Retail

Amazon And Wayfair See Growth In Furniture Market

Furniture sales have become a pretty cushy business if you’re Amazon or Wayfair. For everyone else, it’s going to take some real ingenuity and innovation to stay on top.

“Furniture sales have lagged behind other markets in e-commerce growth, but its growth in recent years has been significant,” said Eric Voyer, vice president at the behavior and share tracking service TraQline. TraQline’s syndicated survey solutions provide consumer market research and insights that can be customized based on the individual needs of U.S. and Canadian retailers and manufacturers.

Brick-and-mortar showrooms still dominate in the furniture market, with only a quarter of furniture sales taking place online. But it’s undeniable that this sector, like so many others, is shifting its business toward the virtual.

Amazon and Wayfair have both seen steady growth over the last five years, with Amazon’s unit shares increasing year-over-year in 18 of the last 20 quarters and Wayfair’s in 17. All other furniture and home accessory retailers with online presences decreased their online unit and dollar shares.

From first quarter 2016 to first quarter 2017, Amazon increased online unit share from 24.1 percent to 25.7 percent and Wayfair increased from 7.1 percent to 10.2 percent, knocking competitors down from 68.7 percent.

In the same year, Amazon’s online dollar share grew from 13.9 percent to 15.7 percent and Wayfair’s grew from 8.6 percent to 11.9 percent. Online dollar shares for all others fell from 77.5 percent to 72.4 percent.

But looking at the overall picture, including offline sales, Amazon and Wayfair’s unit and dollar shares are both in the single digits. Other furniture and home accessory retailers still dominate with a unit share of 90.5 percent (down from 92.9 percent) and a dollar share of 94.5 percent (down from 96.6).

As the purely e-commerce model continues to grow, traditional retailers will need to adopt hybrid strategies to compete, or those shares will only continue to fall.

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