The common joke that you can get anything on Amazon is becoming truer by the day. Following its acquisition of Whole Foods this spring, many envision—only somewhat satirically—a future in which food, medicine, cars, and more are bought through the site, all with a simple “Alexa, buy me…” Nowhere is this truer than in the home market. In the last few years, Amazon has doubled down on its offerings in decor, going from a so-so assortment of standard-issue, mediocre-quality furnishings and accessories to a far-reaching inventory of reputable brands. Early this year Ethan Allen launched a storefront on the site, and just this week TV’s favorite decorating family the Novogratzes unveiled theirs.
Amazon’s dedication to expanding their offerings is likely a reaction to the success of online-only furniture sources like Wayfair (and its many sister sites, which include AllModern, Joss & Main, Dwell Studio, and Birch Lane), more recent upstarts like Maiden Home, and well-known brands who are succeeding in the e-commerce world. In a panel discussion at last week’s Las Vegas Market, Home Furnishings News spoke to Amazon’s director of home innovation Kristiana Helmick, who confirmed the company’s strategic move into the home category.
“We’re investing to create the best possible shopping experience for customers,” Helmick told HFN’s Maureen Azzato. “And one of the ways we’re doing that is by collaborating with influencers and designers, like the Novogratzes, who have built a curated design boutique to give customers guidance to find practical, elevated solutions that they can have delivered right to their door.”
Indeed, therein lies Amazon’s strongest weapon: their well-established system, where anything from a sofa to a canopy bed could be shipped in two days (often for free), gives the site a significant edge over upstarts and even companies who have long operated with weeks-long turnaround times and delivery fees in the hundreds of dollars. If Amazon can pair that infrastructure with a robust yet high-quality assortment, they could be an unstoppable force in the furnishing industry. Who knows, one day we might find ourselves saying, “Alexa, redesign my living room,” to satisfying effect.