The Jazzy Jobber is a communication platform among manufacturers, distributors, retailers and the end users. Instead of focusing on the competition I am looking for new products and new services.
This is a very open model where a multitude of products is offered and the users decide if the product enters the market. Products that I am offering have to be inspirational, which means customers must be emotionally engaged with these products. The products that you will find on this website are unique. The story of the product is important to find out how customers feel about the product.
People no longer accept beeing a passive part of the sales process but they want to actively participate and influence the manufacturing and selling of a product. Consumers are no longer going for push-marketing efforts. They do not trust companies in a way they used to and customers are well informed and educated.
There is a shift from mass-marketing and mass-selling to advanced customization and personalization. Environmental aspects and health criteria become more and more important since the customer is asking more questions and cares about products.
In my experience the furniture industry in America is very traditional and value based. For a lot of companies, including wholesalers, retailers and manufacturers the general framework changes faster than their company can keep up with the change. The online world often seems to be threatening and challenging. For a lot of companies it’s difficult to reinvent themselves and adopt their mission for the future.
About two weeks ago I had the great opportunity at The Highpoint Market to attend a presentation by Christiane Lemieux, Chief Creative Director of Wayfair and Maxwell Ryan, Founder of Apartment Therapy, about the ways furniture will be bought in 2020.
Some core messages of this discussion were:
- Online sales will increase
- The number of traditional retailers carrying inventory will decrease
- The supply chain will be much shorter
- Manufacturing will be lean, just in time and customized
There are different ways to adapt to these ongoing developments. I am inspired by the business model of the long tail which was described by Chris Anderson in 2006. http://www.longtail.com.
This model focuses on selling less of more. It is proven that a product loses popularity the longer it is on the market. The demand for a product falls quickly but interestingly never reaches zero. That means there are always a small number of customers for a product. The key of the model is to sell a relatively small volume of niche products (less) but offer a large variety of these products (more).
In the furniture industry, instead of selling a large number of the same pieces of furniture someone specializes in unique, customized or special ordered goods.
To find out which products are in demand, the customer must have a large selection of possibilities (not products). For example online catalogs, Pinterest boards, Instagram posts. With the help of customer feedback (comments, likes, etc) a selection process takes place. Only the few selected products reach manufacturing and delivering. The large number of free online reviews shows that the customer today is very interested in participating in this selection process.
Instead of physical inventory there is only virtual inventory, which are goods that can potentially be supplied.
Instead of guessing what a customer might possibly buy and investing money to stock showrooms and warehouses, the communication process with the customer leads to focused use of resources.
Regarding the distribution options everything is possible. From picking up a product in the store to directly drop shipping it to the customer, it depends on the situation which method fits best. It depends on the customer, their location and the type of product. The more flexibility there is in the distribution, the better.
I truly believe in the saying that I recently found: