The NPD Group Reports on the Trend of “Showrooming” for the Home

Evident in Select Tool, Kitchen, Personal Care, and Home Environment Appliance Categories

Port Washington, NY, February 29, 2012 –  There is evidence in the home retail sector that consumers first research a product in the brick and mortar store and then make their actual purchase online – it is a practice known as, “showrooming.” According The NPD Group, Inc., a leading market research company, 15-20 percent of consumers in 2011 were “showrooming” categories like stand mixers, electric knives, sewing machines, and some floor cleaners. Other categories like power tools, hairsetters, and robotic vacuums are now beginning to show signs of the “showrooming” trend as well.

The NPD Group, Inc. / Consumer Tracking Service shows that in total small kitchen electrics, seven percent of consumers who researched their product in a brick and mortar store made their purchase online. Within personal care, that number is four percent, and in home improvement, two percent. On the flip side, two in three consumers that researched a home-related product online, ended up purchasing it in the brick and mortar store, a practice that has been the norm.

“We are a long way off from a world of online-only shopping. The majority of consumers buy their kitchen appliances, personal care, and home environment products in a brick and mortar store,” said Perry James, president of Home and Office Supplies, The NPD Group. “That being said the prevalence of smart phones provides consumers with the ability to do price comparisons in real-time, while still in the store, increasing the challenge retailers are faced with to offer the best price.”

Online sales are on the rise. According to NPD, there was 20 percent dollar growth in small appliance and home improvement online sales in 2011. However, online sales accounted for a 13 percent dollar share of small appliances and a five percent dollar share of home improvement sales in 2011, leaving the majority of home-related purchases having been made in brick and mortar stores.

“The need to touch and feel a product before making the purchase is still very compelling for most customers, and that is what initially gets them in the door. Once they have the items in their hands, and have decided they want it, the need  for immediate gratification can be too strong to go home and wait for an item to be shipped to their home, even if it is the less expensive option,” ended James.

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Dora Brunette

The NPD Group, Inc.
900 West Shore Road
Port Washington, NY 11050

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