80% of customers are now buying office essentials and furnitures online
The new culture of #wfh (work-from-home) has led to an increase in demand for office and study essentials, among other furnitures and home decor items. “Pepperfry’s home-office furniture category contributes about 25% to the overall sales volume, a category which accounted for about 10% of total sales during the pre-Covid times,” Kashyap Vadapalli, chief marketing officer and business head, Pepperfry said. The company claims that the demand for study tables and ergonomic office chairs increased by 185% and 175% respectively in June 2020, in comparison to pre-lockdown levels.
Ikea India too claims to have seen a three- five times increase in the demand for work from home furniture. “The sector has moved from want to a necessity today,” Kavitha Rao, country commercial manager, Ikea India said. Moreover, most of the items are now being purchased online. Ikea India, for instance, claims to have seen an uptake in its e-commerce sales to 30%-40% during lockdown — from 8%-12% before lockdown. “In the last four months, the quantum of sales that we have seen through click and collect is almost 30%-40% of the full year sales,” Rao noted. The ‘Click and Collect’ service was launched in May for consumers to order their products online and collect it from the Ikea store. Meanwhile, Pepperfry, too stated that its online business has seen an increase of 120% in sales.
As consumers have moved online, furniture retail companies have taken to social media platforms to cater to these consumers’ requirements. For example, recently, Script by Godrej and Boyce introduced contactless shopping through WhatsApp. “Research shows that during the lockdown period, the consumption of social media has seen nearly a 3x surge,” Rajat Mathur, business head, Script said adding that the WhatsApp store is almost like a micro site enabling rich content for the consumers. The company asserted that prior to Covid-19, 60% of its marketing spends was allocated to digital and the remaining 40% to traditional medium– however now it plans to spend the entire amount on digital. Interestingly, for Pepperfry, the cost of acquisition on digital platforms is less by 30%-40% compared to last year. “Close to 100% of our budget will be spent on digital platforms this year,” Vadapalli noted.