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Analysing Europe's online buying experience
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Analysing Europe's online buying experience

  • Categories:News
  • Author:
  • Origin:Biljana Vidojevic
  • Time of issue:2020-05-19 17:50
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(Summary description)Cylindo investigates the online capabilities of Europe’s top furniture retailers.

Analysing Europe's online buying experience

(Summary description)Cylindo investigates the online capabilities of Europe’s top furniture retailers.

  • Categories:News
  • Author:
  • Origin:Biljana Vidojevic
  • Time of issue:2020-05-19 17:50
  • Views:
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At a time when ecommerce sales make up nearly a fifth of total retail sales, with an annual growth rate of +15%, retailers can’t afford to have a sub-par website, states Cylindo’s Biljana Vidojevic, who presents the results of an investigation of the online capabilities of Europe’s top furniture retailers.

Even traditional industries like furniture are finally waking up to the new reality – online presence matters. Today, the furniture purchase journey starts online for more than 70% of consumers, and worldwide online sales are expected to grow at an average annual rate of +11.9% between 2018-22, resulting in a market volume of $294b in 2022.

As customer expectation for the ideal online shopping experience increases, ecommerce furniture merchandising becomes increasingly important. Betting on reinventing the online furniture-buying journey and incorporating a highly digital footprint pays dividends across multiple parameters. It helps retain customers and grow their lifetime value while acquiring new ones, which is critical in any over-retailed market.

Our research included some of the largest furniture retailers in the UK and the rest of Europe (determined by most significant forecast annual revenue, sizeable product catalogue, and physical store footprint). Here are some of our findings …

 

 

Online presence matters

The companies that have more than five ecommerce merchandising features on their websites are leading the way in digital merchandising and user experience (UX). Of the top 100 European retailers, 67% have five or more.

The global village

There is a slight difference in the zoom feature, which is more widely adopted in the US (83%) than in Europe (68%). On the other hand, product customisation is adopted by 67 of the top 100 European retailers, compared with just 42% of their US counterparts.

Investment is not aligned with customer preferences

Only 13% of retailers have 360° product configurators on their websites, leaving the vast majority without this feature. In a world where digital plays a vital role in furniture sales, 360° views are becoming a minimum requirement for a good online UX.

Web-native AR is redefining furniture shopping

Only 22% of the top European retailers have implemented an AR solution. However, the high user adoption rate of web-native AR is a clear sign that this frictionless solution will change the way people shop for furniture in the near future. 

 

 

Mobile browsing is the new normal 

According to our research, all the top European furniture retailers have mobile-optimised websites.

360° views

It’s no surprise that most of the companies that have 360° product configurators on their websites are D2C because, in most cases, these are digital-native companies that understand the importance of online presence. Today, when digital already drives more than a third of online retail sales – and further influences a high percentage of in-store sales – having 360° views becomes a minimum requirement for a pleasant online UX. 

Room scenes

This is one of the top three most widely adopted features – 90% of the furniture retailers analysed have room scenes on their product pages, and this is one of the best-adopted features among US retailers, too, with 93 of the top 100 using room scenes to enrich the product page experience. 

Augmented reality (AR) 

It will be interesting to see how web-native AR solutions change the furniture landscape, as it’s far more straightforward and user-friendly for consumers, and doesn’t require them to download an app.

 

 

Product recommendations

As in our Top 100 US Furniture Retailers Report, recommendations are one of the top three most widely adopted features – 89% of the European retailers analysed have some sort of recommendation on their product pages. Most are about related products from the same collections, but a few companies have advanced recommendation engines for a more personalised experience.

Mobile optimisation

It’s no surprise that every company in our top 100 has an optimised mobile website. If we look at the US top 100, of which 98% have optimised sites, we can see that having this feature is a must for our mobile-first world. 

Page load speed

Having a fast site is a minimum requirement in the ecommerce game. However, retailers adopting more digital merchandising features will not only attract more customers, but will win more significant market share by creating a trustworthy and enjoyable shopping experience – so always bear in mind the importance of balancing speed and quality. 

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