Innovation - the elusive golden egg of business
Read any business books lately? If you have I bet they included something about the necessity of innovation. How we live in "innovate or die" times. It is incredibly easy to say, but not very easy to do. Especially if you work in furniture retail where people have bought and sold stuff in pretty much the same way for decades.
This year's theme at the Furniture Today conference is innovation, they have a pretty impressive lineup of speakers from such powerhouses as Google and Wayfair. Certainly companies that know a thing or two about innovation!
Here at Cylindo we advise furniture retailers every day on how to best present products using the latest visualization technologies, and one area of reservation that we often bump into is whether it really makes sense to spend money upgrading websites and setting up ecommerce.
To e-tail or not to e-tail
Is it really necessary to offer online shopping? Who buys furniture online anyways?
To answer these questions let's look at some numbers - shall we.
86% of furniture retailers today have a website, and 25% of these offer online shopping. According to Furniture Today the online channel accounted for 9% of all furniture and bedding sales in 2013.
Time for a quick bit of number crushing. The annual Industry & Market Outlook report by C. Barnes estimates that the number of furniture retailers in 2013 was 26,627. If we take this number at face value and extract the 86% percent with a website, that leaves us with 22,899 still in the game, of these only 25% offered e-shopping, which means that just 5,725 stores ran off with 9% of the sales! That is in the neighborhood of 10 billion dollars in sales, that, if you didn’t have e-commerce, you didn’t even get a chance to get a bite of.
If you then take a look at growth rates across the channels, you’ll see that online sales have a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 15%, compare that with the somewhat depressing 1,1% that brick & mortar can muster, the only thing left to say is - get your online shopping up and running!
"Great!" - you think, "all I gotta do is pop a shopping cart on my site and all is hunky-dory" Hate to break it to you, but it's not that simple. Websites require just as much thought and planning in terms of layout and product presentation as a regular brick & mortar store does.
We have previously touched on the subject of furniture retail web design and will be exploring the subject further in a series of upcoming blog posts that all deal with the challenges furniture retailers face when they venture into multi- and crosschannel sales.
We have compiled an infographic to give you a quick glance at the many numbers furniture retailers have to evaluate when deciding how to tackle today's Furniture Retail Reality