While many of us avid shoppers can attest to the immense benefits of shopping online, it may be a surprise that shopping online for furniture is just climbing the crest of its opportunity for retail e-commerce. According to Google/Compete [note: link loads PDF], for shoppers, the path to purchase is all about the right method, products, price and selection that will influence how they buy furniture online. Here’s how furniture retailers can take advantage of the furniture shopper path to purchase.
Online Is a Tool for the Entire Furniture Shopping Pipeline
While furniture shopping is averaging just an increase of 5% unique visits year-over-year, shoppers are behaving all over the map. Furniture retailers have a huge opportunity to capture shoppers at all stages of conversion online. For example, only one in four furniture buyers purchase online but those that do purchase online tend to spend more than those who purchase offline – the average price paid by furniture purchasers who shopped online was $657 versus $600 for those who didn’t. Two-thirds of these buyers who purchase in-store access the internet for furniture information. That’s 66% of shoppers who are just trying to learn more to help their ultimate purchase, whether online or in a retail store!
Omnichannel Is Right On
Marketing to shoppers through omnichannel efforts is not just to satisfy e-commerce buzzwords – omnichannel is a true tenant of what makes furniture retailers reap the benefits of selling furniture online. In-store buyers rely heavily on retail sites while shopping – 76% of them on furniture store sites. These buyers also cast a wide net while shopping online, with 63% of purchasers visiting multiple furniture brand sites prior to purchase.
In addition, shoppers have specific requirements for furniture that influences purchase, among them style (82%), material (81%), durability (81%), and size (80%). With all of these considerations being made by shoppers both online and off, it’s critically important for furniture retailers to engage shoppers wherever they are in their purchase cycle and through multiple channels.
Mobile Continues to Catch Waves
Mobile and tablets are still increasingly important sources for online furniture shoppers. 13% use a tablet to access furniture information, while 12% use their mobile. While these numbers don’t yet represent the majority of those studied, trends still suggest that mobile and tablets are poised for growth in the coming years for e-commerce. In addition, Blueport’s brick and mortar retailers can count themselves as sites that furniture shoppers visit:
- Furniture-only retail sites (39%)
- Home furnishing sites (40%)
- Online-only retail websites (41%)
- Department store websites (44%)
Furniture retailers that can take full advantage of online commerce, while integrating with their brick and mortar stores and mobile, are poised to seize the billion dollar opportunity ahead of them. And Blueport Commerce is riding the wave right along with them, by helping furniture retailers implement a full-service solution that meets the unique, localized needs of selling furniture online.