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We are passionate about all things furniture, and have been working within the industry for over 50 years. As such, we have become knowledgeable in the types of furniture that are popular, how the industry has evolved, and what the future for the furniture industry is likely to be. With so many companies now deciding to trade on the internet, we think that this be a popular development for furniture in the future... Learn More

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Laminate Furniture

Laminate furniture is used within many domestic and public buildings. It can be seen on...


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Manufactured Boards

Manufactured boards are man-made boards which provide a practical use for the wastage of wood materials. The boards are constructed by binding...

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How does the furniture industry fare in e-commerce?

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There is little doubt that e-commerce is one of the fastest growing retail markets in Europe.


The difference between types of furniture

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Laminate furniture is used within many domestic and public buildings. It can be seen on chairs...


Manufactured Boards

View more

Manufactured boards are man-made boards which provide a practical use for the wastage of...



How does the furniture industry fare when it comes to e-commerce?

There is little doubt that e-commerce is one of the fastest growing retail markets in Europe. With heavy demands placed on many consumers around the world, the time and effort that it takes to physically leave the house and go shopping does not seem to be worthwhile when you consider the alternative: online shopping. Many consumers have chosen to take advantage of improvements in technology and businesses have adapted their working practices to suit these trends. This is one of the reasons why so many high-street shops have closed down, preferring to conduct business online where marketing is easier and cheaper. Although many industries have taken advantage of e-commerce, not all types of business are able to use e-commerce effectively. One such industry is the furniture market.

The furniture industry has not been able to adapt as easily to e-commerce as others have, such as supermarkets and other fashion outlets. Despite this, the industry has managed to grow substantially and is likely to continue to do so. That’s not to say, however, that e-commerce cannot be utilised and made to work, to enable the industry to grow quicker. If you are a furniture company, one way in which you can help grow your sales, is by using an SEO Agency. Clever use of keywords that are targeted towards consumer trends enables you to attract a range of online consumers from a range of potential avenues. A couple of markets that you could target your SEO content towards, are house-buyers and interior designers. Although they might not think they are looking for new furniture, it never hurts to give them a taste of what they could be getting.

E-commerce provides both opportunities and challenges for companies competing in the furniture industry. As furniture is readily available, there is opportunity for consumers to shop around from a much larger range of potential suppliers than ever before. Consumers are no longer restricted to the furniture stores within their local area as was once the case: it is now possible to view collections quickly and easily from a range of sources. This means that selling and promoting your product has to be done very carefully and effectively, to ensure that you beat the competition. An effective SEO strategy is one way of doing this. Alternatives include heavy advertising campaigns and substantial discounts being offered which undercuts your profit margins.

Despite the improvements to e-commerce and the availability of furniture online, the UK – rather surprisingly - does not have a very high percentage of online sales when you compare it to the rest of the world. According to certain statistics, only 2.6% of sales relate to online in the UK (on average), whilst large areas of the world have an average of 11%. Perhaps this is because we are located on a small island and it is not as difficult to visit regions which sell specific furniture brands, as it is in other countries. What is interesting to note, however, is that online advertisements, etc, do affect offline sales. So this suggests that consumers are scouring the internet to find themselves the best deal / product for them, before leaving the comfort of their own homes and purchasing items.

Another interesting finding, is that the volume of furniture purchases is not growing at the same rate as the value of furniture purchases. Whenever we switch on the television, advertisements give us information such as companies holding ‘the biggest ever sale’, ‘ending this weekend,’ etc. Perhaps this is the reason why so many consumers are not buying their furniture online and are, instead, attracted to the sales out on the high street. With this in mind, it is no surprise that volume exceeds value; online retailers are having to drop prices in order to compete with the high-street sales which are seemingly never-ending.

There is no doubt that sales are a contributory factor to the performance of e-commerce in the furniture industry. Many furniture outlets seemed to realise at an early stage that they would be up against online competition (in addition to the multitude of competitors already out there), and advertised to the public when they would be at the most likely time to buy furniture (at weekends and during bank holidays). However, another factor which could have hindered online sales, is how the products are viewed.

When choosing to spend copious amounts of money on new furniture, people want to know exactly what they are getting. Unlike other industries (food, fashion, games, music, etc), there is more risk to parting with hard-earned cash when it comes to furniture, as the expense is a lot higher. Many furniture shoppers prefer to see the product in front of them, so that they can get a good idea of how it will fit into their houses and current style of living. If you spend some time at a furniture store, there is a good chance that you will see couples or families with tape measures, eying up potential purchases whilst discussing / arguing whether or not it will suit their current décor. The shopping experience seems to be part of the attraction and this would be lost if shoppers remain online.

When it comes to online success, the following two points are valued by consumers:

  • Pricing policy. How flexible are payments for the furniture being purchased? How much discount are they receiving? What was the original price and how much has it been reduced by? Everyone likes to feel like they are getting a bargain and in an environment where it is not possible to ‘barter’ with a sales assistant, the pricing policy must be spot on to attract buyers.
  • Logistics and delivery. Due to the size and weight of furniture, delivery costs are likely to be quite high. This is another consideration for the consumer; no matter how much of a bargain they might be getting with the item, delivery costs can turn a cheap product into an expensive one. Furthermore, how easy is it to get the item into its intended location? Will the delivery drivers help?


Perhaps then, in order to keep up with trends in e-commerce, changes will need to be made within the furniture market, to allow companies to compete.