The look of the Home Goods Power Player group has been transformed this year with the inclusion of non-store retailers Wayfair and Overstock.com as part of an effort to categorize web retailers with their head-to-head competitors rather than lump them with e-commerce retailers of every stripe.
Overstock.com says furniture and home décor account for well over half its sales; with garden merchandise included it is close to 80 percent of volume. Overstock is abandoning its curated approach to merchandising and is in the process of dramatically increasing its assortment.
“You will see radical expansion of our assortment,” founder and CEO Patrick Byrne says. “For years we were focusing on a curated assortment, and we were up against people who were also trying to own curated assortment. We are radically expanding our SKU count. We are also approaching … 5-6 million [by the end of this year]and that’s up about five times from a year ago.”
Wayfair has established itself at the forefront of e-commerce technology. One example: The development of 3-D technology to enhance the online shopping experience for home goods buyers. “Furniture is going to be one of the more considered purchases,” says Niraj Shah, chief executive and co-founder of Wayfair.
“You started buying online by buying a book or a CD or a DVD. Eventually, you bought more and more complex items and more considered purchases. One of the last categories to get penetrated will be home. The second thing is that a lot of the early adoption of online shopping has been driven by younger audiences. Unlike music or apparel, you don’t really buy home goods till you get into your 30s. You are starting to see online purchasers … getting into the demographic where they are buying home as a category.”