It seems you can’t open Instagram now without seeing someone proudly posting a picture of their living room or kitchen and the rise of Pinterest has most people planning their next decorating project as soon as the last one has finished – or is that just me? A few years ago, I wrote about how as a nation, we in the UK take pride in our homes and the interior design is often an extension of personalities and lifestyle, which is even more prevalent today.
The UK homeware market is expected to reach £14 billion by 2020, with retailers such as Loaf, Amara, Homesense (TK Maxx) and Dunelm seeing sales rise over the past few years (Retail Week Prospect) even through times of economic uncertainty.
Cybertill research found that 72% of consumers would consider purchasing furniture directly through a retailer or brand in-store, while 55% would purchase online or via an app (YouGov 2019). The stats for purchasing home décor were similar, in that 70% would buy directly through a retailer/ brand in-store and 56% online or via an app – highlighting how important omnichannel is to homeware retailers.
Dunelm is a notable retailer, sitting on their own somewhere between B&M/The Range and John Lewis/Laura Ashley and according to Mintel, Dunelm is highly recommended amongst consumers and dominates the specialist homeware market.
As part of Cybertill’s latest research report, Dunelm has been highlighted as one of the leaders in omnichannel shopping by linking its online and in-store offering. When the research took place, the homeware retailer offered a postcode lookup for ‘reserve and collect’, showing the nearest store with stock and nearby stores – all available for collection after 3 hours. Currently, the retailer has significantly improved the consumer’s online journey by offering click and collect, while still offering collection after 3 hours.
Click and collect/reserve and collect should be a key component in any retailers omnichannel strategy, and one that homeware retailers need to cash in on, especially as it is proved to drive footfall to store. According to Internet Retailing, Dunelm multichannel sales include revenues from online home delivery, in-store reserve and collect, revenue and from sales made in-store via tablets, and accounted for 17.4% of total sales during the year. A testament to the retailer’s customer promise if making it easy and inspiring to shop and convenient to buy and return products.
Make it mPOS
Dunelm has taken mPOS a step further by investing in chip and pin enabled tablets to make it easy to buy items from a mobile point of sale. This initiative goes to show how much they understand the consumer landscape – which is why profits continue to rise.
Homeware is often a considered purchase, consumers like to see and touch products before committing to purchasing, which is why the store is so important to the shopper. Introducing a mobile point of sale (mPOS) to the shop floor is a great way to encourage in-store ordering and ensure you get that all-important sale, as well as offering additional services, such as extended digital aisles and e-receipts.
Find out how other retailers stack up in our research report, Retail Inventory: Expectations vs Reality.
Rachel is passionate about retail and the ever-changing retail technology environment, with a keen eye for upcoming retail trends that are set to shake up the sector.