Report: Which home & garden brands are getting their feet under the ecommerce table?

The naysayers warned that furniture would never sell online. They insisted that the logistics would never work, and that that the home and garden industry could never hope to replicate the experience and service of aspirational lifestyle boutiques, or of large-scale suburban showrooms, in the digital sphere. Such scepticism has since proven to be clearly misguided.

As McKinsey revealed in its latest Periscope report, ecommerce penetration has been vaulted forward by a decade in the space of just 90 days this year, hastening an already pronounced market-wide migration online. Industry leaders Wayfair and Amazon reported a combined $7.5 billion in home furnishings retail sales  in 2019 – marking a year-over-year growth rate of almost 28%.

As recently as last year, with the safety net of physical stores, retailers could still get away with having mediocre or even sub-standard product content on their websites. This is no longer the case. As McKinsey notes, product descriptions are now among the top three factors for consumers in a successful online shopping experience. Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy, and many are dispensing with loyalty in favour of better online experiences elsewhere. This serves as a stark reminder for many retailers that in the digital sphere, their competition is just a click away, rather than a drive away, making it critical to prioritise the online experience they offer.

So, in this climate, how well are leading brands adapting to meet a growing consumer appetite for engaging and attentive online shopping experiences? And crucially, which retailers are providing the high-quality website content required to drive conversion rates and search engine visibility?

In this report, we evaluated the pre-purchase website content of 50 home and garden brands to reveal the winners and losers across a range of content categories – from product descriptions and category descriptions to editorial guides. Our winners included, with its customer-centric guides, and Habitat, whose search optimised category descriptions won it pride of place on many SERPs. But disappointing results also abounded, demonstrating that many retailers are still struggling to meet the content challenges of a digital economy.

Download the full report below to find out which brands from the home & garden sector are getting their feet under the ecommerce table, and which are being left behind.

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