Online sales of housewares and home furnishings grew to $18.67 billion in 2015, and now account for 18% of the overall market. That’s up by 220 basis points from a 15.8% market share a year earlier as e-commerce ate into store sales, according to Internet Retailer’s new report on the home goods market, titled “At Home on the Web.”
Consumers are increasingly buying lamps, artwork, mattresses and furniture and more online as they decorate, redecorate, furnish and refurnish their dwellings. And housewares and home furnishings retailers in Internet Retailer’s Top 1000 are reaping the rewards. The 101 retailers in that category collectively grew their online sales 21.6% in 2015, to $11.45 billion, a rate that’s nearly four times the overall growth in home goods retail sales in 2015 of 5.6%.
Home goods was the second-fastest growing merchandise category (21.6%) in terms of web sales in Internet Retailer’s Top 1000 rankings, behind only hardware and home improvement retailers (21.8%), which also benefited from the large numbers of consumers shifting their spending online.
The leading retailers in home goods are doing many things right, and their growth comes from innovative strategies that make shopping online for furniture and decor for the home more convenient than ever. Merchants are also expanding their online product lines, getting better at converting web traffic with advanced personalization and web analytics technologies, and marketing via social networks.
Leading the group is Wayfair LLC, No. 24 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide. Last year the home goods and furniture retailer grew web sales by $938.6 million, or 85.2%, to $2.04 billion. That growth represented 29.9% of the growth in online housewares purchases in 2015 and 17.0% of all growth in total retail sales in the category, online and offline.
Wayfair’s growth was driven in part by a spike in business from repeat customers, aided by its highly personalized email campaigns. Orders placed by repeat customers jumped 96% in the fourth quarter compared with the same period in 2014 and accounted for 54.3% of total orders in in the fourth quarter, up from 50.3% in a year earlier. For the full year, repeat customers placed 5.0 million orders, up 92.3% from 2014, CEO Niraj Shah says.
“At Home on the Web” is a 25-page downloadable PDF report that provides an in-depth look at the housewares and furnishings e-commerce market. Included in the report are:
- Web sales figures and 2015 online sales growth rates of key players in the category, including Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1), Wayfair and Williams-Sonoma Inc. (No. 21).
- Strategic analysis of business strategies (including paid search, social media and email) of many of the largest and fastest-growing merchants in the category
- An in-depth look at the impact Amazon is having in the category.
- A breakdown of 8 subsegments of the category, including a look at furniture merchants and those in home décor, lighting and outdoor furnishings.