One-fourth of stores with websites accept orders online

One-fourth of furniture stores with a website sell product online, according to responding stores answering the exclusive 2016 Furniture Store Performance Report. An average of 5% of revenues is generated from online sales, per the data. That’s the same percentage online captured last year as well.

A greater portion of stores are enabling and embracing the consumer’s smartphone and mobile habits as 34% of furniture stores now offer free WiFi to customers. That’s an increase of 13 percentage points over the 21% of stores that offered it two years ago.

While television still accounts for the majority of a furniture store’s promotions budget, TV took a hit this year, accounting for 39%, down six percentage points from its 45% share in 2015. Traditional advertising through newspapers comprised an 18% share, and direct mail has a 10% share of budget. Internet ads now are 9% of a furniture store’s advertising, up from a 5% share last year. Overall, 6% of a furniture store’s annual sales are devoted to promotions.

Facebook is still the main social media site for furniture stores, with 94% of stores having a presence there. Twitter is the second most popular, with 74% of stores tweeting, and Pinterest comes in at No. 3, with seven out of 10 furniture stores pinning product and information. All told, social media marketing comprises 3% of a furniture store’s ad budget.

As far as sourcing product, furniture stores attend an average of four U.S. tradeshows each year, and 36% belong to a buying group. Nearly one-fourth of responding stores import product directly.

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