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How the pandemic is affecting the home and living business

Dimas Harry Priawan
Dimas Harry Priawan

Chief executive officer at Dekoruma

Jakarta  /  Thu, May 14, 2020  /  09:25 am
How the pandemic is affecting the home and living business

Dekoruma has recorded a 100 percent increase in sales. The sharp jump in profits is a result of the demand for sofa beds, mattresses and other supplies to improve home offices. (Shutterstock/Zastolskiy Victor)

Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that such a day would ever arrive, when going grocery shopping feels like a long-awaited vacation. Suddenly the most mundane things such as being in a crowd and waiting in line — things we usually avoid — make us grateful to be present and alive. 

COVID-19 has changed both the basic and intricate ways we navigate everyday life. In terms of the economy, some industries are now not seeking to thrive, but merely to survive. Oil prices plummeting below zero owing to excess supply or flag carriers and major airlines fighting tooth and nail to carry on are two concrete examples of the havoc COVID-19 has wrought on the world. During these hard times, creativity is put to the test and pushed to the limit. 

However, this pandemic has benefited some businesses. Mask manufacturers are thriving and some people are having to wait up to seven days to receive their online grocery shopping. As for the home and living industry, this is a time for newfound opportunities and challenges.

Physical distancing has altered people’s habits and tendencies to do things. Since working from home is likely to be many people's reality for the foreseeable future, investing in a cozy, safe space is becoming a top priority. Working and spending quality time in the comfort of our own homes has prompted us to create thoughtfully designed homes. 

Read also: Working from home? Here are five ways to reduce procrastination and be productive

Shifting shopping habits from offline to online does not apply only to groceries and basic necessities, but also home and living. People are becoming more aware of what the home needs to bring to life their idea of a cozy space. Moreover, looking at how efficient our thought processes have become, our customers also take into consideration the functionality of objects. This is proven by opting for furniture with space-saving and multi-functional qualities. The second important thing after functionality, according to our customers, is aesthetics. Decorating spaces with the desired pieces results in maintaining a good mood, and this makes up for the time we are not spending socializing. 

Along with the shift in customer behavior, good branding is what drives people to our front door. If done right, it is even a more powerful tool to generate sales. We believe in making use of online tools to optimize exposure and eventually convert potential leads to customers. Now is the right time to make use of the momentum as people are spending the majority of their time online and glued to devices. 

Online retailers in the home and living industry have doubled their profits, including Dekoruma, which has recorded a 100 percent increase in sales. The sharp jump in profits is a result of the demand for sofa beds, mattresses and other supplies to improve home offices.

Another aspect of the home and living industry I would like to shed a light on is interior design services. While we are required to practice physical distancing, it goes without saying that face-to-face meetings are kept to a minimum. Online consultations and meetings are now the most common ways to communicate. Due to the effectiveness of online meetings, this results in real-time project completion.

Read also: Working from home? Why detachment is crucial for mental health

What does this pandemic mean for one vital aspect of the home and living industry: interior designers? How do they perform daily tasks? As technology advances at a constantly rapid pace, interior designers are utilizing technology to stay efficient. By using the right application, such as SOMA, they are able to manage many projects in one application, but also calculate and come up with accurate prices. The cherry on top is that you can communicate via this application as well. 

Now that the impacts of COVID-19 are widespread, business owners are also presented with the challenge of creating a safe working environment, not just a comfortable one. It won't come as a surprise that when the situation gets better, offices will have to adjust to new standards that prioritize employees’ health and well-being. These changes are feasible and can be applied by paying close attention to several crucial items: ventilation, UV lights, density screening, temperature and cleaning protocols. After COVID-19, there is a high possibility that mirror partitions and visual dividers will need to be installed in offices so that safe distance is maintained. 

Despite the hard times, it is our responsibility to support and sustain the country’s economy. Seeing how technology has helped make things efficient, the home and living industry can integrate all workers — including handymen, contractors, interior designers and architects — through technology. It is by and through technology we can digitize business processes and, hopefully, efficiency can be attained. 

Although the current circumstances have not been in our favor, let’s try our best to practice physical distancing and follow the recommendations issued by the government and health authorities. Just like a wise man once said, “This too shall pass”. Stay safe and healthy. (wng)

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The writer is the chief executive officer at Dekoruma. He aims to put a stop to inefficiencies in the home and living industry.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.