While the lure of the internet can make shopping for clothes, furniture and well, almost anything, appealing, nothing quite beats the look and feel of the real thing. Studies have actually shown that the effect of touching items that we love prior to purchase invokes a euphoric feeling, which is why we often refer to shopping as a feel-good experience or ‘retail therapy’. Similar to purchasing clothing online, you simply can’t know for sure that your piece of furniture is the right fit until you are able to try it and see it in the space. Considering the cost of buying furniture can often be substantial, it’s worth weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing your furniture at a bricks and mortar store, rather than online.
Comfort & Quality
The convenience and almost infinite range of furniture available online can increase the temptation to purchase without actually testing or seeing the product in person. But most shoppers know that you need to sit down and feel a piece of furniture before you know it’s the one. Unfortunately, along with the benefits of having so much choice online thanks to overseas and online retailers, one of the biggest risks buying furniture online is that you can’t test or know the quality or comfort of a piece of furniture prior to purchase. From the seat material and zips to the structure and bolts, you need to be sure you are buying furniture that’s going to last. In a store, you have the ability to test and feel the quality of a piece, and a representative will be able to talk you through anything else you need to know regarding the upkeep and maintenance of your new purchase. Alternatives which are significantly cheaper online can skimp on the quality of the parts or materials used in order to make a profit. This reduction in quality parts and materials means not only will the furniture have a shorter lifespan, but the comfort and colouring will be lacking from the beginning.
Colouring & Size
Behind the overwhelming amount of product choice online, there is also the risk of not getting exactly what you want. It’s no secret that products on the internet are often enhanced to look more appealing, colours are brighter and backgrounds are whiter, altering the overall appearance of the product. It’s not uncommon for someone to have purchased a stunning white couch online, to have it delivered and once it arrives you find it’s a cream colour. When you are spending your hard-earned money on something you will be looking at every single day, it can be devastating to find it’s not what you thought it would be. The size of the furniture can be a similar scenario. While the product descriptions online should always have exact measurements included, sometimes customers can be fooled by an image that looks much larger than life. Customers need to make sure they check the measurements and map out exactly where they will be in the space so that there are no surprises when the product is delivered. That beautiful teak outdoor setting might have 8 seats on the internet, but you need to read the fine print to know for sure that’s what you’re getting.
Price & Security
Many people shop online to find the best bargains and the cheapest price they can. It’s a tactic that will work for some, but if you want your furniture to last more than a few years it’s probably not the best approach. Quality furniture is not necessarily cheaper when bought online. In fact, prices are often on par, when you consider the shipping costs involved with buying from online retailers. Another risk that’s associated with purchasing anything, including furniture online, is the security of your banking information and accounts. Consumers need to be increasingly aware of the sites they pass their personal information to. If a company’s website isn’t properly secure for online transactions, your information could be privy to hackers.
Bricks and mortar stores not only offer customers a beautiful showroom to look and feel around for the perfect item, they often also provide delivery for a small fee. Second to this, there is the added benefit of warranties available with the product. When purchasing furniture online, you may have a warranty in place but you will need to pay for the cost of sending the piece to the company, which can be a significant amount. Retail stores give you the peace of mind that there will be a real person you can go and speak to about any issues and a product warranty that you can rely on.
Perhaps one of the most underrated benefits of purchasing furniture in a physical store is the face-to-face communications with staff. In fact, a report by Retail Touchpoints highlighted that 90% of consumers say they are somewhat or extremely likely to make a purchase when they receive assistance from a helpful salesperson. It’s been shown that retailers that create high-value, personalised interactions provide a more satisfying experience for customers. Retail assistants not only provide customers with product information, they are also a great avenue for customers who want interior or styling advice for their interiors and exteriors.
We understand that being able to thoroughly check and sit on furniture, being able to see it in a space and having the help of a salesperson for advice and any questions has a huge impact on a customers’ furniture shopping experience. At Daydream Leisure Furniture, we wholeheartedly believe in customer experience and aim to provide the highest level of service in both our Warana and Noosa showrooms. View our range of high-quality outdoor leisure furniture and accessories online or visit one of our showrooms today and create your dream outdoor space.