It may not feel like it, but home furnishings are still a ‘growth driver’ online

San Jose, Calif. – Necessary steps taken during the pandemic, such as shopping for home furnishings online, have carried over to create everyday habits that are reflected in sustained growth for the category, according to Adobe Analytics. 

New U.S. e-commerce insights, presented during the recent Adobe Summit and posted on the company’s blog, showed consumers spent more than $126 billion on home furnishings in 2022, a 10.2% year-over-year increase.

While not matching the sales numbers for sectors such as electronics and apparel, home furnishings’ growth eclipsed electronics’ 4% increase for the year while apparel numbers fell for 2022 by 3.8%.  Another growth category was grocery, which was up 10.8% during 2022.

And it isn’t a 2022 anomaly either. Adobe Analytics insights show home furnishing grew 12.9% year-over-year in February, driven by $9.4 billion in spending.  

“E-commerce demand has remained resilient in an uncertain economic environment, driven in part by lasting pandemic habits where consumers had no choice but to leverage online food and home furnishings shopping services,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst of Adobe Digital Insights. “Now consumers have embraced the rich e-commerce experience that made them feel comfortable getting these necessities delivered to their doorsteps, making these categories new growth drivers in the digital economy.” 

Along with the rising comfort level with buying online, the economy in 2022 also propelled more shoppers to choose the buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) model. In 2022, the share of online purchases using BNPL grew 14% year-over-year, and revenue was up 27%. In the first two months of this year, BNPL orders share rose 10%, although revenue fell 19%, pointing to consumers relying on this method more for smaller purchases. 

Pandya said BNPL use shows consumers are “managing living expenses (such as grocery purchases) in more flexible ways.” Within the context of home furnishings, Pandya said, “The strong online growth of home furnishings purchasing is expected to bolster buy-now-pay-later adoption, given the higher ticket prices in this category.” 

Other insights from Adobe Analytics included the growth of mobile shopping, which drove 45% of overall online sales last year and, at current growth rates, should eclipse the 50% mark by the end of the year; and the slumping demand for curbside pickup, which fell to 19% of online orders in 2022 from 23% in 2021, and continued to drop to 17% for the first two months of 2023. 

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