Furniture Manufacturing Industry

The furniture industry comprises of establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing furniture, such as household furniture, office furniture, kitchen cabinets, and other wood products. The industry also includes those establishments engaged in upholstering or reupholstering furniture.

Ecommerce's Successful Beginnings

Ecommerce is not a foreign concept to the furniture business. Online retailing, on the other hand, is more popular than ever before. When furniture was curated through prominent e-commerce platforms, there was a phenomenon known as the "Amazon effect," with distinctive online ecomm stores dedicated to selling unique pieces in specific categories.
Some examples of these types of websites are Joss & Maine, Joybird, Wayfair, Burrow, BenchMade Modern, and Article. What separates these sites from others is that they offer value-added features such as complete price-lists and 3D imaging which creates a great convenience for buyers. These factors have made them extremely popular; people are now more comfortable than ever buying online products without being able to see or feel the furniture until it's delivered. With ecommerce sales accounting for 16.4 percent of global sales(and only increasing), this trend does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
With global e-commerce sales projected to reach $6.5 trillion in 2023, online stores have become primary drivers of revenue growth, rather than an afterthought or compliment to physical store locations. As a result, it is now critical for furniture manufacturers – especially traditional ones – to create robust e-commerce platforms that effectively showcase their product offerings.
Furniture producers must invest the time, money, and resources necessary to develop an online store and ensure that it engages a continuous stream of visitors and contributes to the growth of a regular client base. Those with existing e-commerce stores can add new innovation by mixing online and offline sales. This may include 3D rendered images of furniture available for purchase or virtual experience photos allowing customers to envision their selected piece in their home in photorealistic 3D form.

The Growing Demand for Sustainable Furniture

According to a Hartman Group study, 84% of the population falls into the category of "World of Sustainability." This implies that buyers are more concerned about the environment and are looking for a "middle ground" by purchasing goods that are more sustainable. Sustainable furnishings are constructed from recycled materials and readily biodegradable woods like bamboo and acacia.
What impact do materials like bamboo and hemp have on the furniture industry? As consumers become more environmentally conscious, retailers must follow suit. Regardless of how clever or beautiful the furnishings are, they will not be popular if they are not produced in a sustainable way. This is why many designers are now focusing on how to use renewable resources to create attractive furniture items.
A few retailers, such as Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn, have made conscious decisions to use sustainable materials in their furniture. This includes using wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council or reclaimed wood. Room and Board only uses locally-sourced wood for their products. As a result, these brands are quickly making a name for themselves in the industry.

In the world of furniture shopping, social media is increasingly important.

With social media being increasingly popular, it's no wonder that social shopping is on the rise. Personalized convenience for users and universality among platforms result in increased furniture sales via social media. In fact, both Facebook and Instagram now operate as e-commerce sites, allowing customers to buy manufactured furniture directly from their feeds. Instagram even has a "Checkout on Instagram" feature that allows users to shop without redirected to another site or app.
Pinterest, which has shown to be highly popular among buyers, is another option that's gaining traction. It has a visual search tool that links pinned photos with those in its database. Pinterest then finds direct connections to the furniture store's website using machine learning, saving the customer time by cutting out the middleman. Last but not least, the rise of social media "influencers" who promote specific brands and products has grown widespread. These influencers have a big impact on customers' decisions.
What does this signify for the furniture manufacturing industry? The furniture manufacturing business may not be aware of it, but social media sites are no longer static platforms that complement the website or shop. It has evolved into its own ecommerce platform. This implies that manufacturers of furnishings will have to become more sociable without a doubt.
Manufacturers in the furniture sector who do not already have a social media presence must develop one. Even a rudimentary one with only enough bells and whistles will enable them to get their company's social networking activities up and running while maintaining financial constraints.
Individuals who do not have social media sites must set themselves up to be able to accept and process direct social media orders. High-quality photos must be emphasized. They may even create lifelike 3D images of their product for customers to experience as though it were real. Finally, retailers should utilize key industry influencers to help promote their goods.

Product Imagery

With the majority of people shopping for furniture online, they want to ensure that the information provided is accurate. In the past, manufacturing companies would use high-quality product photography to show customers what they were buying. However, this method has since lost its appeal. To attract visitors and persuade them into purchasing their products, professionals in the furniture industry are now using Betterthan pictures instead.
These eerily realistic photos can be viewed from all perspectives and permit shoppers to project images into their real world through their tablets and smartphones. This allows customers to feel a sense of ownership and an intimate, personalized connection with the products they view – something that even the most exceptional photographs cannot achieve. Even though this is still a relatively new innovation, it is rapidly gaining popularity and will soon lead product imagery.
What does this signify for the furniture manufacturing business? Customers take an average of .05 seconds to form an opinion on a website, according to the CXL institute. Any furniture maker in this scenario would want to acquire and keep as many clients as possible. Betterthan is the only real approach to do things in an industry that is highly visual-oriented like furniture. 3D artists can easily adjust these images to fit any concept, and 360-degree mode and 3D animation are even more dynamic than 2D images.

The Way We Live and What We Need

Sharp increases in the percentage of renters has occurred over the last few years. According to a Pew Research Center report, over 36.6% of breadwinners lived in rented homes as of 2016 – which is the highest percentage since 1965. The shift is largely due to millennials finishing school and entering/returning tothe workforce; they have new sets of challenges comparedto their previous generations. These struggles include (but are not limited to) inflated housing prices, crippling student debts, and getting married later onin life.
When there are more rentals, the desire for a certain sort of furnishings grows dramatically. While landlords are seeking for less expensive furniture, renters are typically searching for furniture that is small, light, portable, and inexpensive to transport. Many owners and renters alike would prefer to rent manufactured furnishings rather than own them for longer periods of time.

How does this change the furniture manufacturing sector? Given the massive reduction in “one-and-done” type heavy furniture, manufacturers should diversify their product line and provide a separate line of furnishings that meets the rising demands of millennial renters. Such furniture is typically designed for functionality and affordability. Manufacturers must understand that it's all about appealing to landlords' and tenants' psychological states.
Manufacturers can also create long-term partnerships with housing complexes, apartments, furniture rental companies and rent-to-own businesses. While this does mean that retailers have to invest in innovation and new designs, the effort will bring in revenue. In fact, businesses should see it as yet another opportunity to expand their portfolio and promote their brand.

The Changing Workforce Demographics

With millennials and Gen Zs making up a larger percentage of the population, we are seeing shifts in not just lifestyle choices, but also in demographics for certain industries. This is especially apparent in furniture manufacturing, where older generations are retiring en masse and younger adults are filling the resulting gaps in manpower.

The different lifestyle of millennials and Gen Z workers imply that they have a dissimilar set of skills and priorities. For example, the idea of owning their home before 30 or having a large pension plan is not as appealing to them as opposed to having a second master’s degree. The personal development of these generations arecrisspaced if the furniture manufacturers they work for do not share their viewpoint.

How does this affect the furniture manufacturing business? A factory is only as effective as its staff, even with the degree of automation and robotics that exist now. This makes employee investing a top priority for furniture producers to succeed. Businesses should begin by acknowledging that these young people grew up in a different time period and have a distinct viewpoint from their older counterparts.

Overcoming a Skills Gap in the Making

There currently exist a skills gap in the furniture manufacturing sector, which is one of the most significant problems it faces. While technology and machinery used in the production of furniture have advanced dramatically, personnel to control and monitor them has lagged behind. Older employees are generally unable to master complicated manufacturing equipment like 3D printers, CNC machines, and robotic systems because they lack technical training and understanding. Most of them are already on their way out, choosing to retire rather than deal with all of these issues.

Meanwhile, the younger workers do have the digital skills and the ability to understand such equipment but tend to lack a solid STEM background that could help them fully realize their potential in the industry and work to the best of their abilities. If allowed to foster, this skills gap will soon create a scenario where manufacturing units will be in a severe dearth of skilled and able workers.
How does this affect the furniture manufacturing industry? If seen with the correct perspective, this alleged “gap” for manufacturers is actually a great opportunity. No matter what the age group, education, when done right, enlightens people and brings them together. For instance, if manufacturers can start specialized workplace courses for older workers that demonstrate how new machinery can actually contribute to lesser stress and work-related injuries. They would choose to learn than run away.

At the same time, furniture manufacturers can also create opportunities for the younger generations to learn industry-relevant STEM skills from the get-go by creating Makerspaces in schools, colleges, and universities. These are places where students (both children and adults) learn and work on a project on their own, and therefore, also double-up as great recruitment platforms to hire those with talent and potential.

Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS)

Traditionally, furniture manufacturers have relied on an indirect B2B model when it comes to actual sales of furniture. This model works by having these manufacturers sell their products to distributors, who would then sell the products to customers. However, this is gradually changing as more companies are adopting a "manufacturing as a service" (MaaS) approach - similar to how software companies use SaaS. MaaS helps furniture manufacturers create direct relationships with end customers and can be beneficial for both parties involved.
For example, a company that owns multiple rental properties wants to equip them with furniture. In the past, they would buy from their local furniture store as needed. However, now they have the option to go directly to manufacturers, create a long-term relationship and buy (or even rent) in bulk. This change lets furniture makers sell their capabilities (manufacturing) as a service (something customers pay for).

How does this affect furniture manufacturing businesses? In our current climate, businesspeople are always striving to find a model which will help them increase profits for both producer and consumer. MaaS fills this need in an interesting way--by getting ride of the retailer. This allows manufacturers to price their furniture at a rate that is cheaper than what customers would pay in store, but higher than what they would offer other businesses.
The ability to connect providers with consumers in one centralized location is a valuable service. This, combined with the fact that manufacturers can fulfill large orders more quickly when contacted directly, makes for a powerful services-based business model. This will encourage more and more customers to work directly with manufacturers. Even Amazon, the e-commerce behemoth, has launched its own furniture collection under its own distinct brand.

The Evolution of Machine Learning and Robotics: Where We Are Today

The idea of automation has been around for years now, although it was more so in name alone. With machine learning and robotics on the rise though, this is quickly changing. More and more manufacturers are using tools that these advancements have helped create - one such example being the furniture industry.

Robots, for example, have developed considerably as a result of artificial intelligence and now possess skills that no human being has ever seen before, such as ability learning and visual recognition. This allows them to complete a variety of complicated duties in less time. Robots are now employed in "man-machine" partnerships known as "co-bots." Such an arrangement combines a human worker with a robot to increase efficiency by allowing the machine to do the heavy lifting while the person can concentrate on the more creative elements.

The Need For Customised Products Is On The Rise

Customers no longer have the option of purchasing a vehicle in any color "so long as it was black." In an era when consumers have limitless options, they are spoiled for choice. As a result, each upgrade is never enough. Customers are constantly on the lookout for new and distinctive customizations. These might include colors, materials, and even value-added features. If customers aren't satisfied with a product's level of customization, they'll look elsewhere.
At Bolia, everything from the color to the material can be customized to suite your unique taste. They have a wide range of customization options for each item on their website, making it easy for you to find exactly what you're looking for. And with so many choices available, you're sure to be satisfied with your purchase.
To put it simply, the furniture industry today is more complex than ever before. On one hand, Furniture companies are under pressure to create unique customizations for each customer. However, they also need to stay within budget and keep operations organized. Too much burden on the supply chain can lead to costly mistakes. That’s why ordering rapid site assessments is a key way to achieve success in this industry..

Third-party contractors compare a furniture manufacturing unit’s capabilities with its demands and make recommendations. For example, if they find that a particular material is unsustainable, they may suggest changing the material handling process to something more suitable. The goal is to keep the industry’s production systems running smoothly and prevent them from shutting down while trying to meet the never-ending demand for customization.
Gone are the days when the furniture manufacturing business was only about delivering orders. In an age when demands and competition grow more intense by the hour, only the most inventive factories can keep their operations on track. As a result, they must adapt their production technology and processes in advance to meet changing demands while also maintaining a low operating cost. To stay ahead of the competition, furniture manufacturers need to be aware of the latest industry trends and update their systems accordingly.

Are you looking for the finest furniture e-commerce trends to stay up with your competition? Get 3D renderings and 3D animations from us at Betterthan Furniture that your consumers will be unable to ignore. Our professional team of 3D designers can create high-quality visuals and 3D animations that allow prospects to learn more about your items.