A close look revealed that shoppers spent less time performing do-it-yourself projects and focused more on upgrading home goods.

After a pandemic-driven frenzy to revamp the home in 2020, the home goods sector is still strong in 2021, albeit at a more subdued pace. Consumers focused on refreshing décor and invested in higher quality and premium products. This was even as vaccines allowed some to return to in-person work or invest in travel and activities outside the home. Consumers like the ability to shop for the home from the convenience of their home. Pandemic-related takeaways like mobile-friendly websites and apps, in-home services and omnichannel flexibility remain important to shoppers.

Despite inflation and continued supply chain problems, online U.S. home goods sales increased 10.1% year over year to reach $86.41 billion in 2021, compared with $78.47 billion in 2020.

Collective online sales growth for the 114 home goods retailers ranked in the Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 increased 9.7% year over year, a significant deceleration when compared with 2020’s 49.3% growth. This aligns with the overall Top 1000, which collective grew online sales 15.7% year over year in 2021, slower than 2020 with 44.8% growth. Digital Commerce 360 ranks the top North American retailers by global ecommerce sales.

Proactive investments pay off for PlushBeds

Consumer brand manufacturer PlushBeds was the fourth-fastest-growing home goods retailer in the Top 1000 for 2021. CEO Michael Hughes says the company strategized to combat shipping delays early in the pandemic in 2020 to meet growing demand. That meant planning for 2021 as early as possible, prompting the retailer to change how it sourced its materials.

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“We invested a couple of million dollars to buy additional organic latex, cotton and wool that came in handy when our suppliers couldn’t deliver because of supply chain issues,” Hughes says.

Hughes says being proactive with ordering early on paid off for the retailer. It used the emergency stockpile of materials to meet demand in 2021. PlushBeds declined to share its average ticket value, but Hughes says it increased about 10% in 2021 compared with 2020. “People are spending more,” Hughes says.

In addition to stockpiling materials, Hughes says the company “did a deep dive into understanding who our customer is.”

PlushBeds conducted customer surveys. This included emailing existing customers to learn and understand why they bought from PlushBeds versus a competitor. The consensus? “Healthy sleep,” Hughes says.

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“Our customers have become more conscious about spending about a third of their lives lying down on a mattress. They wanted to invest in something healthier made from organic materials where possible.”

Mass merchants continue to gain business

Mass merchants continue to accumulate makeshare in the housewares and home furnishings categories. Digital Commerce 360 estimated the home goods sales of the large online mass merchants in the Top 1000, including retailers like Amazon.com Inc., Walmart Inc., Target Corp., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Qurate Retail Group. Online sales growth for all mass merchants represented 12.2% in 2021. That dropped compared with 54.7% growth in 2020.

 

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The 2022 Online Home Goods Report ranks the 114 leading online home goods retailers in the Top 1000 and covers a range of trends in the home goods industry. Learn how technology’s importance grows as retailers shop more on their mobile devices. In-home services are a winning strategy for retailers in the space, fulfillment data and exclusive consumer insights about home goods buying habits and preferences. This report also includes a variety of visual data and analyzes home goods retailers in the Top 1000. It also includes those mass merchants significantly selling in the category such as Walmart, Amazon and Target.

The 2022 Online Home Goods Report includes:

  • A full ranking of the 114 home goods retailers in the Top 1000
  • 30+ data-packed charts and graphs
  • An overview of the online home goods industry, including total sales and growth
  • Breakout sections including exclusive consumer survey data about shoppers’ online home goods buying habits and preferences
  • Case studies from Top 1000 home goods retailers providing real-time examples
  • Trends in the home goods industry including mobile tools, fulfillment strategies and in-home services

*This article is an excerpt from the 2022 Online Home Goods Report available to Silver, Gold and Platinum Members ONLY. To access this analysis and other exclusive ecommerce research and data, learn more about Digital Commerce 360 Memberships.   

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