High Street Vital for Furniture Brands

Bricks and mortar high street stores are the life-blood of furniture brands as shoppers want to see and touch products before they buy.

We asked more than a thousand home and leisure shoppers about how they prefer to shop and what influences them to buy. The study captured how behavior varies wildly by category, revealing the attitudes to those buying furniture.

The insight shows that 80% of shoppers visit a store at some stage when buying furniture.

Furthermore while 20% of people prefer to buy furniture online, 35% solely shop instore. When store and online shopping are integrated, the most common behavior is to look online for inspiration and then shop in a physical store.

Based on our Shopper Forces model, the study also mapped the relative influence on buying decisions of price, need to touch, shopping experience, need for education, brand, and social approval.

Having the opportunity to see and touch products before buying is the most influential force in this category – more so than any other category.

Price was also significant to shoppers, who were more likely to expect a sale or bargain when buying furniture over any other purchase. Furniture shoppers also look to friends, family and reviews to validate their purchase.

Our MD, Sue Benson, said: “It seems that most shoppers are not willing to buy furniture until they have had the chance to see and touch it in person. Pop-ups and small showrooms that incorporate new technology to give an idea of breadth of range should be considerations for online retailers who want to encourage more shoppers to spend with them.”

Marketing tips for furniture brands

  • Enhance the instore opportunity to make it physically easy and encouraging to touch or sit on furniture
  • Explain what you get for your money, enhancing superior craftsmanship or special features
  • Make it easy for shoppers to share what they’ve bought in their own social networks
  • Encourage reviews and make them readily available to shoppers

The research is now available to download in full