Foreign expansion of Polish furniture industry
Poland is one of the fastest growing furniture markets (production level) in the EU: in recent years, it went up from 10th to 6th in the world in the production value of furniture sold. Poland is also one of the largest exporters of furniture - third in Europe and fourth in the world.
A specific feature of the Polish furniture sector is a large share of domestic capital. Among the seven largest furniture manufacturers in Poland, six companies have Polish capital. The seventh is IKEA.
Furniture industry is one of the most important sectors of Polish economy. It contributes as much as 2.17% of Polish GDP, whereas average for EU countries is 0.55%. According to the KPMG report "Furniture market in Poland 2017", the value of furniture production in our country amounted to PLN 42 billion in the entire 2016.
In 2015, our country's share in the entire furniture exports of the EU (EU-28) was as high as 16.8%. The largest selling markets are Germany (36% of exports production), the UK (8%) and Czech Republic (7%)
The interest of Polish companies arises from limited purchasing power in the domestic market - the average amount spent on furniture per household in the last three years was PLN 4.5 thousand. For comparison - according to Business Insider Intelligence estimates, people in the US have spent USD 38 billion (PLN 135 billion) on furniture, just online. This means that furniture e-commerce in the United States has a turnover over three times higher than all of Polish furniture trade.
One of the most serious challenges related to international expansion is organising the logistics: this is the crowning moment of the purchasing process in e-commerce. However, before the first sofa or bookshelf can leave Poland to reach their new customers, the company must be aware of an enormous amount of organisational work.
Transportation is one of the bottlenecks in the case of online purchasing of expensive goods, such as furniture. However, it can become another tool for building a competitive advantage. White gloves delivery is becoming increasingly common, including transport and comprehensive service such as assembling new furniture and removal of the old one. Thus the element, which previously had been a strong deterrent for users, becomes another area for customer excellence.
A company wanting to make its name in cross-border trade should answer many questions. Does it make more sense to create a new brand, or continue selling under the old one? How will the new market alter operational processes? How to reorganise the company with new challenges in mind. For the furniture industry companies wanting to take advantage of e-commerce, e-point has prepared a report on Customer Journey (Polish language version only).
This report is also a comprehensive response to the question "how do furniture industry customers purchase online" and how their purchasing habits can be used. E-commerce is currently one of the most dynamically growing sectors of global economy. That is why companies wanting to operate in this channel as well, should act not on their own, but in cooperation with an experienced business partner. This will help them save a lot of time, nerves and money. And the sooner they get on the rushing e-commerce train, the more they can earn in a long run.