Blog 6 minutes

Furniture e-commerce: Top trends and how to sell furniture online

Sana Editorial Team
February 20, 2023
How to sell furniture online - Tips and trends - Woman painting furniture to sell

The growth of furniture e-commerce has doubtlessly been accelerated by a global pandemic, and things won’t be slowing down anytime soon. In the US alone, online furniture sales are estimated to cross $208.2 billion by 2025.

Despite this exponential growth, the home goods and furniture industry is not without its hurdles. Supply chain disruption, material shortages, and reduced consumer spending all shape the way organizations have thought about digital transformation and strategy.

What is furniture e-commerce?

The term furniture e-commerce has become a catch-all term for offerings that fall under the “home goods” industry online. This can include both B2B and B2C products such as floor and wall coverings, upholstery, home textiles, cookware, and even cleaning materials.

While the US is the largest global consumer of furniture e-commerce, Asia-Pacific is not far behind, with two out of six of the world’s largest markets originating from the region.

5 trends you need to know in furniture e-commerce

A rapidly evolving industry comes with trends that are equally dynamic. While there are some e-commerce trends that remain common regardless of industry, here are the most relevant trends to watch out for within the furniture e-commerce industry:

#1: Streamlined and cost-effective processes with integrated e-commerce

One of the most significant hurdles for home goods organizations tends to be undertaking the usually high costs and processes involved in shipping and returns. For organizations in the furniture e-commerce industry, a mistaken or damaged order can be a costly error.

More companies are looking to integrated e-commerce solutions to mitigate this risk. True integration with the ERP enables B2B organizations to centralize and streamline their shipping and returns processes, ensuring the margin of error for stock levels and estimated delivery timings is minimal.

#2: Personalized shopping experiences that cater directly to customers

While personalization is a trend that has been on the rise across industries, in furniture e-commerce particularly, the need for a tailored approach has been a focus. Some organizations have gone as far as to offer online consultations to strengthen their offering to customers.

Others have used analytics and AI-powered insights to begin recommending products they believe customers could be interested in. Certain e-commerce platforms will also enable you to consolidate offline and online purchasing history to target customers with tailored promotional messaging, incentivizing upsell and cross-sell further.

#3: B2B companies begin to adopt the D2C model to stay competitive

For supply chain channel partners in B2B furniture and home goods sales, direct-to-consumer selling is growing, and making the e-commerce opportunity even more significant than it is for B2C businesses.

Today, almost all B2B buyers prefer to do online business with manufacturers and distributors, citing convenience and efficiency as the primary reasons. For organizations that focus on delivering a seamless shopping experience online and account for both their B2B and D2C customers, the potential payoff is huge.

The right platform is ready for anything.

Read more about our e-commerce solution.

#4: A focus on sustainable, mission-driven materials and products

Across B2B and B2C, millennials make up a significant chunk of the buyer pie. For these customers, energy-efficient resources and sustainable approaches can play a significant role in their purchase decision.

Whether it’s by implementing energy-efficient tooling with cloud-based approaches, paperless processes or sustainable shipping, home furniture e-commerce providers have begun to try and go the extra mile when it comes delivering a product offering that is also socially conscious.

#5: Augmented reality to help consumers make better decisions

Technological advancements in AR and VR visualization has enabled customers to miss very little from the in-person experience. Furniture shopping online is usually a challenge because of an inability to accurately estimate size. Accurate renderings with augmented reality mean customers can visualize a piece of furniture without ever leaving their home.

A good example of AR in action is B2C giant IKEA – whose IKEA Place app enables customers to move furniture around within their homes.

Tips for selling furniture and home goods online

Though there’s no question surrounding the ROI of having an effective e-commerce channel, a lot of organizations have trouble ensuring their e-commerce projects are successful. Here are three top tips that ensure you’re avoiding common e-commerce project snags, whether you sell directly to consumers or fellow businesses:

Lean on your ERP

Centralizing your e-commerce strategy around your ERP system gives you easy and near-limitless access to all your business logic, customer data, and product data. An ERP-integrated e-commerce approach for B2B ensures that your web store always displays correct, real-time product information and detailed images: Factors that are fundamental in providing a strong customer experience.

While B2C consumers want more personalized features, like product recommendations (which boost purchase rate by 70%) and customer-specific front-end experiences, B2B buyers are more worried about easier repeat ordering, speedier and more hassle-free logistics and a streamlined fulfillment process.

Still, a few demands are consistent across B2B and B2C, including fast checkout and delivery tracking. With your ERP powering your web store (as it does with a Sana solution for businesses running SAP or Microsoft Dynamics ERPs), all these demands can be met easily and quickly, regardless of your business model.

Think omnichannel (and don’t shy away from emerging technology)

The numbers don’t lie. Statistics reveal:

  • Over 90% of customers start their purchasing journey by browsing online, regardless of where they ultimately purchase
  • 47% of millennials use Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) as a fulfillment method
  • 51% of millennials prefer to visit a store that uses mobile or other purchase-enhancing technology, and often webroom (browse online to buy in-store) or showroom (browse in-store to buy online).

The above reveals the benefits inherent to enhancing your offline experiences with mobile and other technology. For B2C businesses in the sector, augmented and virtual reality may be a more innovative and worthwhile investment. Don’t hesitate to leverage the tools at your disposal.

Nonetheless, the key here is to remember that e-commerce is a highly influential channel, whether it is ultimately the converting channel or not.

Dive into Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) sales with e-commerce

For supply chain channel partners in B2B furniture and home goods sales, direct-to-consumer selling is growing, and making the e-commerce opportunity even more significant than it is for B2C businesses.

If you choose to leverage e-commerce as a way to enable D2C furniture sales, the right platform can make all the difference. For B2B organizations specifically, using tooling that understands the unique needs of your customers and ensures you’re able to leverage your relationships for a sales channel that is truly effective.

Furniture e-commerce case study: How Arizona Fireplaces built a thriving web store using integration 

Arizona Fireplaces, experts in luxurious interior fireplaces, saw their options expand when they launched an ERP-integrated web store for their ERP SAP Business One.

“I thought the product was good, but then I got to work with the team and that was even better,” says Greg Lewis, Arizona Fireplaces’ Director of IT.

Arizona Fireplaces-Webstore

The integration at the heart of Sana Commerce got rid of their maintenance headaches to give them more opportunity to scale and grow their entire business. For Arizona, this offered a way to improve their IT architecture and integrate important central business systems that were previously siloed.

The key to better furniture e-commerce is here

Learn more about Sana Commerce Cloud, our flagship solution for B2B organizations seeking better e-commerce.