Study: Status of digitization in the furniture industry
In the run-up to the MOW furniture fair, which opened its doors on September 19, we got a closer look at the digitization status of the industry. In May and June 2021, we asked almost 30 managers from companies in the German furniture industry about the status quo of digitization in their companies in approx. 50-minute expert interviews. The result still shows room for improvement: if German furniture retailers and manufacturers had to rate their own digitization strategy, they would give themselves a grade of 3.1. But it’s best to read for yourself. You can download the furniture study directly here.
If German furniture retailers and manufacturers had to rate their own digitization strategy, they would give themselves a grade of 3.1. According to the German school system, this corresponds to “satisfactory”. But if you take a closer look under the hood of the digital projects of German furniture makers, this note is often more embellished than realistic. 39% of the companies surveyed do not yet operate an online shop at all. And those that have one only offer limited functionality. In our analysis, only a meager 13% offered online availability queries for stationary stocks, which are now almost standard among German omnichannel retailers. And even fewer providers, namely 9%, have implemented Click & Collect or Click & Reserve services.
The fact that 57% of those surveyed have almost completely outsourced their digital activities – either to an agency, their software provider or straight to an association – also shows that the online shop is often just a nuisance and not a lifeblood project. And 57% of survey participants could not answer the question who is responsible for their e-commerce strategy in-house.
The furniture makers also paint an interesting picture when it comes to measuring the success of their e-commerce activities. Although 70% of furniture makers use a tracking solution, only 9% evaluate key figures on a daily basis. In doing so, they primarily limit themselves to KPIs such as sales, visitors and conversion rates. Other relevant key figures are not considered at all.
Overall, only 43% of the companies in the survey stated that they saw e-commerce as THE future business that is critical to success. 30% of respondents plan to expand their digital business in the future. The rest continue to stick to the brick-and-mortar business. E-commerce is widely regarded only as an additional revenue pillar.
Germany is famous for its engineering. Products “made in Germany” are in demand all over the world. In the age of digitization, however, reliable and attractive products are no longer a unique selling point for sustainable success. Because customers are increasingly looking not just for products, but for solutions.
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