If there’s one thing for certain about 2020, it’s that most of us have been spending more time than usual at home.
Editor's Note: As statewide rules and regulations continue to change, please contact retailers for their latest store hours and delivery capabilities.
The team at Adobe Interiors knows just how to make being at home feel like a luxury, so we caught up with Tanner Dipple of the company to talk online retail, home design, and navigating this unusual year.
Was your storefront shut down? Has it reopened?
For a month we had to shut down the store. We couldn’t let people in, but we were still working out of our warehouse because we were able to, and we were shipping out orders online.
What does your current business environment look like? Is it different than normal for you?
The whole entire time through the shutdown, our sales increased by about 40 to 50 percent. There was nothing to do. [People weren’t] vacationing. Everything was home improvement, so I think the furniture industry as a whole boomed during that time.
What has been the biggest challenge in adapting to this “new normal” the retail world has taken on?
Everything has been normal for us except for that one month we were forced to close our doors by city ordinance. But like I said, everyone was just shopping online, and we were shipping orders out of the warehouse during that time. [We] forwarded the phones to all of the sales people. With us being brick-and-mortar and online, we really boomed during all of this.
How has your business adapted to producing digital content and sales?
We were already geared and planned to have our products online, so all we did was keep expanding on it, keep adding more and more products online to help people see what we had. We just kept providing more information to make it easier for a better online shopping experience.
What has been your focus while speaking to your customers online?
We just don’t even mention anything about Coronavirus. We just kept the status the same. We didn’t really feel like it was necessary to promote [online] any safety measures that we’ve taken.
Has any content stood out as particularly successful in terms of resonating with your audience? Why has that content done so well, in your opinion?
I think for us what sets us apart is having extremely good, beautiful pictures of our product that really shows you what it’s like. That’s what we created. You could really see [a product’s] beauty. There are multiple pictures, all high resolution. [We put] as much information as we can about the product [online]. That makes a big [difference]. On top of that, just having a ton of inventory during all this time. Where other stores might have been pulling back and not buying, we were doubling down and buying more, because we were finding that people didn’t want to wait for stuff. They wanted it when they were sitting at home. They were bored. They wanted something now. We had a large amount of inventory, so we were able to get people that instant gratification, too. I would say 90 percent of our sales were in stock, because no one wanted to wait, and there was uncertainty with manufacturers being closed down. Everybody was behind, so we did well, because we had the inventory where others didn’t.
What other content highlights have you noticed?
We’ve introduced what’s called the Remington Tanner Collection, and you can view the collection on our website and read about it. It is seriously the best leather furniture line in the whole industry by far, and people can go on [the website] and see what it’s really like. The leathers are dyed by hand after they’re applied to the product, so it’s hard to describe because you’ve got to see it and touch it, feel it, but we’ve got really beautiful pictures of it where they can really see the beauty of the leather that you’re not going to find elsewhere.
What are shoppers looking for right now from Western businesses? Have you noticed any buying trends?
Leather for sure, everybody is wanting leather from what we can see, products that are leather. They don’t want fabric. They don’t want the mix anymore. We’re just seeing straight leather on everything trend-wise for material. Everybody is wanting lots of contrast, but mixing the lighter colors with the darker colors. Even on the same piece of furniture, you’ve got contrasting leathers. [We are] definitely seeing a lot of that, and we’re doing things that have got like a black and tan look or a blue and tan.
Do you have any tips for other Western businesses looking to take their business online right now?
You’ve got to do all of it. You can’t just do one [platform]. You’ve got to have a strong online presence, and in order to do that you have to have an online website. You have to have a social media presence, because you use the social media to pull people to your website. That’s the easiest way to attract people to your website is through social media, because if you’re building a new website it’s going to be hard for it to start populating. People searching on Google aren’t going to be able to find it. It takes a lot of time. The best way to get people to your website is through Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest. It’s a lot easier to pull them over that way.
Do you plan on attending in-person markets or trade shows in the next six months?
We show at the Dallas Market so we’ll be there showing our product for the wholesale accounts that we cater to [and] designers.
This interview is part of an ongoing series that W&E is conducting with retailers. Click here to peruse more stories and interviews from the retail industry.