With projections of increasing segment revenue for the upcoming years, it should be of no surprise that its year-on-year revenue growth also ranked amongst the leading categories across online commerce. Amongst the leading e-retail categories in 2017, furniture e-commerce placed second in terms of year-on-year revenue growth right behind hobby and stationary, and outpacing sports and outdoor. Additionally, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the combined furniture and appliances e-commerce sales category is expected to reach 10.6 percent from the years 2017 to 2023. On Amazon, one of the largest e-commerce platforms worldwide, 2017 furniture retail product sales amounted to four billion U.S. dollars, and also ranking among the fastest-growing product categories on the site.
Despite these encouraging sales figures, online sales of furniture and home furnishings still have a long way to go to become mainstream. In 2018, only 16 percent of consumers in the United States stated that they mostly bought or ordered their furniture and household goods online. Additionally, when reviewing online purchases in the past 12 months, less than a quarter of U.S. consumers reported to having bought furniture and household goods through e-commerce channels. Although there is a positive outlook for e-commerce furniture sales, their return rates paint a different picture. Just over half of online shoppers reported that they were very likely to keep their online furniture purchase – in comparison, almost 80 percent of respondents stated that they were very likely to keep food orders, and 70 percent stated the same for books and media orders. With the expansion of e-commerce sales of furniture and homeware goods, the majority of consumers are still completing their online furniture purchases via desktop computers. As many shoppers are still uncomfortable to commit to big ticket purchases via mobile, it is up to retailers to make potential buyers feel more comfortable about shopping online.