Home furnishings was once a category that shoppers preferred to experience primarily in person. Now, furniture shoppers rely on their smartphones to research and explore before they buy. For home furnishing brands, that’s a huge opportunity to turn browsers into buyers.

Written by
Matt Lawson
Published
March 2017
Topics

It's key for any retail brand to be present during consumers' shopping micro-moments in order to attract business. However, within each retail category, the exact moments vary. Below, we look at consumer behavior through the lens of home furnishings to investigate the four key micro-moments that every furniture brand must own.

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I-need-some-ideas moments

At the beginning of the shopping journey—before consumers have started thinking about specific products or brands—they rely on their mobile devices to provide inspiration and to help finetune their design sensibility. Fifty-seven percent of searches in I-need-some-ideas moments occur on mobile,1 up 35% year over year.2

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During this early research phase, video is also popular with consumers who are looking to better visualize different looks. More than 13 million hours of home furnishing YouTube videos were watched in 2016.3

More than 13 million hours of home furnishing YouTube videos were watched in 2016.

What's-best-for-my-space moments

During this stage of the purchase journey, consumers gravitate toward certain styles, but are still not necessarily looking for specific brands or retailers. Shoppers want to know the products available to them, and how particular pieces will look in their home.

Consumers rely on search and, specifically, image search to help inform their what's-best-for-my-space moments. Mobile searches related to "best furniture" and "furniture reviews" have grown more than 50% year over year,4 and eight in 10 home furnishing shoppers utilized product images.5

Am-I-getting-the-best-value moments

Value is the name of the game, and consumers will happily spend quite a bit of time looking for the best deal. Half of home furnishing mobile researchers say that retail promotions and discounts affected their purchase decision.6

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Still, how you approach incentives matters. Fifty-seven percent of smartphone shoppers buying items for their home or garden like it when retailers recognize they're near a store and send them loyalty program points, order history information, in-store deals, or coupons.7

I-want-to-buy-it moments

Although furniture shopping used to be only an in-store activity, smartphone purchasing is becoming increasingly popular. Forty-seven percent of home furnishing shoppers say they are making more purchases on mobile.8 And even when consumers do head to the store to buy, it's often mobile that gets them there. Smartphone searches related to furniture "near me" have grown 85% year over year.9

Smartphone searches related to furniture "near me" have grown 85% year over year.

Driving growth in the moments that matter

Though the idea of shopping online for home goods items like furniture seemed foreign just a few years ago, consumers are getting comfortable with the idea—fast. Mobile-friendly content in these key micro-moments is now a key differentiator for home furnishing brands.

Sources
1, 2, 4, 9 Google Search Data, U.S., Nov. 2015 vs. Nov. 2016.
3 YouTube Data, U.S., classification as a Home Furnishing video based on public data including headlines and tags, and may not account for every such video available on YouTube, 2016.
5, 8 Google / Ipsos MediaCT, Home Furnishing Mobile Insights, U.S., December 2015, (n of 2,000 U.S. respondents age 18-54 who purchased home furnishing in the past 6 months).
6 Google / Ipsos MediaCT, Home Furnishing Mobile Insights, U.S., December 2015, (n of 1,140 U.S. respondents who used smartphone for research).
7 Google / Euromonitor International, Micro-Moments Survey, U.S., June 2016, Home & garden smartphone shoppers = 500.