The entire purchasing process has changed dramatically over the past few years. Thanks to the fact that the world is constantly changing (and that we had a couple of really unprecedented years), customers have pivoted when it comes to how and where they get their goods.
Not that long ago, we all went to various retailers to buy what we needed (or didn’t need, but that’s another matter). Let’s say we needed a new pair of glasses. We’d hop in our cars, drive to the nearest (or most reputable) glass retailer in the area, and get our needs met there.
But then COVID-19 happened.
People started relying more and more on online shopping, not because they necessarily wanted to but because they had to. And even now, when the world is finally getting back into the new normal, we’ve maintained some of the newly formed habits.
So, in today’s day and age, customers expect everything to be within reach. What’s more, thanks to the fact that technology has made our life more convenient and everything more reachable and accessible, we all want our needs to be fulfilled with just a click or two. That’s why many brands are turning to the direct-to-consumer approach.
If you’ve ever caught yourself going directly to a specific brand’s website instead of visiting one of their realtor’s pages or brick-and-mortar shops, then you’re already a massive part of the rise of the direct-to-consumer business model. Still, some people are apprehensive about bypassing the middleman (the realtors) when it comes to specific purchases. Furniture, sofas especially, seem to fall into that category. However, there’s really no good reason for it to be so.
That’s why today, we’re taking a closer look into the top five benefits of buying bespoke furniture directly from European manufacturers.
1. Stimulating the Economy
Here at UNIQAT, we’re big believers in shopping locally as well as being a sustainable business. However, on a much larger scale, we’re also huge on ensuring that our communities (no matter how small or big) maintain their economic integrity.
What does that mean?
Well, one of the biggest benefits of a direct-to-consumer approach is that you can purchase products directly from the manufacturers. That, in turn, means that you can opt to buy products and goods that were made in Europe.
Why? Because it stimulates the economy. Aside from all the other benefits of shopping locally, keeping your purchasing power within the community ensures that the community economy thrives.
The Benefits of Shopping Locally
In today’s day and age, where the importance of quantity seems to be thumping the pledge to the quality of products, we need to ensure we do what we can with our purchasing power.
The mass production of goods leads to unsustainable consumerism that’s not only bad for the environment but also for the economy. If we all yield to the market’s trends and buy goods that have been made outside of Europe (and that are of poor quality) just so someone can increase their profit margin, then we’re feeding this beast, crippling the European (and the UK) economy, and costing hard-working people their jobs.
Of course, it’s logical that you want to do the most with the money that you have. Therefore, opting for budget-friendly options isn’t a crime against humanity. However, there are always other, more local, affordable options out there. In that case, the smartest choice is to opt for them.
Keeping your business local and shopping locally can boost the economy of your area. In this case, purchasing European-made furniture means you’re exercising your purchasing rights within your community, spending the money you have in your neck of the woods, so to speak. That means that your community will, in turn, have more to work with. The money you spend will trickle back to you in other ways (like empowering the infrastructure, creating and maintaining local jobs, etc.)
2. Higher Quality of Products
European-made and European-manufactured products always had a specific reputation that Eastern-made products didn’t. There’s somewhat of a standing debate about whether products made in the West (or, better said, specific parts of the West) were better than those manufactured in the East.
However, the fact of the matter is this: there are certain standards and regulations in Europe that ensure a specific quality of products. That goes for pretty much all products, including furniture and, more specifically, sofas.
That means that it’s far less likely that a European-made brand will cut corners when it comes to quality.
What’s more, strict standards that promote traditional manufacturing methods and quality control that ensures top-notch characteristics pretty much guarantee that a European-made label is an authentic sign of a high-quality product.
It’s also important to note that European-made products usually tend to be made by brands that nurture and improve traditional manufacturing. So, in essence, when buying European-made products, you’re buying something that’s been made thanks to decades of craftsmanship that’s been passed down by generations.
Recognizable European Design
When it comes to furniture and sofa manufacturing, sticking with European-made products means sticking to a specific type of design. Now, when we say that, we don’t mean that all furniture made in Europe only falls into one type of design category.
Of course not.
What we mean by that, and what’s easily visible in the UNIQAT sofa collection, is that furniture manufactured locally in Europe, has a specific level of quality that results in recognisable design features. European design has specific characteristics that set it head and shoulders above other pieces that were mass-produced elsewhere.
Generally speaking, the recognisable European design is unique because:
- You can easily see the European traditional influence. There’s a specific historic charm to it.
- Values comfort and practicality while still being true to elegance and timelessness.
- It’s often compact and functional rather than being large and domineering.
- The solutions are innovative, while the structure is sophisticated and elegant. In European homes, which are usually unique and quirky rather than being cookie-cutter, innovative and ingenious solutions are a necessity.
- Even contemporary pieces inspired by foreign design still have that staple European functionality. Furniture made in Europe is a statement of both purpose and appearance.
- It’s made to last for generations rather than just being something you’ll discard in a couple of years.
4. Manufacturing, Shipping, and Delivery Transparency And Speed
The direct-to-consumer business model that many brands are turning to is most successful because it can offer transparency when it comes to product availability, shipping, and delivery. This transparency that makes shopping more accessible for the consumer is the driving force behind many consumers’ decisions to switch to direct-to-consumer brands.
Picture this: you’re looking for a pair of shoes. You already know which ones you want and, of course, you know what size you wear. So, you have two options: you can either go directly to the brand or to a retailer.
What’s the difference? Well, the brand will definitely have all the information that you might need (let’s say, about the fabric and other materials used in the manufacturing process), while the retailer might not.
Furthermore, the retailer might not have the item you need in stock. That means that you’ll have to ask them to order the product for you and wait until it gets delivered to the retailer and then to you.
That’s double the waiting time. And, as we mentioned, as a society, we’re really rapidly getting more and more into instant gratification. So, long waiting times might soon become a thing of the past.
Why Transparency And Availability Matter
Since they are still very much a part of the present, it’s only logical that the consumer will opt for waiting less for their product as opposed to waiting for more.
Purchasing European-made furniture means that you’re cutting out unnecessary waiting time. You don’t have to wait for the materials to get shipped to god-knows-where, for the product to get assembled there and then shipped first to your continent and then to your retailer. If you opt for a European-made furniture store that has a direct-to-consumer approach, as UNIQAT does, then the waiting time is cut down to the bare minimum. In UNIQAT’s case, that means six to eight weeks of total waiting time from ordering to delivery.
What’s more, opting for businesses that follow the direct-to-consumer approach means you’ll be more informed about the entire process. 43% of consumers say that the speed of delivery determines whether or not they’ll purchase something. Furthermore, 88% of consumers think that time tracking an order in real time (in other words, having transparent information about the delivery date of the product) is vital.
In other words, customers, you included probably, want their products delivered to them as fast as possible. The only way to ensure that is by opting for European-based, direct-to-consumer businesses.
5. Quality to Price Ratio
As mentioned a couple of times in this article, European-made furniture comes with a specific quality guarantee. In other words, you’ll get a high-quality piece of furniture from a company that, due to strict rules and regulations, couldn’t cut corners even if they wanted to.
However, you’ll also get that for a reasonable price. If you’re looking for designer furniture that’s not overpriced, you might want to look into European-based companies that deliver European-made furniture.
Here at UNIQAT, we pride ourselves on being a company that offers design furniture that’s modern and functional for more than reasonable prices. Of course, as with anything else, quality has its price. However, opting for a European-made brand means that you can have your pie and eat it too. In other words, you won’t have to go bankrupt just to buy a designer sofa that can actually stand the test of time.
Why UNIQAT Chose Direct-to-Consumer Approach
Here at UNIQAT, we’ve been quick to cut out the middleman. In fact, we never had a middleman because we were eager to connect with our clients right from the get-go. And it wasn’t bigger profit margins that were the driving force behind this decision.
Direct to consumer business model is a specific type of sales that involves a direct approach to customers. The relationship that a direct-to-consumer brand has with its client base is more open, direct, and fast. Speed is of the essence here, folks.
It also allows the brand to have a more hands-on relationship with each consumer, as well as more control. However, with that control also comes responsibility.
Here are the top reasons why we at UNIQAT decided that direct-to-consumer was the only way to go.
Allows Us to Stay True to Our Story
A direct-to-consumer approach allows a company to build their brand any way they want to. This was extremely important to us here at UNIQAT because we are a family company that likes to treat its clients like family.
But what does that entail? Well, we like to ensure that everything, from that first meeting to the end result, is top-notch. We are very invested in quality control because we want every product that reaches our clients to be of the same level of optimal quality.
However, the only way to do that is to oversee each step of the process. We couldn’t do that if one part of the business protocol (mainly the packaging, shipping, and delivery) were up to the retailers.
With a direct-to-consumer approach, we can control every piece of furniture and every step of delivery and ensure they are up to our standards. That was the only way we could stay true to our story, the one that inspired the brand UNIQAT in the first place.
We Can Understand Our Clients And Their Needs Better
If we opted to sell our gorgeous pieces through a retailer, we’d never meet any of our clients. All of our consumers would be just faceless, shapeless blobs that we know nothing about.
It’s not that we’re particularly interested in what you look like (although we’re sure you’re lovely). However, we did have a problem with not knowing anything about you. You see, the only way to really be able to satisfy your needs is if we know who you are as a consumer.
Not being aware of our customer’s needs, wants, and preferences were never an option for us. In order to be able to design and manufacture the best pieces on the market, we have to know what our clients need. The only way to do that was to cut out the middleman.
We Can Offer a Broader Product Assortment
Once the direct-to-consumer approach meant we had an open line of communication with our clients, it allowed us to understand your needs better. Thanks to that, we now know what you like and don’t like and, more importantly, what you need and don’t need.
Once we acquired that information, we were able to make specific tweaks to our selection. Although we were pretty pleased with our sofa collection, to begin with, thanks to various input from our customers, we were able to make changes or introduce new pieces that satisfied the design or functionality needs of our clients better.
Furthermore, since we are a brand that deals in tailor-made furniture, the direct-to-consumer approach means that our selection is always available to our clients. Retailers, convenient as they are, can only carry a specific number of items in their selection due to being limited in terms of space and storage. We, however, can offer each and every one of our clients our entire selection of bespoke furniture at all times.
We Can Build Relationships With Our Clients
One of the things we’re most proud of is our relationship with our clients. We have many customers throughout Buckingham county and the London area that we’ve had a relationship with for years.
We couldn’t have achieved that if we opted to sell our pieces through a retailer.
We strive to have clear and swift communication with all our potential and existing clients. That way, we build a rapport with them and make personal connections that would otherwise be impossible.
We Have More Control Over Our Brand
Another important reason we opted for this business model is control. We get to dictate the standards of quality, as mentioned. However, that also means that we can’t really blame anyone else if things go sideways.
Now, you might be wondering why we’d consider that to be a benefit. Well, we like to hold ourselves responsible. If a mistake is made, we own up to it. However, with a retailer, there are plenty of potential mistakes that can happen along the way that we simply can neither prevent nor claim responsibility for.
By cutting out the middleman, we assume all responsibility because we also have control over the entire process.
We Can Offer More Transparency
As mentioned, transparency, both when it comes to the information about the product and the delivery, is vital to consumers. But it’s also important to us. We need our customers to know that we’re fully honest when it comes to all stages of the process, which is why we offer them full transparency.
All of our clients are always fully aware of where their shipment is at all times. We offer fast lead times and rarely go over the deadlines we set for ourselves. What’s more, we try our hardest to always have a clear line of communication open with all our clients.
If you’re interested in doing business with a brand that deals in European-made bespoke furniture, then look no further than UNIQAT. We’re committed to staying true to our word and delivering tailor-made designer furniture at reasonable prices to our customers. Check out our selection of sofas, corner sofas, sofa beds, and armchairs. If you’d like to discuss any of our pieces, give us a call at +44 1494 793515 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.