The internet, which once meant nothing but people who bought things online and did their shopping through the internet, has taken on the form of a global marketplace for furniture.
That means you can buy furniture online without having to go to a brick and mortar shop.
And, with the advent of the internet of things, it has also opened up a new world of opportunity for businesses.
Here’s what you need to know about the rise of online furniture stores.
Furniture has become a commodity: While there was a time when a brick-and-mortar store would have been the only option for most people, online retailers have changed the way furniture is made, sourced, and sold.
The rise of furniture online can also be seen as a major advancement for online retailing.
For starters, the internet has allowed for the creation of a vast network of online retailers, who are all sharing data on what products they sell and how much money they make.
And unlike brick- and-mortars, which are closed to the public, online furniture retailers are open to the world.
“When it comes to furniture, online is really, really different,” says Mark Henshaw, CEO of furniture retailer Furniture, which is owned by a group of investors including Andreessen Horowitz.
Henshaws company has been offering its inventory online since 2011.
“It’s the best way to buy,” he says.
Hengsays that since its inception, Furniture’s online catalog has increased the size of its inventory, which has helped it compete with brick-retailers.
“Furniture’s catalog is almost four times larger than what we had in the past,” he adds.
That increase in catalog size has allowed Hensham to make more money, which allows him to invest in new furniture that has been ordered by customers.
And he has also helped the company grow by expanding the types of products it sells.
The new inventory allows him more flexibility in which products he can offer online, such as more furniture with a single color, or different designs for different seasons.
Hinshaw says that, in addition to the increased catalog size, the company also offers more products on its website, which can be shared with customers.
“People are really excited about being able to buy things online,” he explains.
“That’s a really good thing.”
There are now more online retailers than brick-firms online: In 2015, there were around 1,000 online furniture sellers on the market, according to the National Retail Federation, up from an average of just over 500 in 2010.
The number of online online furniture companies has also risen dramatically.
“The number of businesses that are able to sell online has exploded,” says Chris Erskine, chief marketing officer of online retailer Curbside, which counts a number of independent online furniture businesses as customers.
According to Erschine, these businesses can sell a wide range of products that include furniture, appliances, books, and more.
Curbsides customers can now shop for everything from kitchen cabinets to furniture for kids, and the company has even partnered with the likes of Amazon, eBay, and Pinterest to bring its products to its customers’ homes.
Curbed also reports that its catalog has grown from 500 to 1,200 items, with some items only being available online in select markets.
The growth of online shopping and the online furniture industry: While many online retailers are small businesses that have no physical stores, others like Furniture and Curbsite are highly profitable.
While the vast majority of furniture is sold through brick-restaurant chains, online companies like Curbsider are able do more to help their customers shop online, says Mark Wilson, senior director of research at research firm The Brand Index.
In addition to curbsiders catalog, Wilson says that Curbsiders inventory can be used to sell other furniture on its site.
For example, he says that it was recently curbsider that partnered with Amazon to offer an Amazon Prime membership to customers who were interested in furniture.
Curb shop has also expanded its furniture offerings, offering more items for sale online and offering free shipping to customers.
Furnishings have become a more efficient way to make money: Although online furniture has helped make the industry more efficient and competitive, the shift to online furniture also has had a positive impact on the furniture industry.
“You can go from a brick to an online company with a few thousand people in the space, and that’s a huge benefit,” says Wilson.
“What has changed about online furniture is that it’s becoming less of a niche,” he continues.
“If you look at the number of people that are online furniture business, it’s growing from 2 million to 2.8 million people.”
“The online furniture market is growing by 2.5 million people a year, and it’s now more than $400 billion,” says Erscine.
“This is really the first time we’ve seen