Shoppers’ willingness to buy has reached an all-time low. According to GFK’s biannual report, The State of Consumer Technology & Durables, the significant price increases contribute to feelings of financial uncertainty among consumers. Only 34% believe their financial situation will improve in the next 12 months, and inflation rates encourage people to save money. As a result, businesses are experiencing a decrease in revenues, and the home and living sector is no exception. Sales are only predicted to grow by 2 percent in 2022. Compare that to the 12% growth in the previous year.
On top of that, the crisis in Ukraine has created severe supply chain issues. All of these challenges make it increasingly difficult for manufacturers and retailers to win market share. Success under these circumstances requires a precise marketing strategy, an increased awareness of consumer trends, and a degree of flexibility in an ever-changing market. Luckily, there are several product categories that are trending right now.
Home office: our new reality
The pandemic has fundamentally changed our work culture, with more and more companies remaining fully or partially remote even after restrictions have been lifted. Employees themselves often prefer to continue working from home, at least part-time. The shift to permanent home office creates new demands in furniture, as many customers are willing to invest in high quality furniture that facilitate remote work.
Thus, retailers specializing in the following categories can expect a significant profit increase:
- office chairs,
- filing cabinets,
- desk lamps
- and other types of office furniture and accessories
Busy workers are looking for items that are comfortable, stylish, functional, and most of all easy to assemble. Free, speedy delivery is an essential requirement nowadays. As your target audience mainly shops online, you should pay particular attention to the presentation of your products in your webshop to satisfy user demand and win an edge over your competitors in a crowded market. Some of the digital tools worth trying include
- AI technology,
- 360° rotation,
- and programmes that allow users to virtually place a piece of furniture in their own homes.
Time-pressed office workers have particular interests:
- They love smart furniture that fulfills several functions. This is especially important in cities where accommodation is expensive and the available space is often limited.
- Consumers would prefer to invest in fewer items that can be used flexibly in a variety of ways. The demand for adjustable furniture, such as foldable lift-top coffee tables or height-adjustable desks, has seen a 680% increase YoY.
- Many users are also ready to embrace the innovations of modern technology, such as furniture pieces with built-in chargers or Bluetooth/wifi-controlled appliances.
- Shoppers who live in small flats are looking for room dividers, such as screens and large bookshelves, to create the illusion of separate rooms.
A place for relaxation
In the midst of the crises of the last couple of years, homes function more than ever as havens of relaxation where we can forget about the troubles of the world. Decor elements that help convey a calming atmosphere have grown significantly in popularity. Pastel shades have a soothing effect on body and mind, so it’s not surprising that demand is on the rise for pastel-colored sofas, armchairs and chairs, as well as soft textiles such as carpets.
Home textiles in particular have proven immune to the volatility of the market, as they grew by 3.4 percent from last year, and saw a growth of 141 million euros compared to the last pre-corona year of 2019, thanks to the booming cocooning trend. Bedding, blankets, pillows and tablecloths are especially popular – consumers are clearly searching for pieces that contribute to a cozy home.
Natural materials like silk, linen, wool and hemp remain best sellers, while other shoppers might opt for velvet and corduroy for a touch of luxury. The season’s top colors are yellow and Very Peri, a soft purple tone chosen as Pantone’s Color of the Year, while calming shades of blue never go out of style.
Time for boldness
On the other hand, after years of restrictions, many people are yearning for interiors that create a lively, uplifting mood. While evergreen minimalism is still popular, we observe a shift towards maximalist decor that celebrates bold, colorful design choices. You can cater to beginner and advanced maximalists alike with accessories that work as visual highlights like decorative pillows, gold accents and vibrant prints. In line with the current Urban Jungle trend, floral and botanical motives and indoor gardening are all the rage. People are searching for accessories that bring an exuberant jungle into their homes: gardening tools, vases, real and artificial plants, as well as animal-shaped decorative pieces and rattan furniture.
Even amidst the most turbulent times on the market, choosing the right focus gives room for growth. We hope to have inspired you with our insights into the current trends!
Steigende Preise und Konsumentenunsicherheit – diese Produktkategorien sind trotzdem gefragt, Corina Kirchner, GFK press release, 02 May 2022
Handelsverband Deutschland: Stimmung der Verbraucher:innen verharrt auf niedrigem Niveau, Möbelkultur, 06 July 2022
Trends in der Möbelindustrie – Prognosen für 2022, Ninna Ørhøj Lauridsen, Cadesign form, 03 September 2021
Wohntrends 2022: Diese Deko-Highlights sind jetzt angesagt, Stern, 09 July 2022
Wohntrends 2022 – Wohnen und Einrichten in 2022, Wohnen.de Magazin, 2022
Haus- und Heimtextilien ziehen dank Corona an, Möbelkultur, 19 May 2022
Schnäppchenjäger setzen vor allem auf den Online-Möbelkauf, Alessa Kästner, Internet World, 11 May 2022