15 June 2024, 09:31
By Furniture News Jun 10, 2024

Comparing the in-store and online shopping experiences

In April's issue, Furniture News, supported by leading 3D furniture product visualisation platform Chaos Cylindo, presented Understanding the Furniture Shopper, a comprehensive report on how UK consumers shop for furniture – both in-store and online.

Among the areas investigated was what consumers feel about shopping for furniture online, compared to shopping in-store.

The respondents were asked to share their feelings around the strengths and weaknesses of each format. The survey found that nearly half (44%) of all shoppers take a multichannel approach to furniture shopping, visiting a combination of stores and websites to find the right items for their home.

One of physical retail’s biggest strengths is the store’s ability to convey the product. The ability to touch and feel a piece of furniture, see it in person, and the knowledge imparted by store staff and PoS resources, means 70% of people say they develop a better understanding of the product in-store than they do online (and 45% of those aged 65+ strongly agree that they get a better understanding of the product in-store than they do online).

Nearly half (45%) of shoppers said they would like to see more innovative technology utilised in stores, with more than half (52%) of those aged 18-24 in agreement, and 55% of those aged 35-44. The appetite for more innovative shopping technology being available online is clearest in the 25-34 (56%) and 35-44 (55%) age brackets.

“One thing is clear from this research – the appetite for emerging technologies is high,” says Jostein Pedersen, VP product - 3D commerce, at Chaos Cylindo. “Customers expect an engaging furniture shopping experience from start to finish – whether online or in-store, regardless of the channel or device they are using.

“The adoption of technologies, such as 3D product visualisation and AI-generated lifestyle content, will help furniture businesses redefine the buyer journey, setting up new standards, not just for the furniture industry but for business in general.”

More than half agree that they would be more likely to shop with a retailer that blended in-store and online shopping – a multichannel, or ‘omnichannel’ shopping experience. This might mean ensuring product information and pricing is consistent across both platforms, or having the ability to return an item either in-store or online, no matter where it was purchased.

The appetite for multichannel shopping is most marked in the 25-34 (63% in favour) and 35-44 (61%) age brackets.

Click here to read the full report.


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