Online Home Improvement Research Drives Sales at Brick-and-Mortar Retailers, J.D. Power Finds
Ace Hardware and True Value Rank Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Home Improvement Retailers
COSTA MESA, Calif.: 5 June 2019 — To help people create the home of their dreams, brick-and-mortar home improvement retailers must invest in their websites and web presence. According to the J.D. Power 2019 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study,SM released today, 41% of home improvement retailer customers research and/or shop online before making an in-store purchase. That same group of customers also spends more on home improvement products than customers who do not conduct online research, yet many home improvement retailer websites don’t measure up to customer expectations.
This is significant because total sales for home improvement products in 2019 is expected to reach $420 billion, a 5% increase from 2018.1
“The proliferation of home improvement-related sites, services and tutorials on the web creates a complex set of challenges and opportunities for brick-and-mortar home improvement retailers,” said Christina Cooley, At Home Intelligence Lead at J.D. Power. “Online retailers do introduce new competition, but when traditional retailers get their online/offline formula right, they are able to really differentiate by offering a level of personalized knowledge and expertise that cannot be replicated in an online-only environment. Many retailers still have work to do to, though, when it comes to creating satisfying online experiences.”
Following are some key findings of the 2019 study:
- Web becomes critical conduit to in-store sales: Among all home improvement retailer customers, 41% say they have either researched or shopped online prior to visiting a store. What’s more, customers who shop or research online prior to visiting a retail location spend an average of $620 more per year than those who just visit the store.
- Retailer websites could learn from social sharing sites: While home improvement retailer websites are the most popular sources of information for online shoppers, overall satisfaction for those who visit a home improvement retailer website is 821 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is lower than those who visit manufacturer websites (832), image and video sharing websites (843) or social networking sites (869).
- Yes, you may help me with something: Two minutes is the maximum amount of time for home improvement retailers to provide assistance to customers. When that threshold is met, there is an increase of 67 points on overall customer satisfaction. However, retailers are providing assistance within two minutes for just 26% of customers, a decline of two percentage points from last year’s study.
- Wide variability in staff knowledge: One of the key differentiators among top-performing retailers is the ability of the staff to consistently and thoroughly explain product features. Ace Hardware and True Value both performed significantly above the study average in this key performance indicator.
Ace Hardware and True Value rank highest in a tie among home improvement retailers, with a score of 840. Lowe’s (834) ranks third.
The 2019 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study measures customer satisfaction with home improvement retailers by examining five factors (in alphabetical order): merchandise; price; sales and promotions; staff and service; and store facility. The study is based on responses from 2,433 customers who purchased home improvement-related products from a home improvement retailer within the previous 12 months. The study was fielded in January-February 2019.
For more information about the Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/resource/us-home-improvement-retailer-satisfaction-study.
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power has offices serving North America, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe.
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1According to Home Improvement Research Institute.