The Internet offers all kinds of ways to do things better, cheaper, faster. Now that promise is coming to the staid furniture industry.
I’m very familiar with the furniture business. I had a relative who was a longtime member of the industry, and I saw how all the showrooms worked. Furniture was made in bulk, shipped, and stored in warehouses. The individual stores would stock what they hoped customers would want.
It was very inefficient and you as a customer paid more because of it!
Furniture startups have a new way
With both of these sites, you go on the web and order a piece of furniture. It is not made until you order. But this isn’t the traditional custom furniture thing where you wait a long time for your order to be made and the cost is high.
This is using modern manufacturing to make it quickly and get it to you. And it comes to you already assembled. So instead of the Ikea thing where you try to figure out how to assemble your purchase with these tiny tools, this comes to you built. Of course, it’s not as cheap as Ikea in terms of price!
Taking a cue from 3D printing
The approach these sites use is similar to that of 3D printing. With 3D printing there’s no need to spend all kinds of money on inventory. Businesses can now make things as they want them.
I’ve talked before about the wonder of 3D printing and how it’s changing so many things. For example, it’s helping kids with amputations who couldn’t previously afford a prosthetic. Now prosthetics can be printed up at 1/50 of the original cost.
And now with the furniture making, you get exactly what you want on demand, at a cheaper price than the historical cost. So this is just another business where the customer is being served better and more efficiently at a lower cost.