This free platform allows products and stores to get found locally when the consumer wants to shop at their convenience, twenty-four hours a day. It is currently made up of more than 1,000 inter-connected local shopping websites that attract more than three million home furnishings consumer visits per month.
Furniture social networking platform is free for furniture retailers
FurnitureDealer.net announced the launch of DoBizBuzz The Furnishing Network, a remarkable technology and marketing platform designed to seamlessly connect industry manufacturers, their sales reps, local retailers and consumers.
Andy Bernstein, Furnituredealer.net Founder and Chief Buzz Officer, explains “What’s truly exciting about The Furnishing Network is that it gives suppliers an innovative and easy way to accurately share their broad product catalogs with retailers and consumers on the Internet, something that was extremely difficult to do in the past.” In addition, Bernstein says the system was developed to drive sales for ‘local brick & mortar’ retailers, not “virtual” retailers that ship nationally. The reason he’s pursued this strategy is simple, according to Bernstein, when you understand his background. Growing up as a fourth-generation retailer whose family owns and still operates small town furniture stores in Minnesota, Bernstein is convinced that “having strong traditional retailers is what’s best for communities, and, ultimately is what’s best for shoppers. Local stores deserve to have every tool possible to defend their businesses and the service they provide to consumers.”
Joe Craddock, DoBizBuzz’s Chief Technology Officer explains, “We’ve been developing the software and strategy for The Furnishing Network for three years. We’ve made it so simple that a retailer can sign up and have their ‘local store’ integrated on the network in less than five minutes. Their brands, products, store information, advertising and much more are all published seamlessly into the network all at no cost. It’s like an adrenaline boost of marketing for the local retailer and their suppliers, and it’s all FREE. All they have to do is sign-up at www.DoBizBuzz.com,” added Craddock.
Bernstein said, “This platform allows products and stores to get found locally when the consumer wants to shop at their convenience, twenty-four hours a day. We maintain the product catalog. We take the responsibility of keeping it fresh by constantly updating the new introductions and by eliminating discontinued items from the network. In addition, our retailers believe that when customers pre-shop online before they buy, they are likely to buy with more confidence and ultimately be happier with their final selections.”
The Furnishing Network is currently made up of more than 1,000 inter-connected local shopping websites that attract more than three million home furnishings consumer visits per month. It is built around an extensive - already created and growing - home furnishings product content library of more than 95,000 products from 450 different brands. “These are tools that every local retailer should take advantage of!” insists Bernstein.
It’s a huge opportunity for retailers to benefit from the power of the Internet as an enormous ‘in-bound’ marketing platform”, says Bernstein. Best of all, Bernstein says, it’s absolutely FREE to everyone using the network. The industry-wide initiative is being marketed with the slogan “Homepages for Hometowns” because every local retailer and each of the suppliers they do business with will be offered a FREE HomePage on the Furnishing Network.
Manufacturers, vendor sales representatives and retailers should learn more and sign-up for the network at www.DoBizBuzz.com. The website features short introductory videos complete with a “SpokesBee” who explains how the industry can create buzz together to increase sales throughout the vendor channel. This consumer network of websites includes properties such as BigFurnitureWebsite.com, FurnishingRetailers.com, ReclinerDealers.com, TxFurnitureDealers.com, and hundreds of other niche sites focused on specific brands and categories of furniture, and the geographic markets where stores are located.
One of the major benefits of The Furnishing Network is that, although extremely powerful in the product information it provides to consumers, the network is exceedingly easy for vendors and retailers to use. Starting the process is simple for retailers. They begin by signing on to the free network and claim their store’s profile. After that, the system assists consumers in finding exactly what products are on display and available to order from local stores, complete with comprehensive product descriptions, photos and other store details. “What’s really exciting about The Furnishing Network is that we’ve developed a way for vendors, their sales reps. and retailers each do their jobs better, and to do those jobs much more easily,” explained Bernstein. “My staff and I are thrilled with the reaction we’re getting as vendors and retailers sign into the program.”
Bernstein believes DoBizBuzz The Furnishing Network will be the answer for local furniture retailers searching for a way to shift the balance of power more equitably between local stores and their national shipping competitors. He says traditional stores now face competition from global national shippers that offer instant, always available access to buy their products online. This has created a situation for local retailers where the “world-wide-web” has morphed instead into a “world-wide-price-war” with little competitive balance from the perspective of local store owners. According to Bernstein, the internet and its related technology now threatens the very survival of local brick and mortar retailers unless they can adapt to the challenges created by the national shipping retailers.
Unlike online sellers, local retailers feel handicapped by stocking costs, showroom displays, real estate investments, local taxes, and an old fashion service guarantee that national online shippers don’t provide. According to Bernstein, in reaction to the promise of low prices by national shippers, many local retailers have cut their prices and attempted to reduce the level of service they offer to local consumers. Bernstein believes this strategy is ultimately a race to the bottom for those retailers, one that will likely result in long term damage to their business. Similarly, Bernstein feels that many manufacturers have lowered their commitment to their traditional retail partners by selling to the national shippers, even though the consumer may not best be served by the end result. “When you think about it, getting the lowest price on an item isn’t really all that matters to a consumer. What if they buy the wrong item, because they didn’t have professional, experienced staff to assist them? What if the consumer doesn’t just need a sofa, but wants assistance with space planning, color coordinating and accessorizing to create the perfect living room. What if the item requires assembly, or a complex delivery? How well is the consumer served if additional help is required after the sale and it’s difficult for them to get it?” Bernstein believes DoBizBuzz The Furnishing Network will grow quickly, and soon be seen industry-wide as a way for local retailers of all size to better compete locally against national shippers on the internet and in their stores.
What’s the catch? There isn’t one. Like Facebook, YouTube and Google and many of the most successful Internet businesses, DoBizBuzz-The Furnishing Network is free for suppliers, stores and shoppers. Revenue is generated through the sale of advertising.
About FurnitureDealer.net – With more than 1,000 Home Furnishing Websites and many of the industry’s largest retail clients, FurnitureDealer.net is the premiere Click-to-Store™ expert in the home furnishings industry. The company provides world-class platforms and integrated on-line internet strategies, along with detailed product catalogs and content management, search engine optimization, email marketing, sales training and channel integration consulting. FurnitureDealer.net helps retailers and manufacturers implement successful multi-channel growth web based strategies that convert online furniture shoppers into local in-store buyers. For more information about DoBizBuzz The Furnishing Network, visit www.DoBizBuzz.com.
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