Would you buy a sofa online?

Who says you need to test drive it before you bring it into your living room.
Michelle Williams

What’s the last thing you bought online? A book? A new set of pasta dishes? Your grocery supplies for the week? It seems there’s nothing you can’t get delivered to your door at the touch of a button.

But would you go so far as to buy a sofa online?

You might weigh up the options of a food processor online – flick through the gallery attachment options, compare prices… but you don’t necessarily need to see it in the flesh – you know what it does.

“You can’t buy a sofa online,” says Better Homes and Gardens’ E-commerce project manager Stewart Light, who recently bought a top-of-the-line food processor online. “You wouldn’t buy a car online. With a couch [it’s the same,] you need to sit on it, see it in your space… You might do the research but ultimately you wouldn’t buy it online.”

A recent survey conducted by Matt Blatt suggests Stewart is not alone. It reports that more than half of the 1,008 participants would buy clothes and homewares online, but that only 15% of people would feel comfortable buying a couch online.

Would you buy a sofa online? | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Brigid Arnott)

That may be set to change however with Matt Blatt experiencing a 300% growth in online sofa sales year on year. Founder Adam Drexler says, “We started as an e-commerce site in the early 2000s before moving into showrooms. Back then, we were 100% confident that people needed to sit on a sofa before buying it. In the last few years, this theory has really been tested. We have people who land on our site for the first time and make big-ticket purchases, sight unseen.”

Whilst it seems women in the 25-34 age group are more likely to purchase than men of the same age, the survey showed this difference plateaued as the age increased.

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