Furniture Study 2021

Digitalisation of the furnishing industry – status quo

In the run-up to the ZOW furniture trade fair, the e-commerce company Shopmacher took a closer look at the digitalisation status of the German furnishing industry. The result shows that there is still room for improvement.

Oct 12 2021

For the new study, almost 30 managers of furniture companies were asked about the status quo of digitisation in their companies in approximately 50-minute expert interviews in May and June 2021. The German furniture retailers and manufacturers rated their own digitisation strategy as "satisfactory". 

Only limited functionalities in online shops

However, this assessment seems to be more embellished than realistic, because 39 percent of the companies surveyed do not yet operate an online shop at all. Those that do have one, moreover, offer only limited functionalities. Online availability queries for stationary stock, now almost standard for German omnichannel retailers, were only offered by a meagre 13 percent of the companies surveyed in Shopmacher's analysis. Only nine percent of the survey participants have implemented click & collect or click & reserve services.

The fact that the online shop is often just an annoying evil and not a lifeblood project is also shown by the fact that 57 percent of the respondents have almost completely outsourced their digital activities – either to an agency, their software provider or an association. Also sobering is the fact that 57 percent of the survey participants could not give an answer to the question of who in their company was responsible for their e-commerce strategy.

Furniture companies hardly measure success

Furniture companies also present an interesting picture when it comes to measuring the success of their e-commerce activities. Although 70 percent use a tracking solution, only nine percent evaluate the key figures on a daily basis. They limit themselves primarily to KPIs such as turnover, visitors and conversion rates. Other relevant key figures are not taken into account.

Overall, only 43 percent of the companies in the survey stated that they see e-commerce as THE critical business of the future. Almost one third (30 percent) of the respondents plan to expand their digital business in the future. The rest continue to stick to their brick-and-mortar business. E-commerce is widely seen only as an additional revenue pillar.

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