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E-commerce has witnessed tremendous growth in 2020 due to the pandemic situation and the trend seems to be continuing in 2021 as well. While the Indian online furniture market currently constitutes only 3 percent of the overall organized furniture sector, for the past five years it has been growing at the rate of 30-40 percent year on year. The year 2020 saw some remarkable developments by key players of the furniture sector fueling the growth.
As per reports, Pepperfry's online business has risen to 120 percent of pre-lockdown levels, indicating amplified use of e-commerce options. In November 2020, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd. (RRVL), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL), acquired a minority stake of Urban Ladder Home Décor Solutions Pvt Ltd for Rs 182.12 crore.
While factors like increased broadband connectivity, smartphones, and the rise of the digital economy offer strong infrastructure, innovations on the part of e-retailers have further helped the growth of the e-commerce platform. One of the key factors driving the growth of e-commerce is the expert hyper-local logistics network.
From efficient and timely deliveries with options to track shipment, to easy returns/ exchange policy and value-added services like furniture assembly and dismantling have helped expand the reach and popularity of online furniture retailers. ‘No-contact’ delivery features by these e-retailers during COVID-19 have further ensured consistent growth.
Online retail has been leveraging AI and data analytics for effective, relevant, and impactful consumer engagement through digital advertising, social media campaigns, and virtual assistants for personalized customer service. Apart from offering clients personalized customer service and customized shopping options, online retail has also been instrumental in helping modern consumers compare, evaluate and make the best choice of furniture, keeping in mind the locality, budget, functionality, etc., making the purchase value-driven.
Godrej Interio, one of the leading furniture manufacturers and retailers, launched its e-commerce operation in March 2020, to take on the likes of other furniture e-retailers, like Urban Ladder, Pepperfry, and Ikea, to cater to over 2,000 locations across the country through its online sales.
Considering these factors and the already steady rise of furniture e-commerce it is apparent that the future of Indian furniture retail will no longer be restricted to traditional modes but will take an omnichannel approach indicating a substantial growth across metros as well as Tier II and III towns. Indian online retail is set to lead the comprehensive furniture market driven by millennial consumers.
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