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How the Pressure of an Instagram-worthy Home is Driving the Big and Bulky Furniture Delivery Market

Do you ever feel like your home just has to be Instagram worthy? That your decor needs to be on par with the Pinterest perfectionists of the world? You’re not alone: one in six (18%) Americans who’ve purchased an oversized item in the past year feel pressure to have Instagram-worthy décor. Meanwhile, 15 percent feel others are judging their home décor and furniture. We’ve laid it all out in our new Dream Décor report. 

The report also demonstrates how the “Amazon Effect” – or the expectation of fast, free delivery – has invaded the furniture market. Of consumers who purchased an oversized item in the last year, 56 percent said they would avoid a boutique furniture retailer if they encountered high shipping costs, while 36 percent would avoid a boutique retailer if it had a slow or long delivery window. Consumers want affordable shipping – and they want it fast.


Inspiration for home decor comes from many sources: the Dream Décor report showed when it comes to home décor recommendations, the main inspirations for those surveyed were friends and family, and major retailers and marketplaces like Etsy, eBay and Wayfair. 

While the big guys may be a major source of inspiration, there is a significant opportunity for boutique retailers to meet demand in the booming $10 billion big and bulky home delivery market. Consumers who’ve purchased an oversized item online in the past year report running into the same common issues with their purchase; in fact, 27 percent of those consumers actually abandoned their purcahse because of high shipping costs. 


For boutique retailers competing with big box stores, offering similarly convenient experiences can make all the difference. Consumer expectations and habits don’t change simply based on the retailer, after all. In fact, 40 percent would turn to a major retailer if a boutique retailer didn’t offer free shipping, while 47 percent report checking their tracking number or status at least once a day.


One edge small retailers may have over big-box ones is the opportunity to offer unique and vintage pieces. Consumers know this, and many are willing to take the time to seek out these items. 

  • 1 in 7 (14%) feel that big retailers have too many furniture options
  • 1 in 8 (13%) can’t find furniture they like from a major retailer like Wayfair or Amazon
  • 1 in 10 (11%) have regretted buying mass-produced furniture from a major retailer like Amazon or Wayfair

“It’s never been more important for retailers, big and small, to focus on the entire customer journey,” said Kris Lamb, CEO of uShip. “In our experience, boutique retailers have a lot to offer the Instagram-loving, digital-first customer in terms of desirable items, but struggle to compete with fast, free shipping. We hope these insights will help boutique-style retailers address the growing needs of a solid buying experience.”