When it comes to e-commerce for furniture, statistics could be just the ammunition you need to drive home the business case for your organization’s digitization plans. To help you get there, we’ve rounded up some of the most impactful data gathered from our research into B2B e-commerce and digital transformation in 2019.
For the original report, we commissioned Sapio Research and surveyed 550+ B2B organizations across a handful of industries: one of which was home goods and furnishing. Now, for the first time, we are releasing some of the never-before-seen, industry-specific raw data we collected (that didn’t make it into the general report).
Here’s what we learned.
B2B Furniture E-Commerce Statistics: What the Data Tells Us
If our research makes anything immediately apparent, it’s that furniture e-commerce (particularly for organizations selling B2B) may just be the industry’s next big thing. The digital battleground is full of tight competition between supply chain channel partners, including manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of home furnishing goods — all of whom are looking to e-commerce to help them meet growing buyer demand, expand business opportunities, and maximize efficiency.
First Things First: A Look Back
To understand the shifts in the industry today, we must first take a step back and look at what its digital landscape looked like just a few years ago:
In 2016, though furniture purchase completion was not yet commonplace online, most buyers researched furniture online prior to a purchase. This was not difficult, as at the time, 9 in 10 furniture companies had a website designed to make product information available digitally. The caveat was that only 30% of those websites had any commerce capabilities; they were merely online catalogs that lacked transactional functionality.
And while that was enough for buyers at the time, we’re well beyond that now.
What the Industry’s E-Commerce Landscape Looks Like Today
Looking at this data, it’s quite clear that B2B buyers are not yet purchasing furniture online in massive numbers, but with 90% of them using online channels as a purchase touchpoint (even if not as the purchasing channel of choice), e-commerce is still crucial. And, of course, the opportunity is massive.
While B2B furniture businesses are understanding the e-commerce imperative, the relatively small percentage of online B2B sales in the industry can be attributed to the fact that there simply aren’t enough organizations offering e-commerce, and that many of those who do have a web store are offering underwhelming e-commerce experiences.
Today’s Successes (and Shortcomings) in B2B Furniture E-Commerce
B2B organizations today are prioritizing online sales in the industry, and for good reason:
These furniture e-commerce statistics may be new, but they are certainly not surprising. Most of these goals are no-brainers for any business looking to digitize their processes and reap the benefits of an online channel.
What is pleasantly surprising, however, is the fact that organizations in the industry are not just achieving all of these goals — they’re also being inspired by these achievements to invest in even better e-commerce moving forward.
The overwhelming majority of companies who sell furniture to fellow businesses report having achieved the goals they set out to conquer with e-commerce — according to our data. (Among those who didn’t, nearly half of them have a lack of organizational support or lack of focus on the e-commerce project to blame. Another 15% feel they failed because they invested in an e-commerce solution that didn’t sufficiently support the B2B use case or offer B2B-specific functionalities).
Here’s how the successful organizations fared:
Even beyond these wins, B2B furniture businesses are actively looking to continue to capitalize on this opportunity; 42% want to upgrade their e-commerce solution by the end of 2019, and another 36% want to do so by the end of 2020.
Why Many Furniture Industry Organizations Want Better E-Commerce
Once you’ve gotten a taste of a good thing, it makes sense that you’d want even more. This is especially true in business, where “a good thing” usually means more revenue, larger profit margins, and happier customers.
Among furniture industry manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers, naturally, many want to keep investing in e-commerce to fuel a continuous inflow of online revenue. Others are focused on continuing to improve the online customer experience (CX), which is especially critical given that one-third of B2B furniture industry buyers are demanding greater functionality of existing web stores, including:
But beyond just sales and CX improvements, a staggering 43% are investing in e-commerce specifically in order to improve integration with internal systems (ERP, PIM, marketing automation, logistics, etc.) and with their suppliers’ systems. Another 22% are doing so because they feel they need an e-commerce solution that is easier to operate and maintain.
If this sounds familiar, you may benefit from diving into our whitepaper on how Dynamics ERP-integrated e-commerce makes this (and 42 other e-commerce benefits) easy to achieve.
Armed with Statistics on Furniture E-Commerce: How Do You Get Started?
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