What furniture retailers can learn from the Made.com failure

Furniture retailers and online furniture shops will have heard by now that Made.com, a significant player in the UK’s furniture industry, has gone into administration.

Made.com has been around since 2010, but the COVID-19 pandemic created an exponential increase in Made.com’s sales. 

When they moved to a publicly-traded company 18 months ago, the pandemic’s timing was perfect for accelerating sales as shoppers stayed home and shopped online for ways to improve their homes.

But, despite record-setting growth during the pandemic, Made.com is now in administration. Experts cite a weakened UK economy and Brexit-induced supply chain disruptions as the reason Made.com’s winning streak came to an abrupt halt. 

For eCommerce furniture retailers, there’s much to unpack in the Made.com failure – and a lot to learn.

Here’s what UK furniture stores can take away from the death of Made.com.

eCommerce shoppers want value

With a decline in furniture sales, Made.com tried to boost sales with price reductions, thereby squeezing their profitability. 

But price cuts didn’t encourage UK shoppers to spend more on furniture. Instead, shoppers in the United Kingdom are weighing each pound they spend right now and demanding value when they spend it.

Reliable delivery is a low-cost perk that can entice eCommerce furniture shoppers to click “buy.” It adds massive value for shoppers who are more comfortable buying from eCommerce brands with a local delivery presence. 

They know they’ll receive their order promptly, professionally, and with a friendly face.

Online furniture shoppers want to know they’re in good hands

Disposable income is tight right now, but when Britons spend money on items like electronics, white goods, and furniture, they want it to be well spent.

Online furniture shops and online electronics shops can entice shoppers towards a checkout by showing them that a professional service will safely deliver their purchases.

With little money to spare, furniture and electronics items cannot arrive damaged. Not only is this costly for your company, but it can also create an intense brand backlash on social media sites. 

When your customers receive their goods as expected, you’ll build powerful word-of-mouth connections about positive experiences with your brand.

Find supply chain fixes

Made.com left “customers waiting months for their sofas to be delivered, leading to cancellations and frustration,” according to AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

A reliable, UK-based delivery company is vital to eCommerce furniture retailers in the UK (if we say so ourselves).

You reduce supply chain volatility when you work with a trustworthy, UK-based company. Customers are happier because their products arrive on time and are undamaged. 

Your logistics team is more productive because they don’t have to chase down undelivered orders, and your order fulfilment process runs smoother.

Local means more to UK shoppers

eCommerce brands, even those based in the UK, may seem less “local” to UK shoppers. But a local delivery company feels more reliable for UK shoppers and makes them think they are buying from a person rather than a business.

In the current economic climate, buying decisions will be carefully weighed. You can tip the balance in favour of your eCommerce retail business with locally-sourced, dependable delivery that turns your eCommerce customers into brand advocates.

If you’re ready to start talking local, talk to us. At Domestic Distribution, we go beyond a drop-and-run delivery approach to offer white-glove service to your delivery customers. 

Complete this form to receive a free quote, or call us at +44 191 387 8833 to talk to the team.

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