Each month, we run the scoring for a league table in a particular retail industry, leveraging our ASK BOSCO® Index to evaluate the performance of various retailers in both organic and paid search. In July, we focused on the market for online furniture.

What does the online furniture sector currently look like?

Despite the ongoing economic uncertainty for many markets, the online furniture industry is one that is expected to witness continuous growth, a success that can be largely attributed to the e-commerce sector.

Consumer behaviour accelerated by a surge in remote working, drove demand for home office furniture and ergonomic solutions, where people can live and work cohesively. E-commerce platforms became central sales channels, offering a vast variety of furniture options right to consumers’ doorsteps at a time that suited them. Sustainability became a notable focal point, with eco-friendly materials and ethical manufacturing processes becoming a significant preference for modern consumers – as well as the opportunity for rental pieces. Market trends also indicated a renewed interest in artisanal, locally-made pieces over mass-produced items. However, supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic and geopolitical tensions posed challenges, leading to increased lead times and prices.

What is the ASK BOSCO® Index?

Do you want to know how your brand compares to the competition online? The ASK BOSCO® Index is the perfect tool for measuring your digital presence and assessing the effectiveness of your investments in organic and paid media channels.

Unlike other metrics that only consider your marketing budget, the ASK BOSCO® Index takes into account your potential in both paid and organic search. It provides an accurate overview of your online performance based on your previous digital interactions by analysing data from trusted third-party sources.

What is a good ASK BOSCO® Index score? It ranges from 0 to 1000, with the average score for brands and retailers being around 575. The higher your score, the better your online performance as a retailer. Think of it as the credit score of digital marketing.

Here’s how we scored the brands

We scored ten leading UK furniture retailers for the month of July. Here’s how the top five ranked on the ASK BOSCO® Index league table. Download the league table below to see the full results and see who the remaining five online furniture retailers are.

What do these scores mean?

Argos, part of the Sainsbury’s group since 2016, sells both in physical shops and digital format stores inside branches of Sainsbury’s. It has over 1 billion website visits per year, and 73% of its sales start online.

At the end of its last full year, in March 2023, Argos had 285 standalone stores, following 45 store closures during the year. It also had 424 stores within branches of Sainsbury’s, following 24 openings and 420 collection points.

For the first time, Argos made more sales through branches within supermarkets than through its standalone Argos stores this past year.

The retailer, which pioneered click and collect in 2000, now uses 17 local fulfilment centres and its delivery fleet to offer fast delivery and collection services. J Sainsbury plc results for the year to 4 March 2023 show Argos sales falling by 2.9%, but gaining market share in a declining general merchandise market.

A key contributor to Argos’ success this year is their marketing campaign from spring of this year, a Toy Story inspired commercial that highlighted the retailers diverse range of products.

Titled “There’s more to Argos”, the campaign features two animated toy characters, Connie and Trevor, who explore various Argos products with unique British wit and charm.

The ad was developed by creative agency The&Partnership and directed by award-winning James Rouse. It showcases the characters as they welcome a new Habitat cushion into their home. The campaign seeks to position Argos as the go-to destination for everything from tech to homeware and household goods.

The campaign uses a series of films that depict the inquisitive toys exploring their surroundings with childlike wonder. They interact with various products, such as hairdryers and speakers, and fall in love with a Habitat cushion.

Rob Quartermain, head of marketing campaigns at Argos, said that the company hopes to use the new brand ambassadors to establish Argos as the most convenient place for shoppers to find a wide range of products at a great value.

Dunelm has also reported similar successes this year. The retailer offers multiple categories of homeware products through its 179 out-of-town superstores and their online website, dunelm.com.

Dunelm’s total sales for the full year 2023 increased by 6% to £1.639 billion, compared to the previous year. This represents a nearly 50% increase from the full year 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital sales now account for 36% of total sales, up from 20% in 2019. This shows that Dunelm has been successful in its digital transformation and is now a more customer-centric business.

Download the full league table