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Home & Garden

Home improvement sales climb as shoppers, especially women, migrate online for home goods

by Ken Cassar - May 16, 2019

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Strong online sales growth in home categories provides a solid foundation for Lowes’ and Home Depot’s online businesses, with both retailers reporting significant increases over the past year. According to new data from Slice Intelligence, over the past 12 months, tools/home improvement sales are up 30 percent, while home/kitchen and appliance sales increased by 27 and 49 percent, respectively.

Home is where the growth is

Retailers alike Home Depot, Lowes, and Wayfare are benefiting from the rapid growth of online sales in home categories overall, as consumers are more comfortable with the big box landing on their front porch. 

While it is easy to think of tools and lumber when we think of home improvement retailers the reality is that online, the home and kitchen category (which includes furniture, home décor, baking goods, plates, glasses, etc.) is more than three times the size of tools and home improvement and eight times the size of appliances. As we can see in the chart below, holiday (November and December) is the biggest seasonal driver of sales, particularly in the home/kitchen and tools/home improvement categories.

Big box hopping a big challenge for home improvement retailers online

The biggest online threat to all players in the home category is Amazon, which dominates e-commerce in virtually every category.  But the ease of shopping across multiple websites provides many other options to shoppers.  

Over the past twelve months 20 percent of Home Depot online shoppers also shopped Lowes, and a similar 20 percent of Home Depot online shoppers also shopped Wayfair, the up-and-coming home retailer that grew like crazy last holiday shopping season.  

The competitive threat is even more significant for Lowes– with 47 percent of its shoppers in the past 12 months also spending at Home Depot and another 22 percent also shopping Wayfair.  

Nearly half of Home Depot and Lowes shoppers are women

Many think that the home improvement category is all about men.   However, we see that women accounted for 45 percent of Home Depot’s online sales and 47 percent of Lowe’s online sales over the past 12 months.  More to the point, competitor Wayfair drives 68 percent of its sales from women.  

The two key trends driving growth for Home Depot and Lowe’s online businesses are an improving home market and a shift to e-commerce.  However strong recent growth has been, though, threats from online pureplays such as Amazon and Wayfair will certainly keep them both on their toes for the foreseeable future.   

About this data

With a panel of over 4.4 million online shoppers, Slice Intelligence gives the most detailed, and accurate digital commerce data available, and is reported daily.

Slice Intelligence is the only service to measure digital commerce directly from the consumer, across all retailers, at the item level, and over time. Our retailer-independent methodology precisely measures commerce as it happens. By extracting detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts, Slice can map the entire Purchase Graph, connecting each and every consumer to all their purchases.

Slice gets its data from e-receipts – not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user – so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world. Slice Intelligence is the exclusive e-commerce data provider for the NPD’s Checkout Tracking e-commerce service.