How much does brand matter in furniture, décor? Consumers weigh in

SAN FRANCISCO — Consumers have shown a preference for brands in a host of categories — such as everyday essentials and packaged goods, electronics, fashion and beauty — but they are least likely to be brand loyal when it comes to home and décor.

The 2023 Consumer Buying Behavior Report from Intelligence Node, a global retail analytics company, shows just 4.2% of consumers called out the home furnishings and décor category as most important for brand loyalty, the lowest among all the options.

Among the 1,000 U.S. shoppers polled in December 2022 about their buying habits and expectations for 2023, about one-third also named home décor and furniture as one of the two categories they’d be most likely to target to cut costs in light of a possible global recession, making it the third highest after luxury goods and fashion and apparel.

Nearly half (48%) of all respondents said they would spend less overall this year, with the highest reductions coming within the 18-to-24 age group and those earning less than $50,000 a year. About 25% of those 35 to 44 plan to increase their spending, the highest among all age groups.

With inflation on their minds, consumers put discounts fairly high on their list of importance when making a purchase decision. Those looking to buy furniture and décor ranked discounts around seven on a 1-to-10 scale of importance, putting it fourth behind food and grocery, consumer electronics and fashion. Discounts in the home category were most sought by those earning $150,000 to $199,999 and least important to those in the $75,000 to $99,999 earnings range.

Price is the most important factor for consumers when choosing between a direct-to-consumer or marketplace site such as Amazon when shopping. About 39% cited the difference in pricing for their decision on which channel to shop, while convenience and ease of use, quality of products and shipping charges were tied for second.

Charges for delivery, however, was the No. 1 reason why consumers would abandon a cart for an online purchase, the study found. Hidden fees were also a key factor, while lack of a buy-online, pickup-in-store option was the least important reason for not completing a transaction.

Similarly, free shipping and returns were cited by more than 60% of respondents as the biggest factor when shopping online, ahead of discounts and positive reviews.

Among those who browse social media, 61% said a clear, easy-to-navigate online catalog would push them to make a purchase, well ahead of other options such as educational and engaging content, targeted ads and links and influencers.

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