The homeware market over the past few years have been seeing a substantial increase in overall market sales. The massive growth is expected to continue and stabilise in the near future with homeware trends ramping up.
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The UK and abroad is experiencing robust growth as we go through the busy season. Also, rising urbanisation and an increase in online buying power has encouraged more competition for homewares, allowing for more discounted items, and driving growth even further.
The United States is one of the largest markets for homeware sales, and demand is expected to increase by 4% from now to 2031. This is because 21.9% of the millennial generation spend more for living standards.
In Europe the homeware and home furnishings market majorly declined due to Covid-19. However, the market has bounced back strong, with projections that say there will be a significant rise the next four years. This is due to the influence of growing urbanisation and disposable income.
Rise in DIY: Homeware trends
Because of remote working there has an increase in DIY eCommerce retail. Growing your brand online in the DIY Homeware division has never been better. The DIY home improvement market is projected to register a CAGR greater than 3% over the next few years.
Spending more time at home means more people want to enhance their surrounding environments. From painting to building desks to adding eye-catching homeware products more people are developing a taste for design and aesthetics. Lifestyle has everything to do with shopping behaviours, so the convenience of online shopping mixed with “stay at home” activity is a marriage ripe with profitability.
By far the largest markets for DIY home improvement are North America and Europe. Both regions account for 86.6% of the industry with their population only accounting for 16% of the world. What should UK DIY suppliers do more to capture market share?
Growing demand for online distribution
In the last decade, no time was busier for online shopping than during the pandemic. The ease of access to technology combined with everyone sheltering at home helped homeware sales surge. With such a unique time in history homeware companies have had to rise to the occasion. In the US alone, houseware sales increased 22% in 2020, primarily from online sales.
Dramatic transformations had to happen with new digital offerings. Adapting to these new challenges meant improving supply chain logistics and implementing new protocols. Companies worked to add new production facilities and warehouse space for new b2c service solutions.
Using more omnichannel approaches is what will be driving the Homeware industry moving forward. Customers like options whether they want to shop in-store or at home. President and CEO of Lodge cast Iron said “the transition to digital exploded in 2020, but it was also good to see some strength in some brick-and-mortar channels.
Customer-Centric Service (expectations have changed)
The most customer centric companies will always capture more market share. What happens “behind the scenes” of eCommerce businesses is where the magic really happens for the top players. The devil is in the details and understanding your micro responsibilities impact everything else in your business. The rise of eCommerce has drastically changed consumer expectations. The time it takes from the buying decision to final mile delivery is the space when you can expect either to delight clients or alienate them. This includes your fulfilment standards and then some. Some of these customer touch points include speed of delivery and managing returned items well.
Whether you’re in the textiles industry or the homeware industry returns are a recurring standard for most businesses, with some industries more than others. Returns cannot be ignored. Though they can be viewed as negative, it’s actually an opportunity to earn more business. Implementing easy return processes needs be made an absolute priority in your business plan.
“92% of consumers will purchase again from a retailer if the returns process was easy.”
The most returned homeware items by far include kitchen appliances. This includes toasters, kettles and coffee machines. Very practical items like these are popular homeware gift ideas and make up most of the homeware returns during the holiday season.
Other popular returned homeware gift items include candles and glassware. One study concluded returned candles have to do mostly with “scent preference.” For glassware, most people already have an established set of glasses, and therefore adding more glass would take up more space in their cupboard. There are a myriad of reasons for returns, not just broken or badly manufactured items or clothes that don’t fit.
With so many product returns such as these in homewares it’s critical to implement an efficient system for managing these items. If you’re using returns solutions like return robin then you can allow customers the ease of returning products from home. This added convenience maintains customer loyalty and boosts your operational efficiency.
Speed vs quality for household goods
Speed, while important in all online trade, certainty is more important with bulky, higher cost goods like whitegoods. Expectations change when the need is more essential. Unlike whitegoods, decorative items may not be as critical right away. Also, the higher the price tag, the assurance around delivery expectation elevates. Defined delivery times matter when it comes to these items. The last thing you need is large customer orders going missing from doorsteps like a refrigerator or washing machine.
While true that 26% of online shoppers abandon purchases due to long shipping times, what equally matters is precision. A survey of large homeware items delivered found that too many installation appointments for major appliances failed due to missing customer information. Being more proactive decreases call centre demand and low customer retention rates.
Homewares market conclusion
The market landscape has shifted and it’s important for homeware companies to focus just as much attention on the online shopping market today as in-store sales. As was said by the CEO of NewAir “that’s why we always have to be nimble and have the mentality that we’re not going to overreact to the problem of the day… we’re just going to solve the problems that are ahead of us.” Using an omni-channel approach to homeware products allows for more flexibility and revenue security as consumer behaviour has become more reliant on online technology.
If you have any questions about efficient eCommerce fulfilment operations so that you are giving your customers the best delivery options available, contact us today.