Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights surveyed 1,038 online shoppers in April 2023 to learn more about their buying tendencies within the housewares and home furnishings category.
The home goods category grew 15% in 2022, which compares with 21.9% growth in overall online retail in the Top 1000. Digital Commerce 360’s Top 1000 database ranks the largest North American ecommerce retailers by web sales.
Six in 10 online shoppers said they purchased more than a quarter of their home goods online. That includes housewares, home decor, appliances, furniture and more.
Two in 10 online shoppers made just 10% of their home goods purchases online. A similar amount (21%) made 11% to 25% of their home goods purchases online.
On the other end of the spectrum, just 7% of respondents said they made all their home goods purchases online last year. 11% said they made the majority, but not all (76% to 99%), of their home goods purchases online in 2022.
Home goods: needs and activities
47% of survey respondents said they needed general home upgrades or to “freshen up” their homes in the past year. 42% said they took advantage of promotions on products they were interested in. 28% completed do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, and 35% purchased items for an outdoor space.
A third of respondents said they purchased new furniture (33%). Meanwhile, 29% researched online for ways to enhance their home, and 26% replaced appliances or other high-ticket items.
A quarter of respondents (25%) perused social media to generate ideas for improving their homes. 22% purchased new office furniture or office-related products to set up or improve a home office. Just 13% moved to a new home that required improvements, and just 12% kicked off home projects with a contractor.
Conditions that lead to online home goods buying
Survey respondents cited more than two dozen conditions that made them more likely to place an order on a home goods site. Falling in line with other Digital Commerce 360 consumer data, respondents cited “the right price” more than any other option (68%). Also in line with previous data, free shipping came in second (61% cited it).
Past experiences played a large role, too. 57% said having purchased from a retailer before makes them likely to place an order on a home goods site. Product selection (53%) and overall experience (50%) round out the top five conditions respondents cited. No other conditions were cited among half or more respondents.
Diving deeper into the list, data shows consumers factor in in-stock products (45%) and quality/quantity of product reviews (43%). 39% said they need to trust the brand, and 38% want free return shipping available to them.
Conditions cited the least include:
- Personalized site based on shopper’s past behavior (15%)
- Ability to finance an order by paying in installments (14%)
- Videos including product demonstrations (12%)
- The retailer supporting causes important to the shopper (10%)
- Curbside pickup capabilities (10%)
- Interactive tools such as room planners (6%)
Details go a long way
More than half of respondents (52%) said customer ratings and reviews are important when shopping online for home goods. 51% cited access to pricing.
Just over half of respondents want the ability to compare products, or to zoom in to see many product details (35% each). 30% indicated it’s important to have an accurate delivery window for when items will arrive.
About half of online home goods shoppers (51%) said they’re “very” or “somewhat” likely to take advantage of add-on services that retailers offer, such as assembly or design.
11% said they are not at all likely to use such services. 15% said they are somewhat unlikely to take advantage of them.
Availability and out-of-stock products
Close to half (44%) of respondents said they checked online for product availability at a nearby store in the six months leading up to the survey. 31% of online home goods shoppers said they encountered out-of-stock products.
More than a quarter (28%) ordered online and picked up their product in-store, or visited a store before placing an order online (26%).
Meanwhile, about a fifth (21%) ordered online and used a retailer’s curbside pickup service. And a fifth (20%) placed an order online for same-day delivery.
16% experienced late deliveries, 14% had their orders canceled, and 13% could not reach customer service in a timely fashion.