Survey – These home improvement retailers build highest rankings
A cooperative and a wholesaler sat at the top of the J.D. Power 2019 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study.
Retail cooperative Ace Hardware and hardlines wholesaler True Value rank highest in a tie among home improvement retailers, with a score of 840 on a 1,000-point scale. Lowe's (834) ranks third. The study measures customer satisfaction with home improvement retailers by examining merchandise; price; sales and promotions; staff and service; and store facility.
Following are some key findings of the 2019 study:
- Among all home improvement retailer customers, 41% say they have either researched or shopped online prior to visiting a store. What's more, customers who shop or research online prior to visiting a retail location spend an average of $620 more per year than those who just visit the store.
- While home improvement retailer websites are the most popular sources of information for online shoppers, overall satisfaction for those who visit a home improvement retailer website is 821 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is lower than those who visit manufacturer websites (832), image and video sharing websites (843) or social networking sites (869).
- Two minutes is the maximum amount of time for home improvement retailers to provide assistance to customers. When that threshold is met, there is an increase of 67 points on overall customer satisfaction. However, retailers are providing assistance within two minutes for just 26% of customers, a decline of two percentage points from last year's study.
- One of the key differentiators among top-performing retailers is the ability of the staff to consistently and thoroughly explain product features. Ace Hardware and True Value both performed significantly above the study average in this key performance indicator.
Total sales for home improvement products in 2019 is expected to reach $420 billion, a 5% increase from 2018.
"We are extremely proud of our True Value retailers who work hard to serve their community on a daily basis providing them access to the best products and expert advice needed to complete a project,” said John Hartmann president and CEO of True Value. “Recognition from J.D. Power is further validation that our retailers are staying ahead of the curve in a fast changing retail landscape, capitalizing on a nationally recognized brand with relevant, localized promotions and marketing and winning where it matters most, with customers. True Value Company has been making substantial investments to support our retailers including returning over $250 million of equity to invest as they know best in their business. Clearly their investments are paying off.”
The study is based on responses from 2,433 customers who purchased home improvement-related products from a home improvement retailer within the previous 12 months. The study was fielded in January-February 2019.