L51 Sales Management Furniture and More Sample Assignment
College of Business and Economics QATAR University FURNITURE AND MORE Sales Management L51
- Executive Summary:
Furniture and More is our selected company to analyze a sales management proposal. We have chosen a Qatari company that has recently started the business in the furniture industry to encourage local SMEs as per the government vision of Qatar 2030. Furniture and More has started the business in Qatar in 2015 and has rapidly succeeded to grave its name in the local market willing to compete bravely with international competitors. In this paper, we will be analyzing the sales proposal by different analysis and findings linking them to the local market and the development of the store. By interviewing Mrs. Al Sulaiti, CEO and co-founder of Furniture and More we have come to a detailed overview of the sales outcome and how to develop and propose a successful marketing strategy that would enable Furniture and More to increase their sales and illuminate in the market.
We have concluded that developing a proper marketing strategy following the market needs by expanding digital technology will enable the growth and expansion of a “start-up” company.
Furniture and More, is one of the high-end local furniture suppliers, established in Qatar in 2015.They decided in short time to be one of the pioneers in the furniture industry specialized in offering a high quality and innovative styles of furniture to their unique customers. Their showroom has grown in few years from strength to strength. This Qatari project is fully owned by Mrs. Jawaher Al Sulaiti, a Qatari Business woman who has succeeded to open her dream furniture showroom. She is known for her passion for interior design and owned her degree in Interior Design from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. From the very beginning, this project has identified its core principles of customer service, innovation, quality and value for money that helped them gaining the trust of their existing customers. The showroom is located in Barwa Tower, in Al Saad, and has an area of about 560 square meters. Today the showroom has 10 employees, including 3 sales representatives, and is considered to be a growing in the local market. Mrs. Al Sulaiti decided to travel the world to provide the local market with exceptional furniture introducing new and high-tech designs to compete the local market. They have a project management services providing the clients with a one stop shop specialized in creating 3D design helping the customers to choose their best suitable design. Moreover, skilled workers are professionals in installing and assembling the furniture. Mrs. Al Sulaiti has planned to expand her project internationally and adding new services such as students’ internship that would help them with design by offering specialized workshops. Therefore, we will be analyzing throughout this project the company's profile Furnitureand More, and we will be comparing it to one of its hit competitors. We will be using descriptive research for analyzing specific object for audience and we will focus on describing the marketing strategy.
- Situation Analysis
- Internal Analysis
Product:Furniture and More has started operating in 2015 as a showroom providing high tech designs with affordable prices furniture. Products are being imported from reputed and well known industries from all over the world, focusing on China and Thailand and lately Turkey. Mrs Al Sulaiti is trying to open door to new markets and looking for new countries to import a different style of luxury to the Qatari market. The company is starting to launch its website and will take the selling method to a further level in order to compete with the market, which is the online selling, to keep track with globalisation. Best selling products of the company are living room furniture, sofas, bedrooms and coffee tables. Mrs Al Sulaiti added that she would diversify the products variety by introducing different collection and focusing on home accessories which will enable Furniture and More to be an expanded store. Furniture and More would additionally provide in the future plan a comprehensive logistic support in order fulfilment. Furthermore, the shop is introducing a new marketing concept, which is a service to their clients in renting spots inside their showroom to sell their desired products. They will be acting as a venue to exhibitors taking into consideration their prime location in the middle of the city. This will enormously help in advertising for the showroom, and will be a good opportunity to attract new customers. The company later moved into providing its expertise in packaging and assembling, which will be a great asset to facilitate the services to the customers, and thus will act as a “one stop shop” where the customer will easily find all the necessary services.
Price: Furniture and More is offering its products at a competitive and affordable price comparing to the market competitors. Their pricing strategy has been studied effectively compared to the market demand and competitor’s strategy. Seasonal discounts and offers are employed according to the market needs and after studying the best selected “sale period” to attract the customers.
Place: Furniture and More is located in the centre of the city of Doha which makes it accessible to the largest number of clients, Barwa Tower, Al Saad. The showroom has an area of about 560 square meters, which helps in extending the business and thinking of using the space in renting it to exhibitors and profiting from potential customers, who would be visiting the showroom.
Promotion: Seasonal promotion and sales period are usually used by Furniture and More to offer discounted prices and compete with the season. Website will soon be launched and they are also working on introducing the online shopping services which will facilitate sales to customers and will increase the profit of the company, as online shopping has become one of the most convenient and easiest shopping way to internet customers who represent a large percentage in the market.
- External analysis
Different factors could stand under the external analysis such as macro-environment, industry, competitors and markets. The analysis of these layers will give a better understanding of factors affecting the performance of Furniture and More.
Customer profiling is simply is a “description of a customer or set of customers that includes demographic, geographic, and psychographic characteristics, as well as buying patterns, creditworthiness, and purchase history.” Aeroleads.
Furniture and More is trying to focus on the demographic and socio economic strata of the market on targeting mainly people with special taste who are looking for outstanding commodities. By analyzing the furniture market, it has been shown that the demographic targeted people will be the newly married couples who have an age range between 20-35 and looking for attractive furniture to furnish their “dream house”.
Furniture and More is an emerging new company in the Qatari Local market.
Competition is very high especially with international brands as IKEA and THE ONE that have built the trust and have their own loyal customers. Furniture and More is trying to integrate within the market with new designs and unique furniture in addition to wisely study the prices to maintain the trust of the old customers and attract potential ones. The company is targeting mainly the local customers who look for durability and unique collection to savor their taste, which IKEA, the main competitor does not provide. Many customers would like to see their house distinctive with their own touch and style; however most of the competitors focus only on how practical and affordable the furniture is without investing in designing creativity and exclusivity.
- Competitors Analysis
QR 2500- 4500
According to the above table of competitors, we could note that a main international firm as IKEA is providing a wide range of Swedish designed products with a remarkable price range difference, which provides this company a different customer levels that would please all categories. The One is offering a more specific category of furniture but focusing on a certain level of customers with notable high prices. West elm on the other hand is a new concept design that has recently operated in Qatar and still targeting special customers, and do not address their products to a larger segment. Therefore, Furniture and More has strong competitors in Qatar’s local market that have existed for years and gained the trust of their loyal customers. Qatar, as stated previously, is a cosmopolitan country that attracts many expats from all over the world, either western, Middle Eastern or Asians beside the nationals. There is a variety of taste and different socio-economic strata that could help the competition to grow. Furniture and More is focusing on Qatari customers and trying to attract new ones with different, sophisticated and distinctive taste along with long lasting products. A company like IKEA could be another competitor in the market; however, it does not deliver the message of uniqueness to special customers.
- SWOT Analysis
Loyalty of the current customers.
Variety of products with different price range that suits all categories.
High quality and high tech furniture.
Additional services as logistics, delivery and assembling.
New brand, not well known
Location challenge- not between furniture showrooms.
Lack of employees
Weak stock turnover
Few stores sell similar designs in Qatar
Ability to increase sales volume while maintaining the same overhead costs.
Ability to expand.
The market is becoming competitive
IKEA is making market competitive because of new entrants (IKEA Online Qatar, 2019)
Barriers to entry in the industry are low
Political instability - Blockade of Qatar affected supply chain of the business
Lack of advertising and marketing.
- PESTEL Analysis
In analyzing the macro-environment, it is important to identify the factors that might affect a number of essential variables that are likely to influence the organization’s supply and demand levels and its costs.
Political factors play a significant role in determining what can impact Furniture and More's
long term profitability. Blockade is one of the main political factors that has affected Qatar’s economy in general, and the furniture sector specifically. However, the country has been trying to overcome this illegal blockade and the Qatari government has been working hand in hand with investors and business entities in finding ways to increase the trade between countries, and to increase economic growth.
In an interview with Gulf Times newspaper on the 23rd of January 2019, HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Ali Bin Ahmed Al Kuwari stated “In line with these efforts, Qatar sought to make its economy more open to the world and developed direct trade lines with a number of major trading partners around the world, including India, Pakistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Oman, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Central Asia. Through the many agreements signed with these countries, Qatar aims to promote its trade activity, targeting a market of nearly 400mn people in the first phase, al-Kuwari said. The country aims to achieve this using its strategic location, which links the East with the West, its developed infrastructure and high-quality logistic services through Hamad Port and Hamad International Airport (HIA)” the minister said. He said Hamad Port accounts for more than 27% of the trade volume in the Middle East.
“The experts and businessmen stressed that a number of local industries has flourished after the blockade in fields including food, medicine, plastic, asphalt, metal works, paper, furniture, packaging, petrochemicals, and recycling, besides other industries. Gulf Times (10th of June 2018).
Furniture industry has a number of environmental impacts that are caused by humans. The emergence of environmental concern as one of the critical factors in strategic business planning indicates the growth of environmental movement in the market place (Menon et al., 1999).
These refer to what is taking place socially in the markets in which it operates or expect to operate like cultural norms, Population growth rate, Age distribution, Global warming. The changes in life style of the people and attitudes to work and leisure also persuade market share. In our case, the crisis and leaving of expats from the Gulf country could lead to an economic recession and low sales. However, the targeted customers in Furniture and More are more likely the Qatari customers who look for quality and elegance in their home.
Change in trend throws a challenge in providing customers with latest trend in the market. But on the other hand this gives an opportunity to be a leader in the market if the trend is reinforced by using latest technology and good quality than brought it to customers. These factors can affect the cost, Quality and may lead to innovation. For example, Furniture and More is developing the online shopping and creating a vast internet and digital marketing. Moreover, the awareness and devotion of Mrs Al Sulaiti, keeps her looking all the time for new markets and manufacturers who could deliver more advanced and updated products.
The main economic threat would be the existing competitors in the market, specially international manufacturer that has been present in the market from long time and has build their names internationally as well as locally, as IKEA.
Main legal factors that could affect a furniture company is the Employment law and Health and safety law. Furniture and More follows the rules and maintains the specific standards set by the law, so that there is no difference of interest.
- Sales Proposal
- Target Groups
- Current profitable customers
In a country like Qatar, that has a high standard of living, furniture is considered one of the most successful businesses specially if you are targeting local customers who are always looking for uniqueness merged with high quality products. Qatari customers are known to be one of the wealthiest people in the Middle East and looking always for luxury in their home and offices. With their admiration of elegance and grandeur, most of them travel to get their unique pieces of furniture from different countries in the world, but what if we get the world to them while providing their needs adding the after sales services. The rule of Business should be applied such as offering value and outstanding customer service and after sales services that they wouldn’t find if they get their products internationally.
To offer value, we should understand the community. We should have to evaluate and study their preferences and understand their needs, desires, and aspirations. With this analysis we will get an understanding about the merchandising, advertising and pricing.
Outstanding customer service is the greatest part of offering value. Experience of the customers in the store will count more than the products they wish to buy. Hire people who reflect your values and treat them with the same respect you want them to extend to the customer. Moreover, after sales is an important aspect that might be missing in most of the retail stores in the Middle East. In order to grow the number of our targeted customer, we should provide an excellent after sales service that would create customer loyalty. One of the planned after sales plan is creating a hotline for customers’ feedback and answering inquiries. Providing a 5-year guarantee, on material and wood (excluding misuse), is another asset the company should implement to build trust with customers.
ii- prospecting pool program
There’s a saying in business, nothing happens until someone sells something. Sales are critical for any business to be profitable and stay in business. Without new leads and prospects, there can be no new sales. This makes lead generation (or prospecting) absolutely vital for any businesses, regardless of size or industry.
This can be discouraging for many businesses, as some are unsure about the best ways to go about finding new leads, much less being able to prospect more effectively.
Whether you are looking for new ways to prospect or simply make your existing lead generation system more effective, there are some sales prospecting tip that will help achieve the results.
The Profile of the targeted customer is mainly the ones buying a lifetime home and will go for furniture in the 6000-12,000 QR/- range, including kitchen. That is our competitive target consumer. Anyone in the renovation cycle, who bought a house several years ago, might want to re-do a room or several rooms because they are bored of it. That is our big second audience. And a big third audience is high caliber expats who earn more than 15,000 QR/- monthly and are looking to rent a home. All these three are audiences that span across the board.
They are well-read, educated, earning well, between ages of 23-45, who are looking for diversity, luxury and elegance. They could be people who will buy online.
They are design conscious, socially aware and active, might be interested in digitally buying furniture, including lifestyle purchases.
They are willing to buy big bulk items at one single time. Looking for comfort and convenience if they prefer shopping online. Finding, as it ensures them to check out how the furniture would look in their home settings. During the festive and wedding season, there is an impressive increase in the number of buyers as this is the time when people like to renovate their homes and buy new furniture.
Evaluating Market Segment - Segment size and growth
Furniture and Furnishings market in Qatar has been growing at a compounded annual rate of 6-8% according to a recent study. 80% of this market is unorganized, with a large number of unbranded players and local carpenters. The branded organized retail segment account for 15% of the market and 0.5% of the market is captured by online retailers, so there is significant headroom for furniture and More to grow. The furniture category is big and offers a great opportunity as there isn’t a single player.
Segment Structural Attractiveness:
Company Objectives and Resources.
Unlike competitors which operate as marketplaces, Furniture and More own processes end-to-end, which means they control everything from selection of wood and designing the furniture to the delivery of the purchase. While competitors offer wide product ranges, particularly in home décor, they have stuck to a smaller offering and kept inventory light, using buying behavior data to determine stock keeping units (SKU) and cross-promote products. We are targeting to achieve the highest consumer satisfaction score in the industry.
Targeting Digitally, Furniture and More has planned to launch three apps – Furniture and More Storage, Living Spaces and Core Catalogue app, through which it provides home trials and consultation. Furniture is a complicated product to buy. It’s a high touch and feel product and is non-standard. It’s also a higher ticket purchase than most other purchases. The front-end experience of the website and mobile apps help the consumers easily discover, navigate and browse the selection of products. It also helps consumers get true and rich information around each product and make them get a sense of both how the product looks and fits in their house. Last but not the least it gives them a sense of trust. Thus, the company is investing a lot on mobile technologies to provide a great experience on areas like visualization.
Targeting their Segments through Technology Augmented Reality: Solved the problem of 'How does the furniture look inside my house’ for the customer. Engaging and interactive mobile apps.
Targeting Kids Furniture and More that should be launching their all new range of furniture, just for kids! Colored in playful, pastel shades & named after children’s favorite cartoon characters, they’re sure there’s never going to be another dull moment with kids’ furniture.
Mrs Al Sulaiti, wants “Furniture and More to be the reason why homes across Qatar look beautiful.” They intend to be a complete home solutions provider in the coming days. They want to strengthen their décor portfolio to graduate from simple showroom to a one-stop home furnishings provider. Founders believe organic growth coupled with social media marketing and positive word-of- mouth are sufficient for them.
Furniture and More aims to ‘bring people closer’ Campaign, revolves around the thought that home is where people connect with each other, and furniture plays an important role in it. The brand campaign ‘brings you closer’ aims to highlight this warmth, and the emotional undertones that Furniture and More adds to a home, with only a subtle product reference.”
Furniture and More is also setting up a comprehensive team of design consultants to advise consumers on furniture purchases and doing up their homes. Home buyers will be the initial targets for the new categories. “They (home buyers) will give us the keys to their houses and then a month later, allowing us to give them the experience of walking into their dream home.” Mrs. Al Sulaiti stated.
Furniture &More Prospects
In order to achieve prospects, we require some tools. Referrals, directories and exhibitions are among the common methods used to attract new customers. Prospecting not only has benefits, but it is a virtually necessity for salespeople and their companies to retain customers and grow revenue.
Qualifying prospects is a part of prospecting. This is the use of basic questions or qualifying criteria to draw out the most profitable potential customers. By finding out the level of need, buying motivation and financial capabilities of prospects, we can increase the selling efficiency and go after the top prospects willing to buy. Shortening the sales cycle by contacting the highest potential customers also allows to make more contacts in a given period.
Using e-prospecting at Furniture & More will provide an initial opportunity for consumers to reach the respective products through a trusted channel. The primary concept of market segmentation to consider when using e-prospecting will include the target consumer variable such as the demographics and socioeconomic status, as we have stated previously, Moreover, e-prospecting will enable Furniture and More to analyze its B2B and B2C aspects to enhance its market platform. In this case, e-prospecting will enable the company to understand consumer behavior and their needs, which will enable it to attain the required level of satisfaction and trustworthiness (McClymont, 2003).
The main competitive benefit associated with e-prospecting at Furniture and More will include its inclusion of online implementation. Most companies that engage in sales of household furniture are identified through the use of manual record keeping and operations. With the use of e-prospecting, Furniture & More will easily access the internal and external market platforms, which will enable it to gain strategic knowledge. The company will, therefore, have an advantage that will add up to its competition structure to encourage quick emergence in the market ranks. These factors satisfy the MAD principle whereby; the consumers have the monetary purchasing power, the power to make purchasing decisions, and the product preference. Together with the stated provisions, Furniture & More should ensure that the consumers are provided with a platform that enables them to attain the particular standards. Online and social media marketing provides an opportunity for product promotion since the geographical area of the market can be easily captured and online appearance through the firm’s website.
With a growing market of the millennial generations in the age of high mass consumption, Furniture and More has a better position in the market through target prospects in the e- marketing furniture market.
Retails - Shops and restaurants
The shop actually wishes to target the local business owners of hotels and restaurants.The furniture shop should mainly consider targeting the B2B customers in this field to show the elegance and luxury of the products in the retail shops, considering that these businesses are rapidly increasing in Qatar.
Advantages to the restaurants and hotel owners will be competitive as prices will be given by a local store as Furniture and More with no shipping cost. Furthermore, while selling to the company owners’ prices would be more competitive and discounts will be applied.
The FAB principles apply when the customer choose the product the best features that they
get are the selling pieces are made from top quality materials and was produced by respected manufacturers from outside the country, so these features will attract the customers who are looking for best quality, there are a lot of advantages that the customers will get when they buy
our products the first thing is strength and durability and it is valuable they will pay put also
they will get a high quality and valuable pieces that will stay longer and look elegance finally the
benefit will be for all, so it will not be only convenient, but it will support the local economy and
that will be happened by selling the items by local furniture stores.
Furniture and More’s most important prospects could be the hotel industry and by hotels they could easily approach the largest governmental hospitality organization in Qatar which is Katara hospitality. This would help the company to reach the whole hotel industry instead of targeting individually each hotel. They Furnish in Hotel rooms, lobby, meeting room, ball rooms and many more with huge amount of furniture in different shapes and sizes based on the room design. Moreover, Katara Hospitality, formerly known as Qatar National Hotels Company, is the largest hotel owner, developer and operator in Qatar. As of 2016, the company owns properties in Qatar, Egypt, Morocco, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Singapore and Thailand and many more. Therefore, for FAB feature advantage and benefit: Furniture’s Arms, backs and seats are factually structured with Exceptional Strength and are mainly to relief backache. Another FAB is Limit lifetime warranty and Attention to Detail that would help creating a cozy environment. Thirdly they are movable objects that can change colors and is suitable for all ages. Talking about MAD the willingness for Hotels to buy is more than the individual customers. The government itself supports markets with high sales volume and customers.
Furniture and More should choose various Famous Planners such as The Planner, Fantasy Event and Brilliance Event to be potential prospects. These Planners continue to require new furniture for their customers and repairs. Specializing in such field would enable the business to serve more Event planners and thus generate more revenue by increasing the sales.
The Feature, advantage and benefit of choosing even planner is firstly, the type of furniture the store is offering as Sofas and chairs to Event planners which are different from other wedding planner’s low-quality chairs that breaks easily. Thus, it provides comfortable seating in weddings.
FAB1- Furniture and more provides local high-quality furniture and accessories, which emphasize supporting other Qatari business such as Event planners, which positively have an impact on Qatar’s economy.
FAB2- Furniture and more supply different styles of furniture which as a result help even planners satisfy different styles of Qatari weddings, thus it gives wedding planners a large verity of styles to offer.
In conclusion, looking for high scale prospects and targeting the largest market, Furniture and More could easily increase their sales revenue and pioneer the Qatari local market by focusing on the B2B concept that would enlarge potentially their market segments.
- Sales proposal
- Customer retention
Any business loses by average business around 20 percent of its customers annually simply by failing to attend to customer relationships. In some industries this number is as high as 80 percent. The cost, in either case, is staggering, but few businesses truly understand the implications.
The consequences of customer retention also compound over time, and in sometimes unexpected ways. Even a tiny change in customer retention can cascade through a business system and multiply over time. The resulting effect on long-term profit and growth shouldn’t be underestimated.
Marketing wisdom can introduce to a number of simple customer retention strategies that will cost little or nothing to implement. We can apply several techniques in-depth, in a step-by-step process that will increase customer retention significantly once implemented, and will thus have a massive impact on the business. Furniture and More, as a new company in the market should build the trust of the customers. One of the most used techniques is measure lifetime value. There’s a vast difference between the one-off profit you might make on an average sale, which ignores the bigger picture, and the total aggregate profit your average customer represents over the lifetime of their business relationship with you. Once you recognise how much combined profit a customer represents to your business when they purchase from you again and again, over the months, years or decades, you’ll realise the critical importance of taking good care of your customers. And because you can understand just how much time, effort and expense you can afford to invest in retaining that customer, you would be in control of your marketing expenditure
Other customer retention strategies include:
- CRM Systems
- Loyalty Programs
- Personal Touches
- Premiums and Gifts
- Questionnaires and Surveys
- Regular Reviews
- Social Media
- Welcome Book
- Customer acquisition vs. customer retention
The most common pitfall for businesses around the world is that they think that if they have a great product or service, then customer retention will follow naturally.And, while this might be the case in some instances, the harsh truth is that it’s only a short term strategy. Because if you stop trying, your customers start feeling that you no longer care about them.
You need to keep on trying and earn customers’ loyalty, continuously. Having an effective retention program gives the ability to identify, track and sell more to the customers who are most likely to become long-term sources of revenue. The businesses that “get this” consciously invest in customer retention, because they see it as the biggest revenue driver, according to KPMG.
Market research should be conducted in terms of mapping marketing channels through which the case company can reach existing and prospective customers more effectively than before. The main purpose however is to conduct a marketing plan for a new product that is being launched later this year by utilizing the most up-to-date know-how in marketing communications and the findings made in the market research.
The populations who are considered as potential customers for a new product launched by the case company and to whom the product is to be marketed vary significantly in organizational size and also in the field of business. The B2B purchasing process with this type of product offered by the case company includes different roles on many stages in the process and can easily overlap depending on the customer
Perhaps it will be safe to submit that the furniture retail stores industry has the widest range of customers, almost everybody on planet earth has one or more things that they would need in their houses or offices from a furniture retail store. It is difficult to find households and office facilities without one form of furniture or the other.
Furniture and More is in business to retail a wide range of furniture to the following groups of people and corporate organizations;
- Executive expats
- Business People
- About to wed couples
- Corporate Organizations / Offices
- Government Offices
- Schools and Students (Library inclusive)
- Hotels and coffee shops
- Competitive Advantage
A close study of the furniture retail stores industry reveals that the market has become much more intensely competitive over the last decade. As a matter of fact, you have to be highly creative, customer centric and proactive if you must survive in this industry. We are aware of the stiffer competition and we are well prepared to compete favorably with other leading furniture retail stores in Qatar.
One thing is certain, we will ensure that they promised to have a wide range of furniture products available in the store at all times. It will be difficult for customers to visit the store and not see the type of furniture that they are looking for. One of the business goals is to make Furniture and More a one-stop furniture shop for both household and corporate organizations. Excellent customer service culture, online store, various payment options and highly secured facility will serve as a competitive advantage for the newly emerged company.
As per Mrs. Al Sulaiti, they are working on providing good working conditions and commissions to freelance sales agents that we will recruit from time to time.
Sources of Income
Furniture and More is in the furniture retail stores industry to maximize profits and “we are going to go all the way out to ensure that we achieve or business goals and objectives.” Confirmed Mrs. Al Sulaiti.
“In essence, our source of income will be the retailing of a wide range of home and office furniture at affordable prices”. Furniture and More will generate income by selling the following products
- Retailing of household furniture (living room, dining room and bedroom furniture, upholstered, coffee tables, sofa tables, end tables, sofas, love seats, chairs, bookshelves, display cabinets, consoles and TV stands and otherwise),
- Retailing stationary sofas/sofa-sleepers
- Retailing bedding
- Retailing master bedroom furniture
- Retailing formal dining furniture
- Retailing entertainment furniture
- Retailing youth and children’s furniture
- Retail other furniture.
- Sales Forecast
One thing is certain when it comes to furniture retail stores, if your store is well stocked with various types of home and office furniture and centrally positioned, you will always attract customers sales and that will sure translate to increase in revenue generation for the business.
We have been able to critically examine the furniture retail stores industry and we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projection is based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar in Qatar.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
In summary, Furniture and More will adopt the following sales and marketing approach to win customers over:
- Ensuring having a wide range of home and office furniture from different brand at all times.
- Make use of attractive hand bills to create awareness and also to give direction to the furniture store
- Position greeters to welcome and direct potential customers
- Create a loyalty plan that will enable to reward regular customers
- Engage in direct marketing and sales
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and other platforms to promote business.
- Advertise the furniture store business in the official website and employ strategies that will help pull traffic to the site.
- Brand all official cars and trucks and ensure that staff members and management staff wears branded shirt or cap regularly. Having a unified uniform on store.
Aside from quality, pricing is one of the key factors that gives leverage to furniture stores, it is normal for consumers to go to places (furniture retail outlets) where they can get home and office furniture at cheaper price which is why big player in the furniture stores industry like The One or IKEA and co will attract loads of corporate and individual clients.
Competition is high that is why Furniture and More should ensure that the prices and quality of all the furniture products that are available in the store are competitive with what is obtainable amongst furniture stores within the level.
The payment policy is all inclusive because different people prefer different payment options as it suits them. Here are the payment options that could be available in the store:
- Payment by cash
- Payment via Point of Sale (POS) Machine
- Payment via online bank transfer (online payment portal)
- Payment via Mobile money
- Payment with check
- Facility with banks as no interest installments.
- Action Plan
Enlarge the network and connecting with mega prospects
-B2B meetings among the member SMEs, from different sectors to help the co-operation but also to provide potential markets to each other
-Participate in relevant exhibitions and events.
-Approach prospects and enlarge the customer strata.
Joint promotion and marketing
-Participation in business missions and trade fairs outside Qatar as well.
-Opening new markets Looking for different countries and sellers to diversify the products. (Started with contacting different manufacturers in different countries to provide diversification)
-Participation in business 2 business events in order to find best business partners for upcoming projects
Online development and digital marketing
-Developing the website (started to gather information about several web developers to create a professional website that will enable the customer to use digitally the concept of one shop)
Introducing electronic catalogue and online purchasing.
-Use the power of social media for advertising (planning to recruit a digital and social media officer to handle all the social media account of the company)
Check List / Milestone
- Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
- Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: in progress
- Leasing of facility and remodeling the shop: In Progress
- Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
- Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: In Progress
- Recruitment of employees: not fully
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
- Compilation of new list of products that will be available in store: Completed
- Establishing business relationship with vendors – manufacturers and suppliers of home and office furniture: Completed and needs updates
Sales Strategy Their sales strategy is broken down into two different areas:
- Local Sales - We will sell to local customers and employ a traditional local business sales strategy. Salesmen will be our primary tool, who will work in a normal fashion of calling on local businesses and informing them about our company and our products
- Online Sales - Obviously, selling online is different from selling locally. It will be basically relying on the website to provide product information and answer the questions customers have about their products. A hotline will be available by phone, and email to answer questions the site alone can't answer. Otherwise, it's a traditional e-commerce setup where the customer orders and get it delivered and assembled.
- Sales Forecast
Expecting to be able to sell products in the first month due to relationships the store already have with potential customers and prospects who have agreed to purchase the products. As the name grows in the local community and as the website gets more links and better search placement online, sales will continue to grow.
Each product category has a different growth rate for the first year based on our projections for how much growth there is in each area. From the market research, bedrooms and coffee tables will each see a 20% growth rate.
After year one, an overall growth rate is anticipated to increase of about 20%.
By choosing an emerging local SME as Furniture and More for this sales project was a challenging decision. Lack of published information was one of the main problems faced to complete the requested proposal. However, by linking the theoretical analysis with visiting the store and interviewing the co founder and CEO, helped us evaluating the store’s market share and trying to identify a development sales plan and package. A growing SME in Qatar specialized in Furniture has an excellent growth opportunity. We have discovered that in order to increase the sales revenue, this small company needs to adopt the new technological practices that will help them emerging the local market. Diversification of products will also permit them to compete by implementing a reasonable pricing strategy compared to their well-known competitors. Good and updated marketing strategies should be the key factor of success. Furthermore, this company has a high chance to expand if they approach the B2B process, and specially government entities to increase their sales volume and starting selling in bulks instead of pieces.
Interview with Mrs Jowaher Al Sulaiti, CEO and Co-founder of Furniture and More:
- Would you kindly give us an introduction about yourself as Qatari business woman and how did you start your project?
- What are the products of the main products you are selling in your showroom?
- Who are your customers and your targeted customers?
- What problems have you faced since the inauguration of your showroom? And how worse did it get after the blockade imposed on Qatar?
- Who are the major competitors, and how could you compete with international companies that have been in the market for years?
- What could be your future plan to develop your store?
- What is the competitive advantage your company is providing to the employees?
- What is the trust level with your customer and what could be your retention strategy?
- What do you think of Qatar segmentation and diversification of population noting that we live in a cosmopolitan country?
- What do you think the strengths and weaknesses of your company could be? How would you manage getting over the weaknesses and what could be your future plan to overcome?
Some picture from the showroom :
- Gulf times- Blockade enhanced Qatar's lead as regions most diversified economy: Al-Kuwari- January 23 2019
- Gulf Times – QR26bn invested in industries and farming after blockade 10th of June 2018
- Menon et al.'s (1999 Menon , , Bharadwaj , S. G. , Adidam , P. T. , and Edison , S. W. ( 1999 ). Antecedents and consequences of marketing strategy making: A model and a test . Journal of Marketing , 63 , 18 – 40 model.
- Customer retention and how to keep your customer – Marketing strategies – Article by Robert Clay
- Article by www -https://trainingindustry.in/the-selling-technique-that-will-drastically-improve-you-sales-fab-statement/.business-to-you.com
- KPMG Marketing Mix (4Ps) Strategy Posted in Services,
- McClymont, H., & Jocumsen, G. (2003). How to implement marketing strategies using database approaches. Journal of Database Marketing & Customer Strategy Management, 11(2), 135-148.
- Online catalogue of IKEA
- Online catalogue of The One retrieved from https://www.theone.com
- Online catalogue of Westelm, retrieved from http://www.westelm.me/catalog.html
- Scanning the environment – PESTEL ANALYSIS, September 18, 2016.
- Thesis and business proposal of Northern Elements http://www.northern-elements.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/NorthernElementsBusinessProposal.pdf
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