How 3 Yards of Fabric Makes a Sale

The Typical Sofa-Buying Process
Every furniture store sells sofas in essentially the same way: Each sofa model comes in a few standard colors or patterns, but a customer can usually choose any fabric that they want from a selection of hundreds if they’re willing to pay an up charge. Nearly every store allows customers to peruse the additional fabric choices by looking at swatches that measure approximately three inches square. How is someone supposed to get a good idea about what a sofa will look like from three square inches of fabric?

I wouldn’t buy a shirt if I just saw the collar. Would you?

Three Yards and a Happy Customer
Room & Board has a three-yard (yes… YARD!) sample of every single fabric that they offer - look at me holding the sample to the right. If you don’t like the color of a chair, you just grab the huge sample of fabric and drape them over the chair. You can immediately tell if you like the chair in that fabric.

It’s one thing to look at sofa fabrics online or in small swatches. It’s another thing to see a sofa frame in every fabric up close and personal.

A Profitable Idea

Why are the fabric swatches at Room & Board such a good idea? It’s simple: they give customers the tools they need to make a decision.

One Small Suggestion

My only suggestion for Room & Board is that they should have two samples of each fabric choice in the large format. If customers are able to put down a $50 deposit in order to take one of the large fabric swatches home for the night, they might be more inclined to make their furniture choices more quickly.

Add This to Your To-Do List

Take a step back and look at what you sell and how you present your products or services to your customers. Is it really, REALLY easy for customers to picture the end product? If not, how can you make it easier? Brainstorm a few ideas and pick one to put into use. I’d love to hear what you came up with and how it went.

There’s never a lack of ideas.

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