E-Commerce Up Significantly in Home Improvement Channel

Categories with the largest online sales gains were home décor, light fixtures and lamps, and area rugs
May 11, 2017Allison Zisko

NPD 2015PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.—Online sales of home improvement products that span everything from plumbing and hardware to storage and décor, have grown 41 percent in the 12 months ending March 2017, reports The NPD Group.

The e-commerce home improvement market reached $10.9 billion in sales for the year, according to NPD’s receipt mining service, Checkout Tracking.

With the exception of outdoor living, online sales of each major segment of the home improvement market grew in that time period, and almost every category tracked within those segments experienced double-digit online dollar growth, NPD said. The fastest growing categories last year were plumbing pipes and fittings, light bulbs and ceiling fans. The categories with the largest online sales gains were home décor, light fixtures and lamps, and area rugs.

“The pace at which e-commerce is gaining acceptance among home improvement consumers emphasizes the need to understand how consumers are utilizing online and in-store shopping options, and how to make them work together,” said Joe Derochowski, executive director and home industry analyst at NPD. “Marketers can capture the replenishment of commodity products, like light bulbs and air filters, by offering online convenience, but there are also opportunities to benefit from consumer showrooming for bigger ticket items, like bathtubs and vanities, with the in-store experience.”

Millennials are a driving force behind this online growth, with the younger segment growing at the fastest pace, and the older portion accounting for the largest share of dollar gains. However, Gen X and the Baby Boomer generation are also very active in online home improvement spending, representing almost two-thirds of industry sales for the year, the market research company said.

“Without a doubt, e-commerce will continue to gain importance for the home improvement industry,” Derochowski said. “The current demographic changes are driving increases in the number of people entering life stages that are important to home improvement categories, from first-time home-buyers to downsizing empty-nesters, the industry is in a prime position to help consumers today and develop new shopping habits that will last for decades to come.”

Allison ZiskoAllison Zisko | Managing Editor/Tabletop Editor
azisko@hfnmag.com

After 15 years of covering the tabletop industry, Allison Zisko is still as enthusiastic as ever about the dinnerware, glassware and flatware categories. An in-depth analysis of how the category works intrigues her just as much as the latest fashion trends. As managing editor, Allison oversees the daily e-newsletter and works behind the scenes to help produce the print issue each month. She also directs HFN’s housewares coverage and covers the cutlery category. An avid reader, Allison is eager to talk to anyone and everyone about the latest book they are reading.

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