Awesome Ideas · Business Development

Live stream shopping for homeware and furniture?


March 19th, 2020

Looking to build something where we work with partners to feature new products or just feature their store with shoppable links.

Are people as open to shopping for furniture online as they are to clothes? And what are the potential revenue streams for this?

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

March 20th, 2020

Isn't this some of what QVC and HSN do today? They even have scheduled programs for specific types of goods. The think about furniture that you should recognize is that it's frequently bought in-store because as a mostly permanent fixture, people want to have an experience with fit, feel, color, and comfort. At a certain level they want to customize it too. You can't touch a fabric across a live stream. You can't tell if the cushions are hard or soft through a live stream.

There's a whole class of people who won't buy clothes online either for similar reasons. They don't want the hassle of returns even if there is convenience.

The things easiest to purchase online are commodities, things about which there is no question what you're getting. That said, the online home furnishings business is already $50B. Whose tail would you be chasing and why would you want to?

Furniture is a very tough business to be in in the first place. Even without a showroom you're still going to need a warehouse, staging to show it off on camera, logistics, and suppliers. Between furniture stores and rug stores, I can't think of any other kinds of stores that go out of business as quickly right after starting. It's not like selling home furnishings online makes it so much easier. You still have to advertise, have a good hook, and know your audience's preferences, have salespeople, etc.. You still have to make sure it delivers on-time without damage and that your customers are delighted.

Do your research. Learn from companies who added e-commerce and why and how much of their business it has become (and why).

Only a certain segment of the population cares about "new." And why would a furniture store choose you as their showcase instead of doing it themselves?

I suggest you make a list of your assumptions and then go test each one of them individually. It should inform you greatly about what the real situation is versus what you perceive it to be. It won't cost you anything other than time.