By Jim Ray
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Article Title: Building An Effective Furniture Sales Web Site
Author: Jim Ray
Word Count: 684
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Web sites that feature products – especially furniture or
large items – require a careful balance of text and images to
convey the value of each product.
Let’s face it. Consumers like to see, feel, and “experience”
product before they make a purchase decision. If you can
the senses in your on-line presentation of an item, you will
increase your chances of making a purchase tenfold.
In addition to the basics of an effective web presence, such
complete contact information, a successful furniture sales web
site will convey the following:
* Credibility of the merchant to provide any product available
through the site;
* Dimensions, an invigorating text description, and multiple
images for each product;
* A replacement or repair policy in the event an item is
damaged during shipping;
* Delivery or shipping options, with pricing;
* Customer testimonials from those who have shopped with the
* Full payment options, preferably with telephone, on-line,
invoice credit/debit options.
Style and Navigation
Again, developing a successful furniture sales site depends on
the web designer’s ability to elicit the senses through a
careful combination of text and images. “Presentation” design
elements, such as Flash and Java components, may be useful in
establishing a professional, yet comfortable tone across the
Site navigation should be effortless and flow seamlessly
throughout the entire web site, including on pages that do not
relate specifically to products. Subconsciously, the site’s
ease of use will affect the prospect-customer’s impression of
As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
This is certainly the case in on-line furniture sales.
Each product should include at least two unique photos,
complete with thumbnail and enlarged versions, but may have as
many as six. The goal here is to encourage the
prospect-customer to become familiar with the product, to
envision the furniture in their home from all angles in the
Product descriptions should vibrantly relate the texture,
colors, size, and “feel” of each item. Choose words that
connect directly to the senses. A throw pillow, for example,
could be presented as “a soft burgundy compliment to any sofa
pictured above.” Of course, while it is appropriate to be
vivid in your product descriptions, remember to remain true to
each product’s features.
Customer service options are a must. A hyperlink to the
merchant’s contact page or customer service area should be
available on each page of the site, uniformly. The merchant’s
telephone number should also be listed on each page.
A shopping cart system is not required, but can certainly
promote prospect-customer conversion based on convenience.
the product-based web presence, the next “action step” after
selecting a product is to make a purchase decision. If a
purchase requires picking up the telephone, the merchant risks
losing the customer during this transition. Offering on-line
payment with telephone support is the optimal way to promote
Tweaks and Tips
* Offering financing options and/or incentive-based sales
offers, such as no interest for a 6- or 12-month period, will
increase your competitive edge and promote a quicker purchase
* When developing content, be sure to include plenty of key
terms and phrases in the site’s general text. Search engines
such as Google rely on content text, not meta tags, to
determine search placement.
* Include key terms in image description tags and hyperlinks.
Describe each image or link using terms and phrases relevant
the image, industry, and merchant.
If you are a furniture merchant attempting to develop your
first web presence, seek the advice and support of a
full-service small business web design firm. Professional,
affordable web design is available. Creating a “do it
yourself” site may appear cost effective, however this can
quickly become a complicated and time consuming project. Stay
focused in your profession, and recruit the wisdom of a web
About The Author: Jim Ray is a seasoned web developer and
president of Web Presence, a national web design firm serving
the small business market sector. To learn more, or for a
quote for your own web site, visit the Web Presence at
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