Important trends rarely happens overnight and furniture industry is no exclusion. Overall the market is on the rise with constant growth, esp. on matured markets. The healthy market definitely is good news for furniture retailers and stores, who are a main branch in the selling cycle of the industry. But there are few crucial trends that decision makers should keep an eye on.
Data analytics and sales forecasting will became even more important
- Sales forecasting
Sales forecasting & demand projections are key in efficient planning for any business not just furniture retail. This is equal to improved cash management, ability to face customer demand, proper staff allocation, etc. Sales projections are key preparation tool and at A4E we have A4Furniture which is doing exactly this. It detect trends and project the impact of the weather to your sales. The tool has many more features, just check them out.
- In-store consumer behavior
Improving customer experience is important for customer satisfaction which in the end of the day results in (more) sales. Analyzing customers flow is giving priceless insights and answer questions like preferred sections, time spent, movement direction, new or returning vistors. And one again – we mean offline in-store consumers behavior, not just online. This way you can gather as much data as you want and to drill down in every vertical. Just like website analytics. This is doable via Wi-Fi signals emitted by customers smartphones and ShopUp has interesting solution.
Home office furniture is on the rise
The economic crisis both in USA and Europe led to increased demand of office furniture like chairs, desks, cabinets and even computers, says Marketresearch.com recent blog-post. It seems that customers quickly found out that home office has multiple uses and they are keeping this preferences. Because of this, the global home office furniture market is going to grow at higher pace than the industry.
Online is more important than ever
- 2/3 rely on internet research for in-store purchase
Online presence is crucial for retailers because this is where the customers journey starts from. Preliminary research is not dead, it just starts online. Because of this customers more likely than ever already knows what they are going to buy. Olivia Collins from thoughtshift is also adding that online furniture purchasers are quick to decide. 63% of customers visited multiple brand sites and over half of them made actual purchase within one week of their research.
- Online furniture shopping is growing faster than any other sales channel
Ecommerce is rapidly growing all over the world and furniture online sales are no exception. 16.6% is the CAGR of online furniture stores way above the entire industry and little bit more than the overall ecommerce growth. Emarketer adds that physical stores are still big due to their bulk, expense and typical consumer desire to see the merchandise in person.
Consolidation in furniture retailers
In the USA, 50 largest stores accounting for 75% of the market revenue. The competition is rising so as consolidation, esp. on matured markets. Traditional furniture stores started to associate franchises, store chains and group purchasing organizations. All of this is motivated by the unquestionable economies of scale enjoyed by retailers as they increase of size, resulting in lower costs. Javier Iborra states that this trend will continue in his Competitive Scenarios for the Furniture Industry in 2016.