Online vs In-Store Buying
While there are pros and cons to both sides of the great online shopping debate, you first have to ask yourself what you are really looking for and what will be most beneficial for me in the long term. What design are you trying to achieve and how do you achieve it? At first, online purchasing might seem quick and easy, but what is it that you are actually buying?
You’ve selected your product, typed in your quantities, picked your finishes, entered your credit card details and it was that simple, right? Wrong. What if something goes wrong? Are the products covered by commercial insurance? What do you do with a product that hasn’t met your expectations? Is the stock current? What if you’ve under or over ordered? Is the estimated shipping cost going to come in a lot higher than expected? You must ask yourself: can you really make a decision on your fit out with just an image?
If you’ve decided to try online shopping make sure you have the correct information and are asking all the right questions. Can I use this in a commercial environment and who is held responsible for public liability? What is the warranty and how quickly can I resolve any problems if they arise? Will you be able to identify me by my name or by my purchase order number?
When making furniture selections for your business, the majority of the population still feels more comfortable with a hands-on approach. When purchasing products in-store you not only receive personalised service, but are able to support local business and manufacturers. You receive an education on the furniture you are buying, whilst being able to test firsthand the quality and comfort of those pieces.
Many furniture companies also offer professional colour consultation and space planning, along with site visits and customised furniture options, all of which are beneficial. They can create the overall picture and ensure you select the right pieces to create an inviting and profitable venue.
Furthermore, the benefits of after sales service can be priceless. If you need extra parts, another item or a re-upholstery quote, this will be much less of a headache by returning to your in-store sales consultant.
When it comes to making these decisions for your venue, you also need to think, what will put my mind at ease, and who will take care of all my needs?
At the end of the day, and like any great venue, what can possibly beat good old fashion customer service with a friendly smile?
Photo taken at The Trustee Bar & Bistro