Abstract / Resumen
Purchases of decorative materials and furniture are, most likely, among the product categories that have grown most, thanks to the popularization of the internet. Getting inspired by the ideas of other users, using augmented reality apps to decorate our homes, as well as the strong presence of decoration brands on social media, these are, without doubt, the three key factors behind the growth in this industry.
Yet, we may not forget a fourth factor that has also been hugely relevant in order to explain the explosion in decoration and furniture sales: price. Until just a few years ago, decorating a home would most likely imply quite some heavy spending of money, meaning that most people would just do it once in a while. But the appearance of online decoration shops, with a business model based on imports from China, not only allowed these stores to make high margins, but also to offer more attractive prices to the end customer, offering the latter the chance to engage in home refurbishments with a much higher frequency.
Additionally, the arrival of the pandemic has even further increased the sales in the decorative market segment. When people had to stay weeks in a row at home, the resulting anxiety became a major factor, the lack of comfort put many under pressure and all this created a need to renovate home decoration, even if just applying minor changes (a mirror, a painting, a lamp or a photo frame), all of which contributed something new to the monotony that many of us were going through.
Little by little, the pandemic seems to move away; yet, the decoration market seems to continue being very successful. The rise in work-from-home as well as the experiences felt during the pandemic, have all made us look differently at our homes, trying to be more at ease with our environment and, in the midst of this new reality, indeed, decoration plays a major role.
In this context, many a business in the industry has to consider importing decorative products and furniture from China or other Asian countries, seeing it as a great opportunity to increase profit margins and to be more competitive against other companies in the field.
How to import decoration and furniture from Asia, in just a few steps?
The process of importing decorative products and furniture is actually quite similar to that of any international purchasing experience.
When we decide to import furniture or items linked to the decoration of our homes it is crucial to previously understand exactly all the requirements and to communicate them well with the factory, making sure they have fully grasped the importance of all the requirements (let’s not forget that communication is often one of the main obstacles when importing from Asia).
In the context of decoration, defining the product with a maximum degree of detail is even more relevant than in other industries. When a customer wishes to buy a new decorative element for their home, he or she wants it to be special, aesthetical, and in many cases, it has to fulfil a certain function (e.g., a shelf is used to decorate, but its main objective is to organize things, hence, it has to have certain dimensions and specific characteristics).
Choose the right Supplier
This is a topic we have covered many times in our blog: supplier selection is one of the most important steps to make sure the entire import process becomes a success.
We shouldn’t be guided purely by the relevance of price: the factory’s experience making these products, the internal quality control system or the supplier’s commitment with their respective customer are other key factors when choosing a manufacturer for our decorative products and furniture.
Demanding quality control inspections
Checking the quality of the products we are about to purchase is, of course, important in any import operation, but when considering decorative products and, especially, furniture, this step is truly unavoidable.
It is always recommendable to count on well-organized, external inspections, that allow us to certify that the supplier has manufactured the products according to the expected specifications and characteristics.
Adequate transport planning
The last step in the import process – shipping – often becomes a complicated affair when the products are very big in size, which is regularly the case with furniture. Planning the transport phase well in advance is therefore of utmost importance, not only to avoid unexpected costs, but also to avoid that the imported materials get stuck in any of the phases in that very transport process.
Thinking about importing decorative products? Confide in a sourcing partner!
As shown above, importing decorative products or furniture from China or any other Asian country is a process that is quite similar to other international purchases, but the specific characteristics of this type of merchandise (due to its size and/or functionality) might convert it into a much more complex import operation.
In this context, being able to count on the support of a sourcing partner that helps your business in that specific part of the process where you most need it (supplier selection, quality control, transport, etc.) or even hiring the partner for an integral service, covering the entire process, might in effect be a great decision.
Our company has been offering for the last 18 years specialised import services for products coming from China, India and South East Asia. Experience has shown us not only to optimise imports and make them more profitable for our customers, but also to foresee undesired surprises and to solve any type of incidents, regardless of the products imported.