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The biggest secret to selling more furniture in 2020

Picture of Joe P from OE
Joe P from OE

Want to know a secret…

(read: huge opportunity to sell way more furniture)

…that most OEMs are missing?

It’s a simple thing that allows you to easily:

  • Stand out among your competition
  • Watch your furniture become the most-used in any room
  • Have end users and dealers calling you up saying, “Everybody loves your stuff, we need more of it!”

And this tip only takes a little bit of time and effort on your part, as a manufacturer.

To explain the big secret, let me tell you about one of my favorite spots in Chicago…

The joy of the “little things”

Back when I lived in the Windy City, there was this great movie theater I absolutely loved. 

Problem was, it was a huge pain to get to…

There weren’t any train stations nearby. It was smack dab in the middle of downtown. (Right next to Eataly, actually, so at least it gave me a good excuse to wander the bread and cheese aisles.)

I didn’t live close so I always had to drive, which also meant I paid an arm and a leg for downtown parking. 

But despite all that, I almost always went to that movie theater, above the others.


Because the seats were so comfortable. I’m talking full-on leather recliners where you could leg out in cinematic glory. It was mint!

(Lots of theaters have cushy seats nowadays. But back then, it was new and different.)

Since it was such an expensive pain to get to, I tried other movie theaters closer to me… 

But once I knew the joy of the comfy recliners, I couldn’t go back to regular cinema seats.

And from the outside, I was buying a movie ticket, not a recliner, right? 

But that comfy seat MADE the movie-going experience for me. It’s the detail that made me pull out my wallet and buy, again and again.

What’s your non-optional extra?

Have you ever had an experience like that — where the “optional extra” is what made you buy something?

Maybe you always go to a particular deli because the staff remember you like Russian dressing on your Club sandwich. (You rebel, you.)

Or maybe you shop at Target because they have an in-store cafe AND cupholders in their carts.

Or maybe, like my wife, you’ll buy meat from the farm that lets their animals free range.

The point is, we all have those little “extras” that aren’t really extras — they’re the most important factor in what we decide to buy. 

…Which brings us to furniture. (Okay, not my most graceful segue but go with me here.)

The simple secret to sell more furniture

Everybody lives on their devices today. They’re woven into just about every layer of our lives.

And even though your customers are buying furniture, (just like I was buying movie tickets,) power has become the “comfy seat” that makes people actually USE and WANT your products.

A study from found that all else being equal, people choose tables where power is easy to reach (vs. tables with no power nearby.) 

And guess what? That preference for power drives the market! 

I have friends who refuse to fly out of certain airports because they don’t have chargers in their lounges. People are telling the market, loud and clear, that power is no longer an “optional extra.”

powered custom
Hong Kong Airport uses highly visible electrics to deliver that something extra, seats nearby are always full for a reason.

And that’s great news for you as an OEM because now’s prime time to be on the front edge of the trend.

It’s just like how Starbucks started offering free wifi…

And everyone started buying from Starbucks…

And eventually, every cafe started offering free wifi to compete and try to get a piece of the pie. 

If you want to be a leader, you’ve got to get serious about electrics in your furniture.

Let’s take it one step further...

Instead of just including power options in your furniture, you’ll get even bigger results if you SHOW that power. 

But the truth is, the easier you can make it to see electrics, the quicker it will draw people to your furniture. And the more people you draw to your furniture, the more end users want to buy it.

If I passed a movie theater with a sign out front that read, “Enjoy our leather recliners while you watch!” I’d try it out in a heartbeat. But if I didn’t know they had comfy seats, I’d probably drive right past.

Most OEMs who include power in their furniture hide it under flaps and edges. But that won’t attract anyone to your designs…which in turn won’t make dealers say, “Woah, everyone’s obsessed with this stuff!”

That’s why your biggest opportunity to make people use your furniture is by making the electrics super visible. 

Take OE, for example. We design electrics to be seen, not hidden underneath a panel.

I mean, come on…this Ply unit deserves to be seen, right? (It didn’t win Product of the Year at the Mixology Awards just for its good personality. 😂)

We also offer custom options so we can create something highly functional that draws users to your furniture and enhances your design.

The bottom line: if you want to sell more furniture, you can’t think about electrics as an optional “extra” anymore. You only get one chance to gain market share during this exciting time! 

Mark my words, 10 years from now, the market leaders in your industry will be those who found ways to make power a central part of their designs. (And with any luck, comfy leather recliners will be standard in movie theaters, too. 😜)

Take the next step to simplifying electrics...

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