A Guide to Choosing Profitable Home Decor to Sell
The home decor business is as fast-paced as any trend-driven market. We've seen first-hand how trendy pieces like mason jars can be en vogue one year and bon-voyaged the next (but we're sure we'll see them again sometime). The ever-revolving process of what's old is new again paired with the many decor styles means you have a big market when it comes to selling home decor.
There's been a significant spike in home décor purchases in the past year, as well. With stay-at-home orders in place for an extended period, people's main focus was, well, their home. This year, it seems this will continue to be a trend. Now that we've focused on making our spaces both beautiful and functional, there's no stopping us. Home and office improvements abounded with more people spending more time in their offices and living rooms. From chic farmhouse styles to the clean lines of modern design, home decor has never been hotter.
Home decor is a broad category that describes a range of products that accent homes. From tiny accent clocks and vases to statement furniture, home decor can make or break a space. If you're thinking about starting to carry home decor for your online business, then read some of our tips on how to sell your decor well.
We've seen several home decor brands grow into successful, trend-setting companies. This rise of home decor brands has only confirmed our suspicion that home decor products are a great avenue for small business owners to create their niche. It might not be the easiest of niches to break into, however. Why? Because choosing decor for your home is a slightly more curated process than finding a few great accessories to pair for different occasions. Usually, customers will be looking for items they can keep for a few years (vs. earrings or shoes, which can be switched and changed daily!).
Don't let that discourage you from pursuing a home goods business, however. The good news is that home decor buyers are often willing to spend a little more on their items. Customers are constantly looking for particular pieces to match their unique style, so you can build a loyal customer base by curating an inventory that matches your target customers' tastes and price.
Many small businesses that focus on decor tend to sell one core style, whether farmhouse chic or streamlined and modern. Other companies mix styles, adding a bit of this and a bit of that to form a unique round-up of offerings. Keep in mind that where a shopper lives can impact what products they may prefer. For instance, the styles popular to a native Californian would vary dramatically to Midwesterners. The list is endless, but a few popular decoration styles fall under:
Each customer is unique in their styling of products, but many people have distinct home tastes. A home is, in a lot of ways, a more permanent extension of someone's style. Your customer will be looking for a trustworthy option for buying home decor that matches their aesthetic and budget. That's where you come in!
1st Step: Figure Out Your Target Customers
Finding your target customers will be vital for your home decor business! First, to figure out your target customer, consider your home decor style and the type of inventory you want to sell. Once you have the general idea of the inventory style you would love to sell, it's time for some serious research. Here are some questions you should answer as you identify your target market for selling home decor.
What's the typical age bracket of people buying this style?
What location are you targeting, and is this style prevalent in that area?
Who is your ideal customer?
What prices would your perfect customer expect?
Answering these questions will help you get a feel for your market, which will, in return, help you identify what kind of inventory to stock and marketing tactics to employ.
Keep in mind that some customers will be hunting for small knick-knacks, and others may be searching for large-scale pieces like art, etc. Paintings or sculptures take up larger room spaces if you have a few blank spaces to cover up at a brick and mortar store. If your business is run primarily online, you can take some styled photos of your large pieces to show them off to customers.
Having a large selection of decor at your disposal may be beneficial and more appealing to a broader range of shoppers in a more established small business. It's a delicate balance, and you'll need a few months to figure out how much inventory is suitable for your growing business. We'll discuss this more later on in this post, but we recommend finding a great wholesale supplier to order home goods that you can make a profit off of while still selling at an affordable price.
Remember, have fun while you're testing and creating your business. Get feedback from some people in your target market, and have fun playing around with inspiration and ideas. One of the most fun parts of starting a business is getting to create a community. While you're building your target market, you'll also be making a community of loyal customers.
How to Handle an Intense Market
"Intense" is a fitting description for the decor market for several reasons. Ever-changing, fast-paced, and online-driven, the home decor market is definitely an intense one. And with its unique nature, home decor became even more complex amid a pandemic. Trends, just like with most categories, fuel a lot of the movement in this market. As a new decor seller, you'll need to be an expert in your field! Choosing to wait long periods before re-evaluating your inventory, for example, can cause you to fall behind on home decor trends. Of course, some of this will depend on your target market. Always check for social media accounts and influencers that your target market draws inspiration from, whether senior lifestyle YouTubers or millennial social media influencers.
Part of the business is staying on top of trends. Keeping your eyes on current trends will help you determine what the next best-seller will be. Just because one item is a best-seller for one month doesn't mean it will continue to be a best-seller. That's normal! But for this reason, you need to stay up on what your target market wants to buy.
Tips On Finding Best Items To Sell
We've identified who your target market is and zoned in on what they might want to buy. Now it's time to decide what items you should stock. Choosing your inventory can feel stressful since there are so many factors at play. In addition to monitoring trends, you should ensure that whatever wholesaler you chose stays on top of trends. Your wholesaler should be a step ahead of you since they will be providing trendy, sellable inventory.
While you are staying in beat with your target market and their wants, your wholesaler will be anticipating what you and other small businesses will want. An excellent wholesale supplier will keep you in inventory that will sell well and provide you with a good profit margin.
Speaking of trends and target markets, let's talk about some practical tips for what's hot in the home decor world of 2021.
Popular Styles Making An Exit
Grey walls, especially in kitchens
Mid-century modern styles
Styles On The Rise
Granny Chic or "homey" design styles
Industrial or mixed wood and metal look
Wicker and rattan
Neutral/ natural fabrics
While these trends might be upcoming, that doesn't mean that there is no market left for shiplap or more rustic styles. As we discussed earlier, your target customers should determine the styles you chose for your boutique.
When certain styles (even those becoming less popular) are still relevant and selling well, don't worry about overhauling your look or inventory. Your ideal customers may still choose this style of decor for their homes for many years t come. However, as you stay updated on global and local trends, you can slowly diversify your inventory if you see a style going out. Slowly and steadily updating your shop's style will help maintain your customer base while adapting to up-and-coming trends.
We recommend you play around with this- see what sells and what doesn't. Another good way to stay on the pulse of your market is to ask your social media followers what they want to see more of in your store. A poll can give you an essential look into your market while also building up your customer's loyalty and your community.
Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are great resources to give you a general idea of what your customer base thinks about what you're ordering. You have a thorough assessment of likes, comments, and shares. Social media has revolutionized how business is done, so harness that power for your own business's benefit!
While online marketing and strategy are essential facets, inventory is the heart of your business (whether it's online or in-store). If items take up shelf space for a while and don't seem to be getting attention, don't be afraid of offering sales! Since you purchased a bulk order at a low wholesale price, choosing to get rid of it is not as costly as you may think. Plus, you don't want extra items lingering around for too long.
Aged items will be taking up space that new, more sellable merch could utilize. And don't feel bad about marking things down. It happens to every business owner! Being in retail means becoming an expert at pivoting to determine what works and what doesn't for your customers.
Pro-Tip: Organize your inventory and keep a record of everything. You may find yourself needing to buy less of certain items and more of others. That's normal! Wholesalers (like Supplied) who do not have a minimum will make this process much more manageable. This perk ensures that you can buy small amounts of a product to test out.
Are There Benefits to Pre-Ordering?
As a business owner, you may find that providing a pre-ordering option creates some needed hype about your products and even drive up sales. You should research and find an early trend item that is not widely available in your area. With this strategy, you don't necessarily take a massive risk in ordering items you are uncertain will sell. Use pictures from your wholesaler to promote the items on social media and create a pre-order list so that customers get the chance to get the item before anyone else. This tactic will spark more interest in your business and keep customers interested in your online posts about inventory. As frequent shoppers place orders, you will be able to plan for changes to your inventory list. Pre-ordering can also help you minimize any possible financial damage that comes with adopting early trends.
It's a strategy worth considering if you find yourself wondering how to begin incorporating newer trends into your inventory without losing a large chunk of profit. Of course, you don't have to have any sort of pre-order strategy to kill the online business game. No matter what method you employ, crafting a plan will be crucial to the health of your business. Keep reading for some of our hot takes on how to create a sustainable strategy for your online business.
Planning Around Unavailable Inventory
As we mentioned, your inventory is truly the heart of your business. Your inventory should reflect the trends and wants of your ideal customer group. However, an essential part of being a business owner is employing flexibility and learning to find solutions to unforeseen problems. When it comes to inventory, it's vital to find a wholesale supplier that you trust to ensure you receive your products on time and in good condition.
You'll also want a supplier who stays on top of the trends, just like you. They will be your primary inventory sources and need to have what your customers want (even if they don't know it yet!). Your supplier should have an array of product options that work well with your business and target market. Take your time browsing through inventory until you find a wholesaler with great reviews and a fitting product offering.
Make Note: Research Products, Trends, & Marketing Strategies For Your Brand
Not to be a broken record, but it's vital to research products, trends, and marketing strategies for your brand. Staying on top of current and future trends can make or break some businesses. Thankfully, you're not alone in your research. The entrepreneurs, vendors, and other businesses your supplier may be sourcing from following the same methods and procedures to stay on top of customer demand. You'll be able to stay up on what's popular by doing your research and paying close attention to your wholesaler and what they're adding to their offerings.
It could be helpful to monitor your most popular items consistently. Stay aware of what's selling fastest and getting the most attention on social media for your online business. Often, these items will be selling fast for your wholesale supplier, as well, and these items could go out of stock. Staying up to date on what's selling fast in your inventory could help you make orders before the supplier cannot fulfill the request for more shipments. Often, a supplier may let you know if an item is no longer available.
If not, quality customer service can point you in the right direction for an alternative. If your competitors cannot get enough of a specific kind of item, it might be something to investigate. Explore every option your wholesale decor supplier has, and with a lot of time and knowledge, you are sure to find another option that your customers must have.
What Should You Know About Pricing?
Pricing items is a fundamental concept when it comes to owning a thriving small business, and many variables can determine the price of each of your products. You must first look at the wholesale price you paid for the item, including shipping. If you are selling online, find out how much it will cost to send out the item and the cost of packaging and shipping. If you have an in-person business, then determine other expenses, like rent, etc.
Decide on a profit margin that allows you to break even. Once you know your break-even margin, you can find a reasonable price that ensures you make a profit while keeping the price affordable for your target market.
Selling home decor can be a very lucrative business, and since people are staying home more often, many are looking to perfect their living spaces. Items like rolling desk chairs and ring lights that were previously used by specific professions are increasingly popular. The work-from-home life is excellent for the home decor business! From bed frames to succulents, home decor is a wide-open market that you can capitalize on. Just like starting any other company, selling home decor is doable by anyone, as long as you have a solid business plan in place. Keep reading to get more on our hot take on how to start your very own home decor empire (we can dream, right?).
Selling Home Decor: A Case Study
By now, you probably know that we love home decor. It's a great business opportunity! To emphasize (and bring some more helpful information to you), we're sharing a real-life story of how two young men became successful entrepreneurs in less than a year.
Jacky Chou and Albert Liu decided to dip their feet into the e-commerce business selling home decor after making their own case study for the marketing agency they were running together.
The agency had trouble gathering paying clients, so the two friends created a case study highlighting their digital marketing skills. This evaluation inspired them to start their digital store, dubbed Far and Away, selling furniture.
The pair specifically bought products they thought their audience would want. They did this by examining data and picking correlating styles and trends.
They started selling these items by marketing them through Facebook advertising. While business was slow at first, they had begun earning back their business expenses come Black Friday. Soon enough, a profit started rolling in, and their business began to thrive.
Jacky and Alan's story goes to show how much advertising can help your business. Hopefully, their story also serves as a beacon of inspiration for those not generating mass amounts of income right away. While a small online business may start slow, you start generating profit with the combination of a great strategy and a good market.
You, too, can get on the trend of selling home decor items wholesale. With the entire internet at your fingertips, it's never been easier to start your own online business! In this guide, we will give you some basic information on starting your company, and we will also provide you with information on finding distributors that fit your needs. Are you ready to dive in?
How Do You Get Started in Home Decor Wholesale?
Both logistics and creativity go a long way in the makings of a solid brand. A business and marketing plan is essential for any new business, and it's something you should update as your company develops and grows.
First, start by determining your profit margins based on your sales and operating costs, similar to what we discussed in the pricing portion of this article. By keeping an eye on your profit margin, you can ensure that your store will stay in business.
Starting a decor business means getting serious about figuring out your target market and what styles you want to carry. Research is your friend, so be sure to compare and contrast large decor brands to see how their items match their brand. These brands should be able to tell you a story about who they are and what they sell, and your brand should do the same. Through colors, a logo, and your social media presence, your customers should know what you sell and what category of affordability your business falls in.
A few good questions you can ask yourself when you are crafting the brand of your new business are below:
What's the name? You may name your shop after yourself, or you can call it something that you think embodies your vibe and style.
What's the appearance? Creating a mood board for the colors and designs of your item can be a helpful guide to look back on when you are stocking your shop.
Who do you sell to? Think of your target customers and what kinds of items they will be interested in buying.
Homegoods are a wide range of products in many styles, and you can decide which ones you think will help flesh out your store's aesthetic. If you want to sell modern home decor, you should opt for sleek and hip items. Minimalism is a big trend right now, and many people are looking for simple, functional pieces that significantly impact a space. If you want to sell traditional American home decor, you can find neutral tones and prominent, cozy attributes.
Is There Anything Legal I Need to Know Before Getting Started?
Let's get down to business. As a new business owner, you need to register your business with your state or city. It's not unusual to feel confused about this daunting and unfamiliar process. However, there are plenty of online resources to help you. First, register with the Internal Revenue Service to get a business identification number assigned to your company. This process will help them track your sales taxes. You will use this number when ordering wholesale to prove you intend to resale the products for profit. Also, sales tax will be exempt from your wholesale orders. Do a little research on the web for any other legal processes your state may require for starting a new business.
Where Can I Find Home Decor Wholesale Distributors?
Buying your inventory is one of the most fun parts of being a home decor retailer!
As we discussed, your wholesaler will mainly be determined by the types of items you want to sell. For example, if you are an antique furniture seller, you may want to check Facebook Marketplace and Etsy. Of course, finding a trustworthy, highly-rated supplier for your items is crucial. A supplier will help you stock your store, and their prices will help determine your profit margins. When you find an affordable and reliable home decor supplier, your store will benefit, earning you more money.
While there's less in-store shopping and travel available right now, in-person browsing is the best way to observe an item's qualities. Examining products in person will help you determine if your customers buy and keep. Pre-Covid, "going to market" was a fairly common practice for small retailers. Wholesale merchandise markets allow wholesalers set up showrooms, similar to small shops, where bona fide retailers can purchase items for their stores. These markets also enable you to review tons of inventory options all in one place. Some retailers would choose to restock for the entire season at one merchandise market.
The major market cities (Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles) have seasonal showcases. Small regional markets can also be found throughout other U.S. cities. Some markets are still open or are re-opening soon, so you can check online to find out if one near you is available. Another option for checking out in-person inventory is to go to a wholesaler's warehouse. Of course, this can be an overwhelming task, but you could keep it in mind if you have a wholesaler nearby.
Online shopping has become the primary shopping option in the past year for multiple reasons. While you can't see the items in person, you can save travel costs by visiting different retailers through your computer screen. Online shopping also saves time and money and gives you a wider variety of options and the ability to research reviews for wholesalers and their products.
Many online distributors will require order minimums so that they can consolidate shipping costs. However, some do not, meaning that you can place a small order to sample the items before deciding to stock up. The good news? Supplied does not require a minimum amount of orders, helping you get started with your inventory without a substantial financial commitment. We also offer free returns if you are dissatisfied with your purchase. We are all about helping our small business owners get the support and options they need to thrive!
Starting Your Business Safely
Supplied sells home decor items wholesale with your small business in mind! Due to the pandemic, many small businesses are struggling, so we've added money-saving features to our website to offer support to help you navigate today's market.
In addition to no item minimums, we offer interest-free financing through Sezzle, a payment plan that gives you the option to buy now and pay later. If you do not want to pay the total price for your items upfront, you can purchase with Sezzle. We will process your order just like you paid in full, but on a payment plan, so you pay four fractions of the total over four months.
We don't have an order minimum (a big plus), and we also give you the freedom to add to and subtract from your order as necessary. Although we don't have order minimums, we offer retailers a discount for ordering more products (a pro as you grow your business). When you buy ten or more of an item, we will charge you less per piece that's added. Another bonus with Supplied? Shipping large items like home accessories can be costly, but we offer free shipping on orders over $150. Buy more to save! Starting a business can be a complicated process. Still, Supplied puts your store in the position to succeed through our excellent customer service and inexpensive home decor items wholesale purchase options. Visit suppliedshop.com to see our vast inventory of items and get your own small home decor business started.