Digital commerce requirements for Furniture Retailers – Opportunities & Challenges
The Furniture Retail Market is a vital part of the wider e-commerce industry and an important indicator of trends in the consumer retail markets.
The Continuing Growth of Online Retail
The global market for luxury furniture is expected to grow at over 4% in 2019. According to Marketresearch.com, the global market for home & décor and furniture industry is forecast to reach $695 billion by 2019, Europe is the largest market for online luxury furniture.
Online Challenges and Opportunities for the Furniture Industry
Furniture industry includes a wide range of goods, from inexpensive, easy-to-ship showpieces for the living room to major, bulkier purchases like sofas and rugs, which are usually bought with more research and consideration. Every year, though, shoppers grow more comfortable with making even these larger purchases in virtual furniture stores.
When compared to other sectors, there are a few digital commerce furniture leaders that stand out in this space, helped partly by catalogs and showrooms. Each player is devising its strategy to woo shoppers. Some promise quick delivery and a no-questions-asked-30-day-return policy, others ensure speedy furniture assembly and carpenter services. The vendors have also developed apps on major mobile platforms.
Demographics and Lifestyle changes are increasingly impacting buying habits and preferences
Furniture retailers are aware of the complex consumer decision-making process that makes up the buying journey when it comes to large furniture items. While online furniture retail continues to grow in importance, consumers often combine online research with shop visits on their way from research and consideration through to buying.
Where do customers research and shop furniture?
According to a recent study, a significant number of consumers are doing at least part of their research in store and buying online. There is a research stage which takes place on mobile while the buy now button tends to be hit on a laptop.
Home furnishing stores are at the forefront of customers’ move to enhance the in-home and in-store experience, through the use of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and brand extensions. Modern consumers are settling down, decorating homes and bringing their comfort with buying digitally to the furniture category.
Reviews and Pricing are Critical to the Buying Journey
The price comparison is an essential stage in the customers’ buying journey.
Price is not the only factor; online reviews make a real difference to driving sales:
Online stores are opening physical locations
While traditional high street stores are investing in making their shop floor staff responsive to eCommerce customers, some pure-play online retailers are investing in physical space. Our years of experience and recent research shows that two-thirds of consumers prefer to see, touch or try furniture in store before buying.
Consumers buy online, in-store and by mixing the two, and effective eCommerce development is a crucial part of the mix to increase website traffic, brand awareness, in-store footfall and multi-channel sales whatever the complexities of the buying journey.
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