The $96 billion U.S. furniture industry is in a tumultuous state, driven by changing consumer preferences and buying behavior, digital disruption, pricing pressures, multi-channel retail options, new online players, and the role of social media.
The result is a challenging competitive landscape for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers alike.
In a recent survey of over 1,000 U.S. consumers, The Fuld Institute of Competitive Strategy investigated the impact of the macroeconomic factors noted above, finding that price is the dominant decision criteria among consumers who had purchased furniture within the last two years.This consumer purchase criteria was found to be more significant than style (a close second), quality, convenience, domestic manufacturing, and brand name.
So: Brand loyalty is low. Pricing pressure is high. How can furniture manufacturers, distributers, and retailers competitively position themselves with these consumer behaviors in mind?
Consumer interest in multiuse furniture suggests a sensitivity around price and flexible use of the furniture that they purchase.
Digital innovations such as mobile apps and virtual reality were much lower on consumers’ list of considerations, indicating a focus on the core function of furniture and the central benefits that consumers derive from their purchase.
Growing interest in curation follows trends across multiple industries: from algorithm-derived playlists in music and video streaming to tailored subscription services in apparel, make-up, and snacks. Today’s consumer expects a customized experience, underscoring the need for companies to enhance their offerings by taking full advantage of customer data at their disposal.
To find out the full implications of future trends, download the full report