What’s Happening: Amazon is making an initial foray into furniture assembly. While the ecommerce giant currently delivers big items such as mattresses, treadmills, and televisions, customers are often disappointed when they’re left with giant boxes containing furniture they’re wary of assembling themselves. The new premium service requires drivers to not only deliver but build furniture, remove excess packaging, and return items if the customer isn’t satisfied.
The Download: If this new venture is widely accepted, it’ll cause tension with other online furniture purveyors, such as Wayfair, which offers a comparable furniture selection. Online sales of furniture and housewares jumped 41 percent during the pandemic to $36.1 billion. While Wayfair shares dropped by nearly 4 percent before recovering some of their losses, Amazon’s shares were mostly unchanged. Sales are expected to continue to grow in 2021, albeit more slowly, to $37.3 billion.
Recent surges in demand for furniture e-commerce has generated substantial delivery backlogs and weeks-long delays. In an attempt to grow sales this year, Amazon’s efforts will bring an opportunity to recover its reputation for quick delivery for such large items
By 2022, experts expect furniture sales will account for over 14% of total retail e-commerce sales.
In Their Own Words: “E-commerce adoption is likely to continue to shift faster than it did pre-Covid,” Niraj Shah, CEO of Wayfair, told Business Insider in August. “Just to put things into perspective, in the quarter, we activated nearly five million net new customers more than the last four quarters combined. We see evidence of this in strong and consistent demand across nearly all of the product classes we sell, not just those directly linked to having to shelter or work from home.”
Surface Says: With people more comfortable making large purchases such as cars, homes, and even nonexistent NFT homes sight unseen, expect this trend to continue surging upward.