According to One Click Retail research, Amazon.com did about $4 billion in furniture sales in the U.S. last year, up 51% year over year, to become the largest online player in the category.
However, to put the number in context, it’s worth noting that Wayfair’s U.S. direct sales, those generated by its domestic websites, was just over $4 billion, up about 36% year over year.
One Click points out that furniture is one of the most competitive fields in e-commerce, and even if brick-and-mortar retail remains healthy, it is losing market share to digital competition.
Amazon is coming on strong, according to One Click. For example, living room furniture, its third largest category segment, grew by 40% in 2017 to about $550 million in sales, and, the market research firm pointed out, no single brand holds more than 6% of sales in that segment.
The emphasis Amazon put on furniture in 2017, and continues to put on the category in 2018, suggests the company will launch major promotions as part of its marketing plan, including during Prime Day.
In the fall, Amazon launched its first two furniture own-brands, Rivet and Stone & Beam, with Rivet offering affordable mid-century modern pieces and Stone & Beam offering higher-end merchandise. Still, One Click maintained, although the new private labels may represent focused brand initiatives, the company’s most successful furniture products so far are office chairs from AmazonBasics, which the market research firm pegs as the leading brand in the home office furniture category. Sales of AmazonBasics office chairs grew steadily throughout early 2017 but accelerated with Prime Day promotions. In 2018 to date, AmazonBasics controls about 13% of all 1P home office furniture sales and had the top three items in the category with its high, mid, and mesh-backed office chairs.
In its analysis, One Click indicated, the furniture market stands as a valuable investment for Amazon, and it’s equally true that Amazon is a valuable investment for furniture brands. The retailer’s large and loyal base of Prime members may not shop at another online retailer if they don’t have to, and Amazon’s investments in logistics, private brands and new technologies are growing that base.