A customer's path to purchase, from start to finish, is rarely linear—and it often involves multiple channels.
To further understand how digital channels influence the home appliance shopper's path the purchase, we used Google Consumer Surveys to survey more than 500 consumers who had purchased a large home appliance within the last six months. These were our key findings:
87 PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS SAID THEY RESEARCHED ONLINE BEFORE PURCHASING THEIR APPLIANCE AT A LOCAL STORE
While the majority of today’s customers prefer an in-store shopping experience, their path to brick-and-mortar locations is changing. A recent Deloitte survey found that $.56 of every dollar spent in store in 2016 was influenced by digital - up from $.14 in 2013. With so many shoppers starting the buying journey online, brands and retailers need to focus on “selling” the customer with engaging digital touchpoints before they step foot in a store.
AN ONLINE PRESENCE IS CRITICAL FOR APPLIANCE RETAILERS AND BRANDS
CNBC recently reported that almost half (45 percent) of small business owners still don’t have a website. This is concerning, given that 43 percent of shoppers in our survey used local retailer's websites to research what appliance they should buy. Brands need to work with their local retailers to ensure they have the right content and messaging available online to inform and convert local buyers.
THE LAST MILE IS LOCAL FOR HOME APPLIANCE SHOPPERS
More than 50 percent of shoppers were unsure about what brand they wanted to purchase when they started their appliance research, though 63 percent knew which retail store they wanted to buy from. This shows that brands need to leverage their retailer networks as a key element of their larger omnichannel marketing strategy.
HOME APPLIANCE SHOPPERS ARE HIGH-INTENT CUSTOMERS
The survey found that almost half of shoppers (48 percent) bought an appliance within a week of starting their research. This means that people shopping for appliances are prime targets for quick conversions. As such, it’s crucial that retailers are visible in relevant searches, provide valuable information and have a clear call to action to ensure their store is top of mind when shoppers are ready to buy.