Subscription is the New Way of Life in the Furniture Industry

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By Ajith Karimpana, Founder and CEO, House of Kieraya

In the increasingly competitive retail industry, businesses are evolving by advancing technologies and developing new ways for consumers to access their products. Technology has drastically changed the way companies do business these days, and the furniture industry is no different. Brands that adapt to the latest trends and take advantage of technology will succeed by enabling consumers to experience all their offerings and services from the comfort of digital devices.

Emerging Consumer Trends

Over the past few years, several industries have shifted to subscription-based models. We have seen how music streaming services have replaced the purchase of CDs or digital albums or how OTT platforms have established themselves as the norm for entertainment. With this, customers now enjoy the convenience of paying a fixed amount at regular intervals to access an entire catalogue of products or services for a period of their choice.

According to Zuora, the subscription economy has grown by over 350% since 2012. And various factors have driven the surge, including consumer preference for flexibility in what and how they consume. In addition, the pandemic has brought a level of uncertainty adding to the need for the flexibility offered by subscription services.

Consumers are also increasingly comfortable shopping online, so players in every industry are looking to have a digital presence. The trend is growing each day as more people choose to shop online and subscribe to their regular services. These consumers are looking for a hassle-free shopping experience that allows them to try several products or services before deciding the one for them.

Enhanced Value for Consumers & Businesses

In essence, subscription services are successfully attracting users for three main reasons: convenience, cost, and discovery. Subscriptions offer an easy way of experiencing a wide range of services at an affordable price. The benefit to consumers is also obvious as it helps them try out different products. However, businesses can also benefit from the subscription model as it reveals valuable insights into consumer preferences. It allows them to tailor their offerings, providing the services consumers want while making the best use of resources. In the furniture industry, these insights help improve stability and growth for the business in the long run with better predictions on revenue growth, product preferences, and resource allocation.

Increased Focus on Home Comforts

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a surge in demand for subscription-style offerings of furniture and home appliances. The ‘new normal’ of working from home will continue for the foreseeable future, requiring businesses to adapt to user needs. With a large percentage of India’s corporate employees working remotely and students pursuing their studies online, demand has almost tripled for home office furniture such as study tables, office chairs, laptop desks, and more. There has been a spike in demand for multifunctional furniture or products that meet the needs of different family members, with subscriptions being the ideal model to follow. In addition, consumers are grateful for the affordability of subscription models as they navigate these uncertain times.

The Future As We See It

While the subscription model has taken time to gain a foothold in India, its success is inevitable with the growth of companies that offer value-for-money subscription offerings and tech-driven solutions. In the past, consumers preferred making one-time purchases but now have shifted towards smaller recurring payments as more and more industries adopt subscription-based services. And with India prioritising the growth of digital offerings across industries, especially after the pandemic, the ecosystem is perfect for subscription-based services to thrive in the years to come.

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