Homeowners have moved online when it comes to major home improvement purchases. Retailers throughout the US have noticed a definitive jump in sales for online sales of appliances, flooring, and other home improvement items. The Home Depot saw a 40% jump in the 3rd quarter online sales, with a high amount of those sales including major purchases. The Home Depot had already seen its online sales grow 50% in the year before. Customers have ordered everthing from washer/dryers to complete flooring jobs for their homes.
Appliance and home improvement products have outpaced the industry average in all four quarters. In quarter 3, the growth rate of home improvement products was 17%, compared to the 11% seen in the overall retail industry. Online furniture sales have also increased and they are expected to rise 15.2% over the next year.
Why consumers have made the switch to online home product shopping may lie in its ease of use. Many major stores like Home Depot offer free delivery and take away services for their appliances. Yet, for flooring work, apparently customers do not feel obligated to touch, feel and see the wood before its installed. A lot of homeowners may be avoiding the sales atmosphere of a normal store by educating themselves on the products in a safer, obligation free environment. Either way, stores have needed to adapt quickly to the changing environment. Home Depot has added increased storage in over 550 stores, to deal with their increased online orders.