What do you think? From emerging trends to the latest business principles, Furniture News is setting out to gauge the trade’s feelings on a variety of industry-specific topics. Today, we’re asking: "Has Covid-19 catalysed your business’ digital transition? "
Mike Murray (Land of Beds and AIS): Our ecommerce channel was already a priority. Covid has allowed us to focus on this in even greater detail
Henrik Pontoppidan (S2U Design Containers): Not really – other than the use of video-call presentations instead of in-person meetings. But that’s only because my business is targeting one customer at a time – and a project typically takes 6-12 months’ intensive work with a customer before it materialises into business
Adam Hankinson (Furniture Sales Solutions): Yes, we’re now really investing in our website and supporting digital marketing, and everything we deliver has to be digitised, so that is ongoing. Plus we are investing a lot of time and money in LinkedIn
Dids Macdonald OBE (ACID): Yes, we have become much more agile and upskilled because we have had to be. Necessity is a fast track to finding solutions!
Emma Leeke (Leekes Retail): It’s accelerated our plans, for sure
Lee Ness (Global Upholstery Solutions): Yes, but we have pulled back on social media efforts – not because of budget, but because of our marketing strategy
Mike & Karen Rowley (Core Products): Yes. However, the transformation was already in progress – it’s just the pace that has been escalated
Adam Ashborn (Reborn Marketing & Design): Reborn has supported our customers with their online requirements, plus we are relaunching our own website
Peter Harding (Fairway Furniture): We have had a fully transactional digital offer for over 20 years, but the pandemic has accelerated the changes we had already planned. In addition, we’ve launched a video shopping service, which will play an important role, both now and into the future
Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): I think most of us realise that we need to do better with our clicks offering, and the lockdowns have certainly made us invest in our own website, with a new one being launched during the first lockdown – but this past 15 months has shown we need to spend more time and money on it on a regular basis, not just during lockdowns
Andy Stockwell (Gardiner Haskins): No
Steve Adams (Mattress Online): It’s no surprise to hear that we were digitally forward before Covid-19, and we continue to actively reinvest our learnings and market share gains to improve the digital experience for our customers
Anne Davies (Room to Grow): Room to Grow has always been an online store, which potentially used to hold us back slightly when competitors had showrooms to invite customers to view their products. Since Covid-19, most of these companies increased their online presence, which meant it was more crucial than ever to have a solid marketing strategy, eye-catching creative, an easy-to-navigate website, etc. Investing heavily in improving the user journey of the website was key, to ensure customers who were being forced to shop online had a good experience when visiting our site. We focused on keeping a balance between advertising costs and exposure to result in a healthy return, allowing us to retain staff and even expand the team during difficult times