The 7 Most Significant Hardware Facts of 2017

December 27, 2017

Are people spending more or less on home improvement purchases? What role do ecommerce and brick-and-mortar stores play in hardware purchase preferences? Our picks for the top 7 most significant hardware facts of 2017 address these and more. This list is ranked in order of most important to least.

#1: Home improvement ecommerce grows

Online sales of home improvement products grew 41% from March 2016 to March 2017, according to The NPD Group. Ecommerce increased in each major home improvement segment except for outdoor living. The fastest-growing categories were plumbing pipes/fittings, light bulbs and ceiling fans. Categories with the highest online sales include:

Home décor $2.7 billion

Lighting & ceiling fans $2.5 billion

Area rugs $ 1.4 billion

Bath & faucets $1.4 billion

Plumbing $0.9 billion

Hardware $0.6 billion

#2: Most customers prefer brick and mortar stores

Despite the global overall growth in hardware ecommerce, most US consumers prefer to buy items for DIY projects in a brick and mortar store, according to bookingbug’s 2017 “The Modern Consumer” study. Here are the top findings from this study:

64% of US consumers mainly shop for DIY in-store

28% shop for DIY both in-store and online

8% shop for DIY mainly online

5% of US consumers use click and collect services for DIY

#3: Seeing is inspiring

Social Media channels play a large role in influencing home improvement projects. Here are some key insights from MarketWatch’s report earlier this year about how extensive social’s influence is:

28% of homeowners made at least 1 home-related purchase after seeing a friend’s Social Media post

44% of homeowners between 25-44 said they preferred SM channels over home improvement shows and magazines

40% online adults with Social Media accounts said a friend’s post made them explore making a similar purchase

#4: Home improvement spending is increasing

The average customer is spending more per transaction at both independent home improvement stores and at high-profit stores, according to the North American Retail Hardware Association’s 2017 Cost of Doing Business study. The average customer spent $22 per transaction at a typical independent home improvement store in 2017, which is a 10% increase from the $20 per transaction average in 2015. The average customer spent $30 per transaction at a high-profit store in 2017, which is a 36% increase compared to the $22 per transaction at a high-profit store average in 2015.

#5: Price & selection drive power tool purchases

Some significant spending trends among power tool consumers came to light in the 2017 Power Tools and Accessories study by TraQline. Here are the top tidbits from this study:

Competitive price is the deciding factor for 57% of tool purchasers

25% of power tool consumers pick a retailer because of product selection

21% of power tool buyers are women

#6: Local spending stays in the community

Money spent locally has staying power, according to the Home Sweet Home Pros Edition study released in 2017. This study found that for every $1 a contractor/builder spends at locally-owned home centers, lumberyards and power equipment dealers, about twice as much of that revenue remains in the local community compared to what is spent at a national chain store.

#7: Love for hardware stores

Two hardware stores landed in the top 10 on Morning Consult’s America’s Most-Loved Brands in 2017. The Home Depot and Lowe’s joined the ranks of Amazon, Hershey and YouTube.

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