It’s an exciting time to be in the furniture business. Furniture companies are finally catching up with
leading players in the e-commerce space.
The once slow-to-adapt industry has transformed into a realm where tech-savvy businesses are rewriting the rules of furniture e-commerce by incorporating the latest technology.
Despite the hardships over the last few years, more customers are shopping online than ever before. E-commerce is gaining steam, which opens up great opportunities for furniture businesses.
According to Statista, the size of the furniture e-commerce market worldwide is forecast to reach about 41 billion U.S. dollars by 2030. Moreover, furniture e-commerce is one of the fastest-growing categories. According to Comscore’s 2023 State of Digital Commerce Report, furniture and appliances represented the no. 5 top-grossing digital commerce category in 2022, contributing $76 billion to the $1.09 trillion total.
However, we can’t neglect the fact that the industry faced some age-old issues, such as ineffective inventory planning, unappealing product pages, and inconsistent customer experience across channels.
So the question is: What will the future of furniture e-commerce look like, and how can businesses adapt to stay competitive?
Mapping the future of furniture e-commerce
We asked seven industry experts to describe how they see the furniture business landscape changing under the current circumstances. Additionally, they shared their observations of the trends that emerged in the past few years. Based on their replies, we’ve identified the major opportunities, growth recommendations, and predictions for the future.
Keeping tabs on what’s dawning on the horizon is crucial for industry leaders. Below, furniture industry experts share things to look out for in the business and technology realms in the upcoming years and why these developments will have a significant impact on the furniture industry.
“To succeed and rise above the competition in 2023, furniture e-commerce sites will have to provide an online experience that is focused on the customer journey and is as close to an in-store experience as possible. Furniture e-commerce sites will have to think about how customers interact with their brand and what they base their online buying decisions on. This includes a trial period, the option to order fabric swatches easily, and a good product visualization tool. Augmented reality also gives customers a major advantage in choosing products of the right dimensions.”
- Félix Robitaille, Director of Marketing, Cozey
“The companies that will stand out are the ones that have the most detailed product images and are able to sell the lifestyle and brand as well. You have to know your customer and cater to their lifestyle. I believe the high end of the market is the most exciting place to be in furniture.”
- Ralph Montemurro, Founder, Monte
“To achieve success and stand out in the competitive online furniture market in 2023, it's crucial to recreate this in-person shopping experience as closely as possible. This can be achieved by providing customers with all the necessary information to make them feel as if they have already sat on the product. A well-rounded product detail page (PDP) should include a combination of high-quality photo and video content, 360-degree views, augmented reality technology, detailed product descriptions, user-generated content, and genuine customer reviews.”
- Louis Rose, Managing Director, SofaClub
“You must continue to put your principal effort into your product, ensuring that it meets the needs of whichever sector of the market you focus on. Quality, design, and value are always paramount. Once you have your proposition nailed down, work on how you communicate this through every aspect of your website. If you have real clarity and can deliver this throughout your experience, it will make your website and digital marketing more effective.
You could also use the DRE (create Desire, offer Reassurance, deliver Ease) framework to prioritize website improvements. If what you’re doing isn’t hitting one of these three requirements, it probably isn’t worth prioritizing.”
- David Kohn, The Multichannel Expert
“For many years, an online seller only needed to have a static image to sell on its website. This progressed to multiple images and then video. Now, 3D imaging, in-room technology, and digital enhancements on color and customization are no longer optional; they are table stakes for any retailer's e-commerce. Furniture dealers need to keep up on what is state of the art and be early adopters wherever possible.”
- Warren Shoulberg, Contributing Editor to “Business of Home” and “The Robin Report” and his own blog, Warrensreport.com
“The competition is harder than ever. The company that offers the best-tailored customer journey will be the one that will come out on top. That means offering the right content and information at the right time and the ability to answer the customers’ “why.” Companies must provide design details, show customers how their product will look in their home, assist them in building the modular sofa, and lastly, if the customers purchase more than one item, show them how the combination will look.”
- Søren Kruse, CTO, Sofacompany
“The value of a customer who engages both online and in-store is invariably higher than one who only engages with one channel alone, and a big part of the website’s role is driving customers to visit stores, not just convert online. However, the real benefits come from having the technology to understand who the customer is and what their requirements are and to deliver an experience tailored to this knowledge.”
- Mark Hammond, Head of E-commerce, Heal’s
Get ready for the future of furniture e-commerce
This is just a sneak peek of the strategies that will help businesses prepare for the next chapter of furniture e-commerce. Curious to find out more insights from seven furniture industry experts to get a competitive edge? Download our e-book.