Dec 11 2019

Study: Furniture buyers think digital

The Internet is a popular medium for gathering information on furnishings and furniture, and making purchase decisions. The latest agof facts & figures study on interior design and home living confirms this. It examines the home furnishings and purchase plans of digital users. Most companies already have a digital presence, but only a small number advertise online. The industry should make better use of the potential here.

Great interest in home living online

The latest agof facts & figures study on interior design and home living examines how interested Internet users are in interior design issues, what their home furnishings look like and what purchases they are planning. The results reveal that interior design and home decor are seen as natural online activities. 

Almost half of the respondents are interested in furniture and home interiors. That represents 29.37 million consumers. A considerable 19.2 per cent of Internet users believe that their home should clearly show that they don’t make any savings in this area. This rises to a significant 21.6 per cent among those who have purchased furniture online in the last two years.

A quarter of respondents treat themselves to luxuries

Their home decor should reflect their current status in life. This ties in with the fact that a quarter of Internet users like to treat themselves to luxurious furnishings. And it’s no wonder that many also prove to be brand-conscious: 53.0 per cent say that if they like a brand, they stay loyal to it. This brand awareness and the willingness to spend money in this area make Internet users the ideal potential customers for the interiors industry.

Customers gather information before buying

But the respondents don’t buy without a plan; instead, they prepare carefully for their purchases. A good 37.3 per cent of users, representing 22.04 million consumers, read test reports before going ahead with a large purchase. This clearly demonstrates the importance of having a digital presence in the interior design industry: It is a way to present products online and establish contact with existing and future customers.

Most furniture companies are online

Home accessories such as lights and curtains as well as carpets, floor coverings and living room furniture are popular purchases. The number of online furniture purchasers is striking in these segments, and they represent a significantly above-average proportion of buyers.

The results underscore their interest in interior design planning and implementation. The kinds of items listed above are very easy to research and choose online. Most furniture manufacturers are now responding to the increasing digitalisation of the information gathering and purchase processes by developing extensive online presences. 

Considerable customer potential online

Planned purchases in the household furnishings and interior design segment are put into action: 32.56 million consumers – which corresponds to 55.1 per cent of digital users – have purchased ready assembled furniture, self-assembly furniture or other furnishings in the last two years.

These figures clearly reveal the considerable customer potential that exists online for the interiors industry. And these customers have substantial purchasing power at their disposal: 57.2 per cent of users (33.85 million) say that they have more money today to treat themselves to something. 

Flat-pack furniture especially popular among online buyers 

A closer look at interior design purchases in the last two years shows that flat-pack is highly popular: 33.5 per cent of users (19.82 million) have purchased self-assembly furniture. Online furniture buyers are disproportionally represented among this group. They account for 46.1 per cent in the self-assembly furniture segment and 45.2 per cent in the ready assembled furniture segment.

The Internet is an important source for purchase decisions 

But Internet users are not just good furniture buyers; they are also valuable multipliers for the furniture industry. Around one quarter of them have a good knowledge of trends and like to give their friends and acquaintances tips and suggestions when making purchases – both offline in the real world and online. This turns the Internet into a source of inspiration for the latest interior design trends and new home ideas – and, it goes without saying, a purchase channel. 

Only a few interiors companies advertise online

But digital advertising is an element of the media mix that has been underused by the interior design industry up until now. It currently accounts for just 7 per cent. Given the potential digital target groups, considerably greater uptake would be highly recommended. The industry should make better use of the opportunities for online advertising in future.

The special evaluation conducted for the agof facts & figures study on interior design and home living is based on the daily digital facts market media study in which agof examines the behaviour of digital users and publishes reach and structural data on a daily basis using the TOP analysis program. All digital website operators are eligible to take part in the study provided that their websites have the minimum necessary traffic from a methodological perspective.

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