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E-commerce in the office furniture industry. A brand new CSIL research report.



Generally speaking, office furniture distribution shows a high degree of specialisation, with direct sales and office furniture specialists and/or exclusive dealers accounting for the largest portion of the total. However, strong change of habits conducted by the pandemic and people adaptation to new circumstances, spaces, and technology, forced sector companies to operate the same changes.

Large office commitments might tend to reduce in favor of a more fragmented market. This is not meaning only domestic offices, but also smaller offices on a regional base and, of course, co-working spaces.



For these reasons, new logistic approaches are needed, and recent communication strategies of office manufacturers (driven by social media) have been addressed to capture end-customer attention. E-commerce worth to be considered too, as lockdowns pushed web sales of office chairs in particular. This market is mainly represented by large scale distributors and omnichannel retailers and is quite unexplored by office furniture companies. However, we expect this market to evolve rapidly giving room to new and higher-level solutions following the increasing consciousness of end-users and actions made by their employing companies to support the use of high-performance office furniture.



In the CSIL report ‘E-commerce for the furniture industry’ (Dec 2020) already emerged a fast increase in online sales among the largest furniture retailers while also manufacturers started to sell through their own web platforms. Pushed by the pandemic, e-commerce is estimated by CSIL to represent 10% of the worldwide furniture consumption in 2020.


What is the incidence of web-sales in the office segment and how sector companies are reassessing logistics and marketing approach?


In order to understand trends and incidence of e-commerce in the office furniture sector, we are now working on a brand new report ‘E-commerce for the office furniture industry’, to be issued in March 2021, also launching a survey to gather the opinion of furniture manufacturers, understand their expectations, and analyse e-commerce approach and strategies and products most in-demand in the online channel.


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