What the furniture industry should know about the state of digital in Poland
Does the rise of online and mobile channels mean a downturn for the furniture industry in Poland? The answer might surprise you.
Recently, Hootsuite and We Are Social produced a series of reports which provided country-specific insights about Internet usage. The Digital 2019 Poland report shed some light on the state of connectivity in Poland, with some special items of interest for e-commerce and the furniture industry.
Before we move on to the more gripping statistics, let’s take a peek at some basic information about the Internet lives of Poles. In 2018:
- 30.07 million Poles used the Internet.
- There were 325,000 new Internet users, an increase of 1.1 percent.
- The number of registered mobile devices surged by 206,000, an increase of 0.4 percent. Total mobile device ownership surpassed 50 million.
If we compare this against global stats, we can see that Poland is exceptionally quick to adopt new technologies:
- Globally, 57% of the population uses the Internet. In Poland, this number increases to 79%.
- There is 0.67 mobile devices per person in the world. In Poland, the average is 1.33 devices per person.
Download free report (available in Polish only)
Poland’s digital revolution is not slowing down
We’ve have been told for years that we’re living in a time of digital transformation. Last year continued that trend, particularly for mobile solutions. More than 26 million Poles (that’s 69%) browse the Internet on their mobile devices. 16 out of 18 million social media users visit social sites via mobile, and 51% of Internet users use mobile banking.
Plus, Polish users are very fond of online shopping: 65% of Polish Internet users shop using their computers, and 36% buy via their mobile devices. This score contrasts with the use of mobile devices for other purposes. It also clashes with the global trend indicating the clear dominance of mobile over laptops and desktops in the e-commerce arena.
This statistic raises an important question: Are Polish users simply not into mobile e-commerce? Or is it possible that our existing mobile sites aren’t meeting the needs of the Polish e-consumer? We won’t answer that here, but it’s worth thinking about. Instead, let’s focus on a surprising leader in Polish e-commerce: furniture.
The furniture industry as Polish e-commerce leader?
I really encourage decision-makers in the furniture industry to take a moment and read the Digital 2019 report. This industry is one of five sectors that have made the best use of Poland’s e-commerce potential.
The potential of e-commerce solutions in this industry has been confirmed by global data. In one year, the entire furniture industry generated more than 272 billion dollars in revenue. Simultaneously, this sector has appeared as a Polish leader in sales growth dynamics:
- In 2018, the Polish furniture industry increased its revenue by 16 percent. At the same time, the overall value for all e-commerce in Poland grew 11 percent.
- The global market situation looks equally bright for the furniture industry. Revenue has grown by 15 percent, while e-commerce saw a rise of 11 percent.
The internet has become inherent to customer experience
Today's customers are much more independent than previous generations. Even when they choose to shop in a traditional store, they probably will check the Internet first: 86% of Poles go online to check product information, learn where to buy products and services, and find inspiration. (Learn more in the article Inspirations on portals in the furniture industry.)
The Internet and its various mobile solutions have become an integral part of the furniture purchasing process. It can help customers combine products with complementary services, which can simplify the purchasing process. And, with appropriate service and branding strategies, there can be a seamless transition between the online experience and a visit to a traditional store.
Strong online sales should not be viewed as the end of brick-and-mortar stores. Current business models employ an increasing number of multi-channel methods for reaching customers and meeting their needs and expectations. Digital and mobile channels, which customers often favor for decision making and for expert assistance, are permanent features of the purchasing process.
What will 2019 bring for Poland’s furniture industry?
2018 was a really good year for the furniture industry and its e-commerce efforts. 2019 may be even better. Global trends show that salespeople who pay attention to mobile clients may actually enhance their chances of success. In part, this is because of new technologies, such as Progressive Web Apps, that create an exceptional customer experience in mobile. (Learn more at The 14 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Progressive Web Apps.)
However, customers and retailers alike should not assume that online and mobile channels are getting rid of traditional brick-and-mortar storefronts. On the contrary; we expect to see this positive relationship continue.