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Customer Journey for the Home - UK - March 2018

“Some 13 million households bought furniture in the last twelve months and over half of these bought for the living room, while a similar number bought for bedrooms. They display a wide range of browsing and shopping habits, often gathering ideas online to shape their ideas and choices, then making store visits to judge quality, comfort and colours. Even though journeys usually involve online browsing and purchasing, the role of the store remains an essential part of the experience for many categories of furniture, highlighting the importance for retailers to invest in their omni-channel shopping offer."

– Jane Westgarth, Senior Retail Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • Is online shopping making retail stores redundant? 
  • Are store chains resizing as a result of more shopping moving online? 
  • Retailers should act as personal curators, making it easier and faster to find what you want

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
        • Excluded
        • Executive Summary

            • Flat market conditions forecast during 2017-22
              • Figure 1: Consumer spending on furniture and furnishings, 2012-22
            • Living and dining furniture is the largest segment of the market
              • Figure 2: Consumer spending on furniture, by segment, 2018 (est)
            • Companies and brands
              • Fragmented market place with large range of sellers
                • Figure 3: Shares of consumer spending on furniture, by retailer, 2017
              • 8.3% of furniture and furnishings is bought online
                • Figure 4: Online share of sales of Furniture and furnishings, by value, 2014-17 (est)
              • DFS broadens appeal with multi-branding strategy
                • Retailers are committed to opening more stores
                  • Retailers develop new shop formats
                    • Omni-channel capabilities are widely available
                      • Online links to an in-store assistant
                        • The rise in social shopping
                          • Visualising how things will look in the home
                            • The consumer
                              • 49% bought furniture in the last year
                                • Figure 5: Furniture bought in the last twelve months, by room, December 2017
                              • Shoppers use a wide range of behaviours when choosing furniture
                                • Figure 6: Browsing for furniture, December 2017
                              • Browsing online is ahead of in-store browsing
                                • Figure 7: How customers browsed for furniture, December 2017
                              • More people buy furniture online than in-store
                                • Figure 8: How customers bought furniture, December 2017
                              • Detailed information and clear online views are key for online purchasers
                                • Figure 9: Factors influencing online shopping for furniture, December 2017
                              • Finding best deals influences 47% of in-store shoppers
                                • Figure 10: Factors Influencing In-store Shopping for Furniture, December 2017
                              • 63% say online browsing is essential when shopping for furniture
                                • Figure 11: Attitudes regarding shopping for furniture, December 2017
                              • In-store shopping remains a vital part of the journey for furniture
                                • Figure 12: Shopping preferences for furniture, December 2017
                              • What we think
                              • Issues and Insights

                                • Is online shopping making retail stores redundant?
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • Are store chains resizing as a result of more shopping moving online?
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                            • Retailers should act as personal curators, making it easier and faster to find what you want
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Flat market conditions forecast between 2017-22
                                                    • Living and dining furniture is the largest segment of the market
                                                      • Fragmented market place with large range of sellers
                                                        • 9.2% of furniture and furnishings is spent online
                                                          • Consumers have convenient access to the internet
                                                            • 1.3 million more households by 2022
                                                              • 64% of adults live in owner-occupied homes
                                                                • The housing market has plateaued
                                                                  • Consumer confidence weakened by concerns about the economy
                                                                    • Interest rate rises cool demand for consumer debt
                                                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                      • Demand for furniture showing signs of weakness
                                                                        • Figure 13: Consumer spending on furniture and furnishings, 2012-22
                                                                      • 11% growth from 2017-22
                                                                        • Figure 14: Consumer spend of furniture and furnishings, 2012-22
                                                                      • 2018 gets off to a weak start
                                                                        • Preparing for tough times
                                                                          • Forecast methodology
                                                                          • Market Segmentation

                                                                            • Living and dining furniture is the largest market segment
                                                                              • Figure 15: Consumer spending on furniture, by segment, 2018 (est)
                                                                          • Channels to Market

                                                                            • Fragmented market place with large range of sellers
                                                                              • Figure 16: Shares of consumer spending on furniture, by retailer, 2017
                                                                            • 8.3% of furniture and furnishings is bought online
                                                                              • Figure 17: Online share of sales of Furniture and furnishings, by value, 2017 (est)
                                                                            • How much spending is going online?
                                                                              • Store-based retailers are growing online sales
                                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                                • Online shopping via mobile phones
                                                                                  • Figure 18: Shopped online using smartphone, by age, October 2017
                                                                                • 1.3 million more households by 2022
                                                                                  • Figure 19: UK households, by size, 2012-22
                                                                                • 64% of adults live in owner-occupied homes
                                                                                  • Figure 20: UK Adults, by tenure, 2011-17
                                                                                • The housing market has plateaued
                                                                                  • Figure 21: UK Housing transactions, by country, 2013-17
                                                                                • 87% of homes have a garden or outside space
                                                                                  • Figure 22: Presence of gardens, balconies and allotments, March 2017
                                                                                • Consumer confidence weakened by concerns about the economy
                                                                                  • Figure 23: How consumers describe their financial situation, January 2016-December 2017
                                                                                • Interest rate rises cool demand for consumer debt
                                                                                • Companies and Brands – What you need to know

                                                                                  • DFS broadens appeal with multi-branding strategy
                                                                                    • Retailers are committed to opening more stores
                                                                                      • Retailers develop new shop formats
                                                                                        • Omni-channel capabilities are widely available
                                                                                          • Online links to an in-store assistant
                                                                                            • The rise in social shopping
                                                                                              • Visualising how things will look in the home
                                                                                              • Companies and Brands

                                                                                                • IKEA is the largest furniture retailer in the UK
                                                                                                  • Growth of the category specialist
                                                                                                    • Many retailers are adding outlets
                                                                                                      • Online specialists grow
                                                                                                        • New breed of digital competitors emerging in the UK
                                                                                                        • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                          • The Endless Aisle
                                                                                                            • Shopping close to home
                                                                                                              • Concession space in supermarkets
                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Mini Habitat within Sainsbury’s, 2017
                                                                                                              • Fabb makes an in-store feature of design
                                                                                                                • In-store help with selection
                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Bensons for Beds, Bed selection point of sale materials, 2017
                                                                                                                • In-store makeover at IKEA Wembley creates ‘neighbourhoods’
                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Example of IKEA roomset, 2017
                                                                                                                • DFS creates more in-store selling space
                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: DFS multi-branded site at Oxford, 2017
                                                                                                                • DFS encourages social interaction
                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: DFS, #MyDFS image, 2018
                                                                                                                • DFS creates moving images to inspire shoppers
                                                                                                                  • Help with visualising furniture in your own room
                                                                                                                    • IKEA store app bridges online and in-store experience
                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: IKEA Store app, 2018
                                                                                                                    • John Lewis awards funding to digital start-up
                                                                                                                      • IdeaSpace embraces VR
                                                                                                                        • Made.com creates an in-store conversation for the online shopper
                                                                                                                          • Wayfair embraces digital innovation
                                                                                                                            • Comparisons sites create a different way to browse
                                                                                                                              • Selling through online marketplace retailers
                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                • 49% bought furniture in the last year
                                                                                                                                  • Shoppers use a wide range of behaviours when choosing furniture
                                                                                                                                    • Browsing online is ahead of in-store browsing
                                                                                                                                      • 55% bought furniture online, 43% bought in-store
                                                                                                                                        • Detailed information and clear online views are key for online purchasers
                                                                                                                                          • Finding best deals influences 47% of in-store shoppers
                                                                                                                                            • 63% say online browsing is essential when shopping for furniture
                                                                                                                                              • In-store shopping remains a vital part of the journey for furniture
                                                                                                                                              • Furniture Purchased by Room

                                                                                                                                                • 49% bought furniture in the last year
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Furniture bought in the last twelve months, by room, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                • More than two thirds of under-35s bought furniture
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Furniture bought in the last twelve months, by age, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                • How important are private renters?
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Furniture bought in the last twelve months, by tenure, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                • The influence of house moves
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Furniture bought in the last twelve months, by length of time in current home, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                • 34% bought furniture for just one room
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Furniture bought in the last twelve months, repertoire, December 2017
                                                                                                                                              • Browsing for Furniture

                                                                                                                                                • Retailers’ own websites are favoured over inspirational websites when gathering ideas
                                                                                                                                                  • Visiting shops is a key part of the selection process
                                                                                                                                                    • Online visualisers used by 16% of 16-34s
                                                                                                                                                      • Reaching out for advice and reassurance
                                                                                                                                                        • 28% looked at reviews online
                                                                                                                                                          • Transition from helpline to sales force
                                                                                                                                                            • Digital images are making the printed brochure redundant
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Browsing for furniture, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                            • Shoppers use a wide range of activities when browsing for furniture
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Browsing for furniture, repertoire, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                          • How Customers Browsed for Furniture

                                                                                                                                                            • 45% of shoppers browsed in-store for their last furniture purchase
                                                                                                                                                              • Online shoppers of all ages favour computers for browsing
                                                                                                                                                                • Other ways of browsing online
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: How customers browsed for furniture, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • Under-35s more likely to use smartphone than tablets when browsing for furniture
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: How customers browsed for furniture, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • 60% of shoppers just browsed using one channel
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: How customers browsed for furniture, repertoire, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                              • How Customers Bought Furniture

                                                                                                                                                                • More purchases made online than in-store
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: How customers bought furniture, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                              • Factors Influencing Online Shopping for Furniture

                                                                                                                                                                • Detailed information and clear online views influence online shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Factors influencing online shopping for furniture, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • Wide repertoire of factors influences online shopping
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Factors influencing online shopping for furniture, repertoire, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                              • Factors Influencing In-store Shopping for Furniture

                                                                                                                                                                • Best deals sway 47% of in-store shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                  • 29% mention inspiring room sets
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Factors Influencing In-store Shopping for Furniture, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                  • 45% of in-store shoppers mention more than one influential factor
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Factors Influencing In-store Shopping for Furniture, repertoire, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • Attitudes Regarding Shopping for Furniture

                                                                                                                                                                  • Subjective judgements are better made in-store
                                                                                                                                                                    • The personal touch matters
                                                                                                                                                                      • 63% think that online browsing is essential
                                                                                                                                                                        • Clueing up for a store visit
                                                                                                                                                                          • Online shopping and returns
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Attitudes regarding shopping for furniture, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                        • Preferences About In-store or Online Shopping for Furniture

                                                                                                                                                                          • Store visits preferred for judging comfort and quality
                                                                                                                                                                            • True colours
                                                                                                                                                                              • People prefer a store visit for measurements
                                                                                                                                                                                • In-store preferable for advice
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Prefer online for browsing and paying
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Enhance the impression of in-store choice
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Shopping preferences for furniture, December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Forecast methodology

                                                                                                                                                                                          Customer Journey for the Home - UK - March 2018

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