Problem Recognition: At the initial stage of the buying process, there are several key findings to consider. First, it comes as no surprise that the furniture purchase process begins when a consumer identifies a need or desire for an item. Most furniture purchases are planned– not surprising when considering the few instances of a furniture impulse buying. The largest percentage of consumers purchased furniture ‘to replace worn items’, followed by ‘recently moved to a new residence’, and ‘wanted a new model or style’.
Information Search: The second stage in the furniture purchase process is deciding where to shop. When shopping for furniture, most consumers included multiple stores in their "solution set" – visiting an average of 3.2 stores. Consumers also visited the store where they made their purchase an average of two times prior to making their purchase. Familiarity with a store is paramount to a furniture shopper. We also asked about store uniqueness. While the majority of consumers described furniture stores as at least somewhat different from each other, only one in five described them as very different from each other. Given the fact that consumers are most likely to purchase from stores they have shopped at previously or are already familiar with, relationships with existing customers are critical. In order to bolster those relationships retailers should consider creating loyalty programs to keep customers informed of new items and sales and encourage repeat business. There is a significant opportunity to create awareness among consumers who have never visited your store by clearly communicating overall style and quality of products offered and available price ranges in your advertising.
Alternative Evaluation: At the third stage of the buying process – item selection – there are several key findings to consider. First, when consumers decide to buy