furniture market & how to overcome them


First off, we’ll start by looking at the aspects that might make you second-guess your chosen business niche.

Worry not though, together with those we’re going to tell you how to manage them.

After all, the devil’s not so black as he is painted:

1. Fast delivery vs. quality: how to manage both?

Problem: Customers often want their products quickly but also expect superb quality. In fact, did you know that over 40% of online shoppers fancy delivery that doesn’t take longer than 24 hours? Meeting this demand, together with high quality, can be difficult. And that’s especially true when products need careful handling and manufacturing.


Solution: To solve this, you can have a range of options for furniture shipments. For items that can be mass-produced, offer faster shipping. For high-quality or custom items, educate customers about the longer wait times but emphasize the superior quality and craftsmanship they will receive. It’s a win-win solution.

2. Competing with big brands: how to make your mark?

Problem: Big brands like Herman Miller, OKAMURA CORPORATION and IKEA dominate the market with their extensive product ranges and fast delivery. Naturally, smaller businesses like yours might struggle to compete with these giants.

Solution: Focus on building a strong brand identity and providing exceptional customer service. Highlight what makes your products unique, such as sustainable materials or local craftsmanship. Also, don’t shy away from creating a memorable shopping experience that customers will want to return to.

Speaking of shopping experiences…

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Alright, moving forward…

3. Custom products: benefits and challenges

Problem: Custom products are more popular than ever as customers look for items that match their specific needs. The custom furniture market is constantly growing. The thing is though – making these products usually takes more time, which can lead to longer delivery periods.

Solution: Set clear expectations about production and delivery times right from the start. Offer updates throughout the process so customers feel involved and informed. This transparency helps build trust and customer satisfaction.

4. Handling returns: new challenges in logistics services

Problem: Returns are a big issue in e-commerce, especially for bulky items like furniture. In 2023 alone, the global reverse logistics market was valued at a whopping number of 700 billion U.S. dollars. Handling these returns can be quite costly and complex.

Solution: Improve the returns process by including detailed product descriptions and high-quality images to minimize the likelihood of returns. For unavoidable returns, streamline the process by providing clear instructions and support. Everything to make it as painless as possible for both the customer and the business.

Furniture logistics – best practices from WeCanFly


So now you can see these problems aren’t as big as they seem to be, right?

And what if we told you that you could make them even smaller with some of our expert tips?

That’s right.

Reduce them to the minimum with our best practices for furniture businesses like yours:

#1 Make a memorable first impression

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to online shopping.

Let’s make sure your customers feel welcome and informed from the moment they land on your website.

Here’s how to set the stage for a fantastic customer experience that keeps shoppers coming back for more:

  • Your homepage is your storefront. Keep it clean, attractive, and easy to navigate. Highlight your top products and any special deals right up front. 🌟
  • Nobody likes surprises when shopping online. Have detailed descriptions, plenty of high-quality photos, and all the necessary specs. The more informed your customers are, the happier they’ll be with their purchases. 🔍
  • Be upfront about all costs, including shipping services and taxes, from the get-go. Surprises at checkout can lead to cart abandonment and unhappy customers. 💸
  • Make your help just a click away. Have a visible FAQ section, and offer multiple ways to contact customer support (chat, email, phone). Being accessible builds trust. 🆘
  • Make your returns policy easy to find and understand. A straightforward, no-hassle returns process makes customers feel more comfortable making a purchase. 🔄

#2 Standardize your processes


Next, it’s important to set the right standards for the entire process of your operations.

Doing this will create a nice framework for everybody in the company.

As a result, things will become finely standardized.

Here’s a bunch of helpful tips:

  • Know your game plan. Decide on key processes like team size, old furniture removal, and furniture assembly services. Keep everything consistent and transparent across all fronts. 🎯
  • Be upfront about delivery costs and how they vary with distance. Customers appreciate clarity as it prevents surprises later. 💸
  • Returns can be a hassle, but not with the right strategy. Clearly define the returns process, who pays for what, and communicate it well. Consider setting up regional return centres to handle high volumes efficiently. 🔁
  • Offer to store ready-to-ship furniture at no cost for a set period. For example, if somebody orders office furniture for their working space that will only be ready in a few weeks, let them store it with you at no additional cost. This adds value for customers who aren’t ready to receive their orders immediately. 📦
  • Have enough furniture warehousing staff and drivers to handle your business operations smoothly. The right team size can make or break your logistics. 👥
  • If a customer receives a damaged product, have a quick and effective solution ready. This improves customer trust and satisfaction. 🛠️
  • Choose the right partners and meet all packaging requirements. Thanks to proper packaging, all your furniture products will always arrive in top condition. 📐
  • Coordination is paramount. Keep deadlines tight and materials flowing smoothly with your suppliers and partners. ⏱️
  • Understand and manage logistics when selling on marketplaces. Know whose responsibility it is to deliver to warehouse storage spaces and how marketplaces can help you reach new markets. 🌐
  • Different markets have different expectations. Latin American customers differ from customers in Europe. Get to know them well and tailor your logistics to meet those specific needs. 🌍

#3 Be transparent


Nothing can contribute towards excellent customer experiences better than transparency.

How to stay honest AND keep your buyers satisfied at the same time?

  • Keep your customers informed about every stage of their order, from confirmation to delivery. Let them know the expected dates and any important details. This clear communication builds trust and satisfaction. 🔍
  • Explain responsibilities upfront, like who covers the costs for returns. Clearing up these details early prevents confusion and helps maintain a good relationship with your customers. 👥
  • If there’s a hiccup in the delivery schedule, don’t wait. Reach out to your customers immediately, explain the situation, and provide a new delivery date that works for them. Quick and proactive communication can turn potential frustration into a display of your dedication to customer service. 🛠️💡
  • Implement tools that allow both you and your customers to track the order in real time. Watching their purchase move from production to delivery not only adds excitement but also reassures them that they’re in good hands. 📊

#4 Prioritize customer care

When you invest in top-notch customer care, you’re not just solving problems – you’re boosting the entire shopping experience.

Now, we know how to do it:

  • Respond to customer inquiries and issues quickly. Fast replies show you value their time and business, which leads to happier customers and better reviews. ⏱️
  • Maintain transparency in all communications. Whether it’s about order details, delivery times, or service policies, clear information builds trust. 🔍
  • Offer support in various languages. This not only broadens your market but also makes customers feel at home and understood .🌍
  • Use technology like chatbots for basic inquiries and smart tracking systems so shoppers can check their order status anytime. Automation helps manage simple tasks efficiently, so your team can focus on more complex customer needs. 🤖

#5 Focus on smooth delivery

The way you handle deliveries can make or break your business.

If you want to stay ahead, follow our advice:

  • Don’t settle for just any logistics company. Do your homework and select a partner with a strong track record. A reliable and experienced partner in logistics makes your products arrive in perfect condition. This, in turn, further enhances customer satisfaction. 🤝
  • Thoroughly vet potential logistics companies. Check their handling procedures, delivery success rates, and customer feedback. This will prevent damage during furniture transportation and also reduce the risk of returns. 🔍
  • Investing in your own fleet of vehicles and a logistics team might be significant, but it gives you complete control over the delivery process. This can be a game-changer for making your products meet the high standards your customers expect. 🚚

#6 Delivery routes and schedules should be your strong suit

Delivering your products smoothly and on time is like putting together a puzzle – every piece needs to fit perfectly.

How to make it all work?

We know the answers:

  • Effective planning of routes and schedules is the key to delivery success. Use advanced technologies, including AI tools, to streamline this process in no time. 📅
  • Invest in quality logistics optimization software. Such technology considers various factors like proximity, delivery windows, traffic conditions, and more. All so you get to maximize delivery efficiency. 💻
  • As a result of optimizing route efficiency, your deliveries can reach customers faster and more reliably. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also increases your ability to handle more deliveries in less time. 🚀

#7 Don’t close your eyes on inspections and quality controls


Keeping an eye on quality isn’t just a good practice – it’s a must if you want to keep things running smoothly!

From checking products to optimizing your supply chain, regular inspections and quality controls are key players in making everything meet the mark.

So let’s see how staying sharp with your checks can make a huge difference in keeping your customers and partners happy:

  • Do regular inspections and quality controls to keep a high standard throughout your supply chain. These checks help identify and resolve issues before they affect your customers. ⏰
  • Quality controls not only allow for product excellence but also optimize the overall operations of your supply chain – don’t skip them. This proactive approach prevents potential delays and enhances efficiency. 🎯

Is the future of the furniture industry bright?

It sure is for you now.

Now you’re ready to conquer the competitive market of online furniture logistics.

Equipped with these insights, nothing can stand in your way of achieving the success you’ve always chased.

For more insights from the home & decor sector, we invite you to check out our case studies on Oakywood and Optisofa.

Also, don’t forget that at WeCanFly, we’re ready to take your e-commerce store to a whole new level.

Other than that, we wish you the best of luck!