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Last Mile Furniture Delivery Trends and Challenges for 2021

Emulating successful delivery models is a winning tactic for furniture retailers. An original study conducted by Furniture Today Strategic Insights, in partnership with FIDELITONE, examined current delivery practices and use of 3PLs among furniture retailers. The study’s findings illustrate the most important aspects of creating a profitable last mile delivery partnership that earns customer loyalty.

Keep reading to learn about two key insights on in-market trends and challenges according to industry executives, or download the study to access all of its insights.

Furniture delivery—obstacles and opportunities

As customer expectations evolve, new opportunities to earn customer loyalty present themselves. As decision-makers in the furniture retail space look toward 2021 after the upheaval of 2020, more focus than ever before is being placed on ecommerce and delivery.

The white paper study, Last Mile Delivery for Furniture Retailers: Obstacles & Opportunities,found that 88% of furniture retailers aim to increase their ecommerce sales in the next 5 years. To accomplish that, furniture retailers are putting thought into how to ensure their customers receive high-level customer service driven by customer-centric technology.

Furniture delivery obstacle: consistent customer service

As ecommerce furniture sales trend upward, furniture retailers are seeking ways to ensure the customer experience remains competitive and satisfying no matter the purchase channel. This means finding the right last mile delivery partner to truly own the task of providing great customer service.

The white paper research indicates that 80% of furniture retailers are uncomfortable with handing over customer service elements to last mile delivery partners. For the successful furniture retailers surveyed, it’s about process and brand perception.

The ability to unbox, fully inspect, and deluxe furniture is critical to building the brand relationship. And each additional effort toward creating a positive customer experience reduces return rates and helps protect the retailer’s brand perception.

Furniture delivery opportunity: customer-centric delivery models

A highlight opportunity for furniture retailers in 2021 is to find 3PL delivery partners that are invested in your brand—and understand what that really means. A successful 3PL last mile delivery partnership can expand your access to markets outside your brick-and-mortar trading area while upholding your brand promise.

Ensuring your last mile delivery partner can match your service level is an important aspect to emulating successful furniture delivery partnerships. Expert last mile delivery service providers are capable of offering multiple levels of service, including the high-touch, unboxed delivery experiences that earn customer loyalty.

Furniture delivery obstacle: last mile delivery technology

The research further indicated that furniture retailers are most interested in technology that enables their customers to schedule deliveries at their convenience. Industry executives are also seeking out last mile technology solutions offering real-time order visibility and tracking.

But furniture retailers are the first to admit that they’re not quite equipped to offer those services in-house. 46% of industry executives say that their delivery technology either needs improvement or needs immediate and significant improvement.

Furniture delivery opportunity: 3PL delivery technology

Investments into proprietary technologies can be hefty. For furniture retailers looking to maximize their ecommerce sales in 2021, a 3PL last mile technology solution can help you achieve new levels of customer satisfaction in furniture delivery and ecommerce.

As an example, FIDELITONE offers a web-based delivery self-scheduling and tracking system that makes it easy for customers to schedule their deliveries—and access information throughout the delivery process.

Choosing a 3PL furniture delivery partner in 2021

The study showed that protecting brand loyalty is perceived as the primary barrier to outsourcing home furniture delivery. Yet, a right-fit 3PL partner can propel a furniture retailer’s success with proven processes, investment in technologies, and buy-in to the brand.

Industry executives with successful 3PL delivery partnerships don’t settle for the one-size-fits-all approach. For every business, there is a unique approach to customer service, and it’s important that your 3PL can customize their processes to fit your desired levels of service.

With the right partnership, companies have the opportunity to support growth in sales, expand their geography, save costs, and leverage proven technologies to cement the customer relationship.

Want more insights into the opportunities and challenges facing furniture retailers in 2021? Download the full white paper—Last Mile Delivery for Furniture Retailers: Obstacles & Opportunities.

FIDELITONE: right-fit furniture delivery solutions

As a multi-level last mile delivery service provider, FIDELITONE expertly crafts customer-centric last mile delivery partnerships. From curbside to white glove, FIDELITONE can adhere to the service levels required of your product and customers’ preferences. Contact us online or call 800.475.0917 to ask about right-fit last mile furniture delivery solutions.

FIDELITONE’s national last mile delivery network includes hubs in 30+ cities, including Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA, and Baltimore, MD.

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