How To Dropship Furniture Items? – 2021

This is going to be different. I know if you have landed on this article, by now you might already have a clear idea of what dropshipping is and how it works.

You must have even gone through the ‘top products to sell’ or ‘best niches to choose’ lists. Has anyone recommended furniture items to you yet?

We know as per the recent market scenario, the willingness of people in buying furniture items online is increasing. Buying habits of people in Tier 1 & Tier 2 cities are changing and the growing need seems promising from the eyes of an eCommerce enthusiast.

But do you know why not many dropshipping experts recommend selling furniture items to dropshipping enthusiasts? Because approaching this is going to be different.

Dropshipping furniture items is not like selling other low-ticket stuff like fashion accessories or mobile covers. Consumer psychology when it comes to this domain is going to be a bit different. The products are larger & heavier to ship and the ticket prices are higher. Also, relying solely on ‘impulse buying’ is not going to be enough.

But if the market here seems promising, there should be the way!

Thus in order to understand the approach and get things right, in this article, we will take a look at the step-by-step process of how to dropship furniture items and establish our own eCommerce brand online.

Why Is Selling Furniture Online a Good Business?

Firstly we all know what this pandemic has done to all the businesses out there. The fact is clear now. If you don’t exist online, you will not stand the test of time.

Like many other businesses, the offline furniture industry too suffered a huge loss. The ones present online actually witnessed a boom.

Now I agree that this situation is not going to last forever. The reason why I said this here is because it is in this lockdown period that people actually got comfortable with buying things like furniture online.

Also, did you notice the number of startups like furniture on rent or customized furniture on sale becoming popular amongst people from Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities in the last 3-4 years? The response is huge.

If you take a look at the Google Trend for the last 5 years in the image below, you can see the rise in trend for this particular search term “office chairs”.

google trends graph for keyword office chair

This clearly shows that people are turning online when they are thinking about buying furniture items. This means, the objection – “do people really prefer buying furniture online?” gets knocked out.

In order to show you another interesting statistic, here is what Statistica has to say about the furniture and home decor eCommerce market –

“In 2020, in the US alone, the retail eCommerce revenue from furniture and homeware sales amounted to 52.6 billion US dollars and is projected to increase to over 61.2 billion US dollars in 2025.”
(Source)

So by taking a look at the above data, you must have got an idea that the furniture market for eCommerce is huge. And if you are someone considering to dropship the furniture items, then you cannot go wrong with choosing this niche.

Types of Furniture That You Can Dropship

The furniture niche is huge. You don’t really get any idea when you just talk about ‘selling furniture items’. Thus, when it comes to dropshipping, being as specific as possible is important to beat the competition. You need to go even specific in the niche. You have to go – micro-niche.

a sofa set

But before deciding on that, it is important to list down all the possible types of furniture so that we get clarity of what to choose and what to focus on.

Following are the different types of furniture that can be dropshipped –

  • Home Decor Items
  • Tables and Chairs
  • Sofa Sets
  • Beds
  • Desks and Office Essentials
  • Wardrobes and Cupboards
  • Trolleys and Kitchen Items
  • Showcase and TV Unit Cabinets

So as we can see in the list above that simply ‘furniture’ is a broader term. We have a lot of different segments to explore. And now that we know what all items we can sell specifically, it’s time to carve out the path for our dropshipping journey.

Choosing A Path

Now when there are various types of furniture that go great online doesn’t mean we should include all of them in our product catalog. When it comes to dropshipping, we do have a choice of being flexible in the approach and choose whatever products we feel like to test and see what works and what does not. But this is the wrong approach!

Dropshipping is competitive and the best way to tackle this competition is to be very specific with our offering and build our mastery in it. This is where – going niche comes into play.

desk with a laptop and note books

But if you are someone who isn’t clear about what category of furniture to focus on and what niche should choose to dominate yet, I got you covered!

Finalising Your Niche

Whatever efforts you will be taking later. Will they pay off or not will mainly depend on this one thing. What niche did you choose in the furniture category?

Did you see it? I didn’t just say ‘nihce’. I said, ‘niche in the furniture category’.

Yes, when it comes to building your eCommerce brand online as a dropshipper, ‘furniture’ is still a broad term. You need to get very much specific in order to cut down all the other competition.

How to choose a niche for your furniture eCommerce store?

  • Niche Based On Style – You can choose a niche based on the style or the theme of the furniture. This gives you the scope to be more creative in your approach and you can appeal to customers seeking innovation. Niches based on style can be – Minimalist Furniture, Modern Furniture, Antique Furniture, etc.
  • Niche Based On Type – You can choose a niche based on what type of furniture you will be selling specifically. This will give you a scope to showcase your speciality. Niche based on type can be – Office Furniture, Beds, Sofa Sets, Tables & Chairs, etc.
  • Niche Based On Style + Type – Although this may sound getting too specific. But getting more specific also equals less competition. And if you finalise your niche by choosing a particular furniture style but only for a specific furniture type, you become unique & authoritative. Niche based on Style + Type can be – Minimalist Beds & Sofa Sets, Antique Tables & Chairs, Modern Office Furniture, etc.

Now that a very difficult task of choosing a niche has been simplified, you still can keep your mind open. Find out what is it that excites you the most. What is it that you know you have very good taste in? What is it whose demand in the market is stable?

Conduct the research yourself. You might come up with some new cool niche that no one thought about.

Refer to this article for knowing my in-depth insights about choosing a niche.

And once you do that, you have to step on the ground and head towards a very important task. The product research!

Conducting Product Research

Choosing the right niche is like choosing the right battlefield. Choosing the right products is like choosing the right battle to fight. Thus getting this right is equally important as choosing a niche.

There are 2 types of products based on needs & wants.

  1. Product That Fulfills Existing Demand
  2. Product That Needs Generation Of Demand

When it comes to furniture, most of the time there is an already existing demand. All people want is to have the best solution as per their expectations. As a brand, all we need to do is to – be present at the right place, win the trust and offer the best version.

Here are a few places where you can conduct product research particularly for furniture items.

Amazon Best Sellers

If any product is not present on Amazon, there are very few people searching for it. It’s that simple! Now before you start a debate and slam me with links & screenshots, let me make it clear what I mean by that.

Like Google is to websites, Youtube is to videos, Amazon is to the products. People start their product buying journeys by searching about it on Amazon besides Google. Maybe their journeys do not end there, but still, we get an idea that the buying intent of people landing on Amazon is quite high.

amazon best sellers in furniture category

Thus, all the products present on Amazon that are doing good, are the ones that already are getting searched for & have good demand. If the products are not present on Amazon, then we need to create a demand for that first.

But as furniture items fall into both – needs & wants of the people, it makes sense to start your product research journey from Amazon. Following are few things you can do to get an idea –

  • Head over to Amazon (go to country specific site as per your target audience) 
  • Go to Best Sellers and as per your niche, choose any category amongst these – Garden & Outdoors, Home & Kitchen, Home Improvement, etc.
  • Now take a look at all the top best selling products. Don’t worry if you don’t find furniture items in the display list. Just take a look at sub categories and choose something which has ‘furniture’, ‘furnishing’ or name of a particular furniture item in it.
  • Alternatively, without going into Best Sellers, you can just play around with the categories and try to discover new products.
  • You can even enter the type of product you feel like in the Amazon search bar and  scan through various products.
  • Check out the number of ratings and reviews the product has and what people are saying about it.

If you want to conduct advanced-level product research on Amazon, you can use tools like Jungle Scout, Helium 10, etc. to get an in-depth idea.

Whatever the problem is, almost all of our research starts from Google, right? And when it comes to product research, it is no exception.

You will definitely discover all the other products that you were not able to find on Amazon. If any product does not get discovered via Google, then you can be pretty sure that there is no demand for it at all and you need to work on-demand generation.

google shopping ads for furniture

But how should you conduct the product research through Google search? Following are few ways to do that –

  • Search for a particular product name in Google. If you want to be precise, enter ‘buy’ or ‘buy online’ along with that keyword. Check for all the Search and Shopping Ads results that appear.
  • Shopping Ads that will be triggered are enough for you to get the product ideas.
  • You can also visit the Search Ads result and take a look at what all products the advertiser is selling. You can check the entire category and the product catalogue.
  • Besides ads, you can also take a look at organic results that appear below the ads. You may find the results of many other popular online marketplaces. You can conduct your research there.
  • If your search is ultra specific, you may even find other niche stores. They will give you a good idea as well.
  • Note down the product types which appeal to you. If the product appearing in organic search belongs to the bigger brand, you can also note that down as the brand themselves might become your supplier via franchise later.
  • You might even discover a lot of competitors here.
  • Alternatively you can even head to Google Keywords Planner and conduct your research based on what product keywords are getting a good amount of search volume and have a lower competition.

Spy On Your Competitors on Social Media

We know who our competitors are via Google search. Now what we can do is, simply head to the Facebook Ads Library and check with what all ads they are running on Facebook to find out the products for which they are generating the demand.

facebook ads library with pepperfry ads

You can also go ahead and see what big & already popular furniture-based online stores like Pepperfry, Ikea, Wayfair, etc. are doing. As these stores are already specialized in selling furniture, you will be able to see all of the latest and hottest products there.

You can also make use of social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to conduct research on the ‘in trend’ furniture products. You can use hashtags or search functions to discover product-related posts or pins.

If you want to learn more about using these unusually best tools to conduct your product research, refer to this article.

Sourcing Furniture Items For Dropshipping

The easiest way which actually looks easy just at the first glance is to straight away go to Aliexpress and import the furniture items to your store using plugins like Oberlo or Alidropship. Once you get the orders, you can simply forward them to the vendors.

This just seems easy. It’s not!

In case you run into a dispute with some customer due to poor product quality, wrong variant, or delayed service and if the customer asks for a return or a refund, it will be no less than a nightmare.

Hence, when it comes to dropshipping heavy and high ticket items, the best bet is to find suppliers who are as close as possible to your customers.

furniture work in the workshop

Remember. I am saying this because we are talking about dropshipping. If it was about stocking the products ourselves, then importing from Alibaba or other Chinese manufacturers and handling everything by ourselves would have made sense.

So how should you find the suppliers for dropshipping furniture?

Find Them Locally

The best way is to search for the manufacturers locally. You can do that by simply putting a search query like –

“wooden furniture manufacturers in [city name]”
“antique chair suppliers in [city name]”
“dining table wholesalers in [city name]”

You will get a lot of Google My Business or local business directory listings on the first page itself. Just get in touch with them and inquire about whether they are open for dropshipping orders.

Find Them on Facebook Groups

You can find plenty of suppliers on Facebook groups as well. Many suppliers or manufacturers are active in Facebook groups. These guys are generally not very good with online marketing & mostly rely on social media groups when it comes to acquiring customers from the internet.

So the place where they hover the most is Facebook groups. All you have to do is head on to Facebook, search for the right groups ie. the groups of furniture suppliers, wholesalers, other dropshippers from similar niches, etc., and join them.

You can directly put your demand ahead by posting on the group or simply search for the other relevant posts and connect with the relevant people.

Connect With The Franchisee Owners

This will be a great option if you want to be assured about the quality of the product as well as the guarantee of timely fulfillment. Getting assistance in branding and promotional material will be an additional benefit.

What you need to do is to create your own independent brand first. Then, find the other furniture brands that are open to offering their franchise. Invest some initial amount that may be required to get registered with them.

Now, sign a deal with them that you will pick up the product as per the daily orders on demand. Do not go about buying a stock.

Once you start your marketing campaigns and receive orders for the same, you can simply forward the orders to the franchise owner and get the products shipped directly to your customers.

But be careful while signing such contracts as most of the franchise owners will want assurance of a minimum number of sales on a daily or a monthly basis.

Registering The Business

To be open about it, registration of a dropshipping business as an LLP or a Pvt. Ltd. at the very beginning of your journey is not necessary. You don’t have to worry about all these legal things in the beginning.

All you need to do is to start getting those sales first. Once you get the results and feel that this can be a serious business for you in the long term, you can go ahead and register your business as an eCommerce company by consulting with the concerned professionals.

But having said that, registering at least a sole proprietorship entity is necessary for you in the beginning. Be it for opening a current bank account or fulfilling legal requirements when you connect with the suppliers. Having a business registered always helps.

Also remember, dropshipping is just going to be the first step. Your goal should be to establish a private label business in the future.

If you want to know about how to register an eCommerce business in India, you can take a look at this article.

Building Your Furniture Brand

Why do you think people buy things from our dropshipping stores? Not just because of the products or our ad copies. It is because of our brand that appeals to them.

laptop with furniture website opened

Hence, the only value that we truly create when it comes to dropshipping is – our brand. And it is important that we build something that creates an impact on the visitor that stays for the long term.

How to build a brand for your dropshipping store?

  • Choose a good brand name, which will also be your domain name – (refer to this guide).
  • Design a simple but unique logo and decide on the colour palette.
  • Have a catchy tagline and decide your brand voice.
  • Write an emotionally appealing story behind your brand. Share in it your mission, your vision and the purpose of starting this brand (of course besides making money).
  • Craft every word regarding your store – be it product descriptions, promotional material, etc. to have a personality.

Now that all the preparation work is done, it is time to set our feet on the ground.

Building Your Online Store

Now the fun begins. We have our niche, we have the product data and we have our brand in place. Now it’s time to start building our online store.

When it comes to creating and hosting our own store online, there are several options available. They are as follows –

  • Shopify
  • WordPress + Woocommerce
  • Magento
  • BigCommerce
  • Wix

All these are nothing but the online platforms that can be used to turn our website into an eCommerce store. Honestly speaking, it doesn’t matter which solution you go for.

But it is important to choose a particular platform on the basis of one thing. Will you be able to manage it? Or if not, is there anyone in your team who is well versed in any one of these?

Generally, if you are going to do all of it by yourself, are a non-technical person, and want to focus more on the business part, going with Shopify or Wix will be the best option. If you want to decide on one, go with Shopify as it will give you the most robust eCommerce solution.

Shopify website appealing furniture businesses

If you are someone who is open to making your hands dirty and don’t mind getting technical, then WordPress + WooCommerce, Magento, and BigCommerce can actually offer you the flexibility to build your store.

Once you choose the platform, you will need to do the following things –

  1. Design a killer homepage (read the guide here)
  2. Upload your product data
  3. Set up the shipment, taxes and other functions in the backend
  4. Create other necessary pages like About & Contact
  5. Set up an order tracking page (read the guide here)

By now we have all the foundations built. The real game begins now. To bring in sales!

Marketing Your Store

This is going to be the hardest part if you haven’t got the things discussed above right. And the easiest one if you did. But whatever the case, it is going to require you to play the game smartly.

The strategy you will use to market your products will highly depend on the types of products you have. Whether your products will fulfill the already existing demand or whether it will be required to generate one first will decide what strategy we can use.

laptop with words marketing, branding and strategy

Following are the different marketing strategies you can use to market the furniture items –

  • Google Search & Shopping Campaigns – The best way to promote high ticket items online is when the buying intent of a customer is too high. Not many people buy bigger items just on the basis of instant impulses. Also most of the furniture items are something which people are actively searching for at some point of their life. Make use of this. Find whether people are searching for products similar to yours on Google. Use Google Keywords Planner to find the keywords. If you find the data to be promising, then go ahead and run Google Search as well as a Shopping Ads campaign for your furniture products.
  • The Blog Funnel – Write informative blog articles regarding home decor or interior designing and bring in the interested visitors via running Facebook ads to that blog or optimising it for the search. You can either promote your products in between the articles or you can retarget the visitors and show them your product ads.
  • The Video Ad Funnel –  You can run a video ad on Facebook showcasing some tips & tricks related to furniture and then retargeting the visitors who watched the video for more than 75% by showing them product ads. Instagram reels work best for branding and capturing attention.
  • Email Campaigns – Give away something for the first time visitors like – a discount coupon, some premium informational content, or maybe run some quiz and collect the email ids of the visitors. Later you can promote your products via email campaigns.
  • Social Media Activity – Post content on your social media profiles daily and engage people through some or the other activity. Create your own tribe of like minded people (of course related to your niche) who can be your lifelong customers. Keep them nurtured for a long term.
  • Influencer Marketing – This may or maynot work best based on how you approach it. In influencer marketing, what you can do is tie up with the influencers who have a decent following in the home decor or interior designing space and ask them to give you a shout out or place your product in their content. This will only work in case of furniture items if the influencer provides enough value to their audience and is an authority in their particular niche.

Start Dropshipping Furniture Today

I hope by now you must have got a pretty clear idea about how dropshipping high ticket items like furniture is different from dropshipping other low ticket items.

Let us once again go through all the important things that we learned in this article about dropshipping furniture items –

  • When it comes to dropshipping furniture, going to Aliexpress or other international suppliers is a bad idea. Returns and refunds can give you nightmares.
  • For high ticket and heavy on shipping items, it is important to be as close to the target audience as possible. Thus, going with local vendors will be the best bet for you.
  • Google, Amazon and other popular furniture websites are enough for you to conduct product research.
  • Brand is your only asset when it comes to dropshipping. So give your best in it.
  • When it comes to marketing, focus on an audience with high buying intent.
  • Dropshipping is just the first step. Keep your goal to private label the products in future.

And again remember. Though the high ticket eCommerce business model seems more lucrative and profitable than low ticket ones, you need to put extra effort when it comes to your branding and customer support.

So what do you think about this? Did I miss anything or do you have something more to add? Let me know in the comment section below.

Also if you have any questions regarding eCommerce or dropshipping, just shoot an email here – jayant@ecomelement.com and I will try to answer them at my best.

To Ecom Your Success,
Jayant Padhi

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