Sears Moves Up to Second, as Past Experience Now a Larger Driver in Selecting an Appliance Retailer

COSTA MESA, Calif.: 12 July 2016 — Lowe’s ranks highest in customer satisfaction with appliance retailers for a second consecutive year and the sixth time in the past seven years, followed closely by Sears—which ranked third in 2015—according to the J.D. Power 2016 Appliance Retailer Satisfaction Study,SM released today.

According to the Home Improvement Research Institute, the market for major household appliances is $23.9 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $27.1 billion by 2020.

The study, now in its ninth year, measures customer satisfaction with appliance retailers by examining seven factors (in order of importance): sales staff and service; store facility; price; delivery service; sales and promotions (new to the study); merchandise; and installation service. Satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale.

The study finds that, while price is still the main reason shoppers select an appliance retailer, it is less so than last year (23% vs. 28%, respectively). Past experience with the retailer is the second-most often cited reason at 19%, up from 16% in 2015. A customer’s history with a store is also more likely to influence whether they return to that store or consider other retailers.   

There are two key trends related to customer traffic this year. First, a higher percentage of customers are committing to a single retailer without shopping others, compared with 2015 (46% vs. 40%, respectively).  Second, more customers are making their selection based on past experience with the appliance retailer in 2016, compared with last year (19% vs. 16%, respectively). Among those who cite past experience as their main reason for selecting the appliance retailer, 59% did not shop any other retailer, which is the highest percentage among all reasons cited. In stark contrast, among customers who cite price as the main reason for selecting the retailer, only 39% did not shop other stores.  

A key driver in determining a customer’s loyalty to an appliance retailer is whether or not they experienced any problems. Interestingly, of customers who didn’t experience a problem in their most recent appliance purchase, 48% did not consider any other retailer for that purchase. In comparison, among those who did experience a problem, only 26% did not shop other appliance retailers. 

Overall, only 20% of customers who experienced a problem with their appliance purchase say they “definitely will” purchase from the same retailer again. In comparison, 41% of customers who didn’t experience a problem say they “definitely will” purchase from the retailer again.

“As seen in other retail studies, the retailer’s staff is most critical to exceed customer expectations and increase positive advocacy for a retailer,” said Greg Truex, senior director of the at-home practice at J.D. Power. “Exceeding customer expectations leads to greater loyalty for retailers as well as positive recommendations to friends, relatives and colleagues. That leads to less market spend for retailers to acquire new customers. Lowe’s and Sears perform particularly well in these areas.”

Appliance Retailer Satisfaction Rankings

  • Lowe’s (830) ranks highest in customer satisfaction among appliance retailers and performs particularly well in the delivery service, installation service, price, sales and promotions and store facility factors. The retailer ranks highest for the sixth time in the past seven years.
  • Sears (824) ranks second and scores highest in sales staff and service and merchandise.
  • The Home Depot (822) ranks third.
  • Overall satisfaction with appliance retailers is 821, up from 816 in 2015.

Following are some of the loyalty findings related to delighted customers:

  • Among delighted customers (overall satisfaction scores of 901 and above), 74% say they “definitely will” repurchase from the retailer, compared with the study average of 39%.
  • Slightly more than three-fourths (77%) of delighted appliance retailer customers say they “definitely will” recommend the retailer to others, compared with the study average of 42%.
  • Among delighted customers, the average number of positive recommendations is 4.5, compared with the study average of 2.9.

The 2016 Appliance Retailer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 2,982 customers who purchased major home appliances from a multiregional appliance retailer within the previous 12 months. The study was fielded in January through March 2016. For more information about J.D. Power solutions for the home improvement industry, visit http://www.jdpower.com/industry/home-improvement.

Media Relations Contacts

Geno Effler; Costa Mesa, Calif.; 714-621-6224; [email protected]

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules www.jdpower.com/about-us/press-release-info

About McGraw Hill Financial www.mhfi.com

Media Contacts:

Geno Effler

Costa Mesa, California

(714) 621-6224