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How Online Shopping Has Changed the Homewares Industry

The rise of online shopping and ecommerce over the last decade has had a huge effect on many industries, with many changes being made to the way that consumers interact with retailers and brands. From the way we search for products, find reviews about services, even now to how we can make purchases using mobile apps, technology and the internet is keeping industries on their toes.

Homewares is no exception, just like every other trade and sector, homewares has been impacted by the influence of online shopping and digital advances, and has had to learn to deal with these changes accordingly.

This infographic shows how online shopping has changed the homewares industry.

How Online Shopping Has Changed The Homewares Industry infographic

What’s Changed?
In 2008, before the recession and global economic crash, 69% of consumers stated that they would tend to decorate a whole room at once. This figure drastically dropped and 2012 research found that under 39% of people decorate a room in one go.

The decision making process has also got longer when buying big-ticket products from the home. Today, an expensive home purchase takes five days longer than it did 10 years ago, which is 64% longer than what it used to be. This shows that consumers are more cautious and take their time when making big purchases.

How Do We Shop?
Multichannel shopping is arguably increasingly important for big-ticket purchases in the home sector, because customers frequently combine channels so that they can leisurely research online and get in-store inspiration and expertise.

A huge 66.7% of DIY and Homeware products shopping is now done online, with only 26% of shopping actually done in stores. Even when buying in-store, 47% of consumers will do their research online before heading into a shop to make the purchase.

Shopping from home is now a huge way to shop. The Abacus Alliance reported a 15.1% year-on-year growth for home shopping in the home interiors & household goods sector in 2014. 57.7% home shopping buyers in this sector are female and 27.6% have children under 21 years old.

What Stops People From Buying Online?
Although online shopping isn’t new any more, many people are still reluctant to buy online. The top five reasons that people don’t buy online are:

  • Shoppers prefer to physically see and touch the product
  • They’re concerned with refund and returns
  • They prefer to buy expensive items in store from a person
  • Delivery inconvenience
  • Website lacks information

Click and Collect
In the UK, 60% of retailers offer a click & collect service, allowing consumers to order the items online but collect and pay in store.

71% of surveyed consumers say they rarely use the services, but 20% use it at least once a month.

Top Homeware Retailers
The top five UK Homewares Retailers:

  1. Ikea
  2. Amazon
  3. B&Q
  4. Tesco
  5. Dunelm

The top five U.S. Homeware Retailers

  1. Walmart
  2. Costco
  3. Target
  4. Bed Bath & Beyond
  5. Sam’s Club

Of the 20 home and leisure retailers analysed by Retail Week, all of them have a smart phone optimised website and 16/20 offer a tablet-optimised site, offering consumers the chance to access their sites and shop on-the-go, wherever they are.

Factors that Influence Who We Buy From
There are many factors that make up the buying process. Unsurprisingly, price is the biggest factor, with customer service and guarantees, product selection and range, and product information being the other major factors. Delivery times and flexibility is also an influence that buyers consider when deciding where to buy from.

What’s Next?
42% of consumers say an augmented-reality app that allows them to see what a product would look like in their home would encourage them to make a purchase online rather than going into a store.

The shift to a multichannel mode of shopping is set to have a major impact on what the home and leisure stores of the future looks like and how they operate. The trend towards home and leisure retailers downsizing their stores is heavily influenced by the growth of online as a sales channel.

The Homewares market is still price-driven but top notch customer care and a varied range of product options could be the difference between future success and failure – no matter what you are selling.

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