Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of U.S Online Shopping for the Home market including the behaviors, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Home categories, including décor and furniture items, became essential during the pandemic – especially the latter. Shifts in lifestyles and the increased time indoors exposed the shortcomings of living spaces and identified new needs. The closing of nonessential stores and increased virus concerns accelerated the adoption of ecommerce across categories, which also put a spotlight on those aspects of the online experience that need to be improved to enhance the customer journey when shopping for the home.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our U.S Household and Home market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the furniture and home décor market.
  • Types of home items consumers are interested in purchasing online.
  • Consumers’ approach when shopping for the home.
  • Future drivers to shopping for the home online.

Covered in this report

Home décor and furniture categories included: Home décor: Picture frames, vases, decorative bowls, candlesticks/ candleholders, candles, diffusers, wall art, clocks, trays, coasters, lamps/lighting (table lamps, floor lamps, lanterns), mirrors, collectibles/keepsakes,sculptures/artwork/figurines, decorative pillows/throw blankets, rugs/doormats, baskets, fake/silk flowers or plants, holiday/seasonal décor, home décor items.

Furniture: Upholstered furniture; sleep equipment (eg mattresses, springs, cots, waterbeds); sleep sofas, daybeds, futons and other dual-purpose pieces; living room, dining room and bedroom furniture (excluding mattresses/sleep equipment and sleep sofas/ other dual-purpose pieces); office furniture, including computer related furniture; outdoor/patio furniture and all other furniture, including kitchen, dinette, etc.

Brands included: West Elm, Target, Levi’s, Ikea, Crate&Kids, CB2, Amazon, Crate and Barrel, Etsy, CB2, Pottery Barn, Lowe’s and more.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Marisa Ortega, a leading analyst in the Retail sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The pandemic accelerated the adoption of ecommerce and the use of digital tools as part of the shopping experience across categories. It also caused many consumers’ lifestyles to be centered around the home. As a result, consumers gained a newfound respect for their living spaces – which will continue to drive the growth of online shopping for the home moving forward.
Marisa Ortega
Cross-category Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • COVID-19: US context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of furniture and home furnishings, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on home categories online
      • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on furniture and home décor , April 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Streamline the shopping process through social
    • Bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping
    • Focus on multifunctional items
    • Bring the focus on sustainability to the forefront
    • Capitalize on the association between living spaces and wellbeing
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Favorable economic and industry trends support category growth
    • There is no going back from ecommerce
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • Changes to lifestyles and increased time at home will drive category growth
      • Figure 3: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of furniture and home furnishings, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 4: Total US retail and ecommerce sales and forecast of furniture and home furnishings, at current prices, 2015-25
    • The pandemic accelerated the adoption of ecommerce
      • Figure 5: Total US ecommerce sales and fan chart forecast of furniture and home furnishings, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on shopping for the home
    • Learnings from the Great Recession
      • Figure 6: Historical personal consumption expenditures in furniture and Home décor
  5. Segment Performance

    • Favorable environment, still consumers focus on what is essential
      • Figure 7: Total US retail and ecommerce sales of furniture and home furnishings by segment, at current prices, 2014-20
  6. Market Factors

    • The international trade disruption
    • High unemployment and low consumer confidence result in restricted spending
      • Figure 8: Consumer confidence and unemployment, 2000-March 2021
    • The movement of the masses
      • Figure 9: Rental and homeowner vacancy rates, March 2021
      • Figure 10: US historical homeownership rates
    • The sustainable lifestyle
      • Figure 11: West Elm drives in-store recycling, March 2021
    • The digital transformation
      • Figure 12: Shopping behavior – Digital tools use, February 2021
  7. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Home retailers are adopting new ways to reach customers online
    • Evolve to meet changing lifestyles and shopping behaviors
  8. Competitive Strategies

    • Outer uses customer homes as showrooms
      • Figure 13: Outer virtual showrooms
    • Target partners with Levi’s to launch a home décor line
      • Figure 14: Levi’s x Target partnership includes home items
    • West Elm creates a shop in shop online
      • Figure 15: Fresh + West Elm, March 2021
    • Ikea encourages consumers to extend the life of furniture and live more sustainably
      • Figure 16: Ikea’s sustainable efforts
    • Retailers are exploring new catalog formats
      • Figure 17: Crate&Kids Pinterest catalog
      • Figure 18: CB2 Spring ‘21 collection
      • Figure 19: Ikea Audio catalog
  9. Market Opportunities

    • Offer value in its different forms to keep the momentum going
    • Focus on multifunctional items
    • Embrace the sustainable lifestyle
    • Capitalize on the association between living spaces and wellbeing
    • Drive interest through partnerships and collaborations
  10. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • eCommerce adoption accelerates; yet the physical store is no less important
    • Consumers seek convenient and seamless online shopping
    • Good for the consumer, the community and the planet
    • Looking ahead frictionless shopping is key to compete online
    • Consumers are active on social platforms; brands need to do the same
  11. Items Purchased

    • Home décor
    • Consumers are shopping across all types of home décor items
      • Figure 20: Items purchased – Home décor, February 2021
    • Home renters seek in-home décor items more than an aesthetic pleasure
      • Figure 21: Items purchased – Home décor, by housing situation, February 2021
    • Young women are investing in their home belongings
      • Figure 22: Items purchased – Home décor, by gender and age, February 2021
    • Furniture
    • Consumers prioritize certain rooms for furniture purchases
      • Figure 23: Items purchased – Furniture, February 2021
      • Figure 24: West Elm
    • Men are into staple items when shopping for the home
      • Figure 25: Items purchased – Furniture, by gender, February 2021
    • Gen Z and Millennials drive the furniture demand online
      • Figure 26: Items purchased – Furniture, by generation, February 2021
  12. Retailers Shopped

    • Amazon dominates online shopping for the home
      • Figure 27: Retailers shopped, 2021
    • Diversity in assortment is key to appeal to women
      • Figure 28: Retailers shopped, by gender, 2021
      • Figure 29: Etsy – Home décor seller
    • Investments in digital marketing initiatives to attract young consumers, represent a customer lifetime value
      • Figure 30: Retailers shopped, by generation, 2021
  13. Approach to Shopping for the Home

    • Consumers are growing accustomed to ecommerce
      • Figure 31: Online home purchases, February 2021.
    • Browsing
    • Exploration takes place across channels
      • Figure 32: Browsing habits, 2021
      • Figure 33: CB2 retargets with sale notifications
    • All generations are browsing online; Gen X leads the way
      • Figure 34: Browsing habits – Generation, by online dominant, 2021
    • Purchasing
    • Similar to browsing, consumers are buying both online and in-store
      • Figure 35: Purchasing habits, February 2021
    • Meet customers everywhere, at any time
      • Figure 36: Purchasing habits – Multichannel shoppers, by generation, February 2021
  14. Sources of Inspiration

    • Social media goes beyond inspiration
      • Figure 37: Source of inspiration, February 2021
      • Figure 38: TURF analysis – Source of inspiration, February 2021.
      • Figure 39: Pottery Barn sparks inspiration via Instagram
    • Leverage social channels to bond with women
      • Figure 40: Lowe’s x New York Fashion Week
      • Figure 41: Source of inspiration, by gender and age, February 2021.
    • Connecting with older consumers where they’re looking for inspiration
      • Figure 42: Source of inspiration, by generation, February 2021
  15. Shopping Behavior

    • When shopping for the home online, consumers are very thorough
      • Figure 43: Shopping behavior, February 2021
    • Multicultural consumers prioritize frugal shopping
      • Figure 44: Shopping behavior – Shop around for the lowest price, by race/ethnicity, February 2021
    • Men need assurance of their home purchases
      • Figure 45: Shopping behavior, by gender and age, February 2021
    • There is a lasting appreciation toward living spaces
      • Figure 46: Category approach, February 2021
    • Consumers seek longevity in their home goods, but some prioritize affordability
      • Figure 47: Category approach, by generation, February 2021
    • Younger consumers experiment to find what better works for them
      • Figure 48: Category approach, by generation, February 2021
  16. Shifts in Shopping Behavior Due to Pandemic

    • More home projects and less in-store visits
      • Figure 49: Shifts in behavior, February 2021
    • The adoption of e-commerce accelerates across generations
      • Figure 50: Shifts in behavior, by generation, February 2021
  17. Purchase Motivations and Barriers

    • Motivators
    • At this point in time, home improvements drive furniture and home décor purchases
      • Figure 51: Motivators to purchase, February 2021
      • Figure 52: Sherwin-Williams x Pottery Barn Kids partnership
    • Mothers bring the traditions at home
      • Figure 53: Motivators to purchase by parental status of children under 18 in household, by gender, February 2021
    • Millennials shop for entertaining and events
      • Figure 54: Motivators to purchase, by generation, February 2021
      • Figure 55: Ready, Set, Prep by Crate & Barrel
    • Barriers
    • Delivery costs turn consumers away
      • Figure 56: Barriers, February 2021
    • Frequent online shoppers seek convenience and flexibility
      • Figure 57: Barriers, by online shopping frequency, February 2021
  18. Future Shopping Behavior

    • Streamlined returns are key to moving forward
      • Figure 58: Future drivers, February 2021
    • Interest-free installment payments are a simple way to enhance the shopping experience
      • Figure 59: Future drivers, by age and income, February 2021
    • Consumers embrace technology; men lead the way
      • Figure 60: Future drivers, by gender and age, February 2021
      • Figure 61: Crate&Barrel highlights digital capabilities
  19. Attitudes toward Shopping for the Home

    • The emotional impact
    • Consumers’ living spaces contribute to overall wellbeing
      • Figure 62: Attitudes toward shopping for the home, February 2021
    • Sustainability focus
    • Circular shopping attracts the young crowd
      • Figure 63: Attitudes toward shopping for the home, by generation, February 2021
    • Focus on collaborations
    • Men appreciate the expertise when shopping for the home
      • Figure 64: Attitudes toward shopping for the home, February 2021
  20. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Consumer qualitative research
    • Marketing creative
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  21. Appendix – The Consumer

    • Online discussion panel
    • Home style
    • Living situation
    • Perception of rooms
    • COVID-19 impact on the home
    • Impact on mood
    • Future projects
    • Additional data referenced
      • Figure 65: Population, by generation, 2016-26
      • Figure 66: Spending habits, past 12 months – Home and garden products (eg furniture, domestic appliances), March 2021

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