Finding a Furniture Marketing Balance During the Hectic Holiday Season

The holiday season presents multiple chaotic shifts for furniture companies and consumers alike. This is what you can do to strategize and simplify the season.

By Steen Knigge

Head of Marketing, The Americas, BoConcept

Steen Knigge, Head of Marketing, The Americas, BoConcept

The holiday season is truly one of a kind, and it tends to lead to many realizations from homeowners as they prepare to entertain, buy gifts for others and take on redesign projects in response to more time indoors, cozying up and escaping the cold weather. However, this can make the season, and preparing for it, very chaotic for furniture retailers. Understanding the patterns and “phases” that consumers go through and how to speak to them at each stage of the holiday season can make the entire sales cycle less stressful and yield stronger revenue results to close out the year.

In the furniture sector, the holiday season creates somewhat of a chaotic period. On one hand, there is a push for hosts to secure all of the best pieces to ensure their holiday entertaining goes smoothly. With the right dining table, your holiday meal will be so much better! At the same time, as consumers spend more time indoors, they begin to realize that they’d like to make some changes to a space. While this can drive sales early on, we tend to see a dip shortly after the Black Friday rush. The pipeline is empty, and consumers’ attention shifts more toward gift giving and preparing the details of a gathering as they look toward Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza or any other celebrations.

"The holiday season creates somewhat of a chaotic period for the furniture retailers. This volatility requires retailers to walk the line between inspiring products, strong commercial offerings and thematic promotions. Take advantage of the themes, and market accordingly."

Prioritize the Distinct Periods During the Holiday Season

This volatility requires retailers to walk the line between inspiring products, strong commercial offerings and thematic promotions. Take advantage of the themes, and market accordingly.

For example, earlier in the season, say October, the focus can be on the dining and guest rooms. Market tables, chairs and extra beds that can upgrade the guest experience. Pairing this marketing with interior design services can guide the clients toward their future dream homes, and the two-in-one buying experience can be very advantageous. When November comes, and everyone begins looking to Black Friday, the focus shifts to commercial offerings. Retailers might decrease pricing to capture the bargain-hunting cohort of buyers. Then, come December, the focus will shift again as we enter the height of the gifting season. At this point, retailers should focus most intently on smaller furniture pieces and accessories.

In the furniture category specifically, the holiday season presents strong opportunities to create highly relatable holiday-themed events, utilizing tablescapes, accessories and other visual tools to attract a captive audience. Whether digitally or in person, celebrating the must-have items of each season captures the attention of a potential buyer, drawing them in with a welcoming or relatable offering.

This year, this comes in the form of furniture and accessories that embrace the “less is more” mindset. As consumers become more aware of their own consumption and make purchases accordingly, items that are made to last can garner greater interest.

Natural colors and materials that have been expertly crafted and finished by hand are the epitome of sculptural simplicity, and they serve to work beauty and longevity into a space while existing in line with consumers’ social and environmental priorities.

Tailor Marketing in Line with Each ‘Phase’ of the Season

The must-have themes of the season can be incorporated into different phases of marketing efforts that, during the holiday season, shift rapidly in line with the buying phases we see from October to December. Retailers should continue to deploy hygiene tools like search engine marketing in the early season.

July through October is generally seen as both the tail-end of moving season and kickoff of the holiday season, meaning design inspiration marketing is especially impactful. A presence on Pinterest and Houzz, for example, can increase awareness, and direct-message and email marketing can boost conversion.

At mid-holiday season, marketers should shift toward a top-funnel approach to increase awareness through platforms like Spotify, CTV and YouTube, enticing the discount-driven buyers to visit the store or site.

Toward the end of the holiday season, when gift-giving is the focus, marketing via prevalent social media platforms (META and Pinterest) can offer strong conversions.

The holiday season can be daunting for furniture brands, but creating a strategy ahead of time and following a schedule backed by proven consumer demand creates a strong marketing baseline to drive a brand through the busiest, and perhaps the most hectic, season of the year, maintaining relevance and consistently driving revenue.