U.S. Retail E-Commerce Report: Home Furnishings Rise, Office Supplies Needs Adjustment

2018-06-27 15:23:18 29

According to the list of 2018 Top 1000 e-commerce retailers released by Internet Retailer, e-commerce sales in 15 categories in 2017 all showed a growth trend, but the increase in each category was quite different.

It is worth noting that the Homewares/Home Furnishings retailer continued its best performance in 2016, occupying 112 seats in the Top 1000 list and sales soaring by 32.8% in 2017. According to the Department of Commerce, overall (including online and offline) sales of furniture and household goods increased by 4.7%.


The Health/Beauty retailers ranked second in the Top 1000, with cumulative sales increasing by 23.9%. According to data from the US Department of Commerce, overall sales growth for the “Healthcare and Personal Care” category in 2017 was almost flat with 2016, at 0.5%.

Office Supplies performed the worst, with sales increasing only 1.8% in 2017, well below the average increase of 18.0% for the Top 1000 overall. According to data from the US Department of Commerce, overall sales of office supplies and stationery declined by 7.0% in 2017.

The following is a detailed analysis of Top 1000's home and household products, health and beauty products, and office supplies in three categories:

1、 family, home appliances

According to Internet Retaile data, of the 112 home and household goods retailers in the Top 1000, sales of home appliance makers have increased by 75% or more, and small retailers have seen the fastest growth in this category, such as food freezing. Desiccant company Harvest Right (rank 606), e-commerce sales increased by nearly 400 percent, while the mattress retailer Purple (rank 226) sales have more than doubled.

Of course, sales growth for this category of large retailers is also very impressive.


For example, Wayfair, the US home retailer, ranked 13th in the Top 1000, and its sales increased by more than 40%. Global consumer goods company Newell Brands (ranked 30) owns a variety of well-known brands, and its e-commerce sales nearly doubled in 2017.

In November 2017, Amazon also launched two private brands of furniture and household products, Stone & Beam and Rivet. At that time, Amazon said that household goods was one of its fastest growing product categories.

A study by retail analyst firm One Click Retail reveals that Amazon and its platform sellers sold US$7 billion worth of home products to US consumers in 2016, an increase of 33% over 2015, and accounted for the online home and home market 28% of sales.

2、Health and Beauty Products

Beauty brand Glossier’s e-commerce sales in 2017 increased by nearly 300%, and in 2016 it increased by 600%, driving up the overall growth of Top 1000 health and beauty products. In February 2018, Glossier completed a $52 million Series C round of financing. To date, the company has received a total of $86.4 million in financing.


Glossier is not the only retail e-commerce that performs well in this category. There are another 5 smaller retailers in the Top 1000, with sales increasing by more than 60%. In addition, the industry giants Estee Lauder (rank 70) and iHerb (rank 49) also performed well. In 2017, e-commerce sales increased by more than 30%.

Jason Gere, an analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets, points out that Estee Lauder is very far-sighted in terms of customer needs and market trends.


“In the past five years, Estée Lauder has been ahead of other industry competitors in the digital field,” said Jason Gere.

Estee Lauder CEO Fabrizio Freda said that Estee Lauder can have its current position in the digital market. It is no accident that IELTS has always put the development of the e-commerce market first. At present, the brand is looking for new ways to attract consumers, use big data to understand new trends, collaborate with the Reds, and create influential content.

Despite the smooth development of the health and beauty products market, this category of retailers should pay attention to Amazon's "unusual" existence.

One Click Retail pointed out that in the first quarter of 2018, Amazon sold 1.9 billion U.S. dollars worth of health care and personal care products, and about 900 million U.S. dollars worth of beauty products. These figures mean that Amazon’s annual growth rate in this category is at least It reached 30%.

3、office supplies

The poor performance of large-scale retail e-commerce companies in office supplies is the main reason for the overall growth of the category being so dim. For example, Top 5 ranked Top 1000, the largest retailer in the category, Staples, whose e-commerce sales fell by more than 5% in 2017. Ranked 14th in the Top 1000 Office Depot, e-commerce sales growth of less than 1%. Of the 34 retailers in this category, 14 sales fell or grew by less than 10%.


At the same time, Amazon is actively providing business users with office supplies. For example, Amazon launched the Business Prime Shipping project at the end of 2017 for buyers with Amazon corporate accounts.

One Click Retail estimates that Amazon’s sales of office supplies in 2017 were approximately US$2.9 billion, an increase of more than 30% from 2016.

Taking into account the serious situation of the office supplies industry, Staples and Office Depot are also changing their operating methods, they are not willing to reduce the price of product sales, but will focus on providing better services for SMEs.

Office Depot's overall sales decreased by 7.1% in 2017. Gerry Smith, CEO of Office Depot, said: “Although people call us retailers, we actually have 60% of our business in the B2B market. In the future, Office Depot will be more focused on providing products and services to business customers.”