Hardware Retailing

MAR 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

Issue link: http://hardwareretailing.epubxp.com/i/945288

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Page 54 of 114

HARDWARE RETAILING | March 2018 48 Some priorities retailers have for their websites, such as presenting store location information, are not business differentiators, but are basic customer expectations. Retailers can't rely on those alone. The research from The Farnsworth Group and NRHA shows that retailers are aware of what online customers say they value in a business's website, such as product details and product availability in store. Plenty of retailers offer e-commerce functions, but even the retailers who don't often know what customers expect from their websites. There's other good news, too—most customers agree with retailers that, when it comes to home improvement, online-only businesses cannot meet all of their needs. Prioritizing Customer Needs Bettencourt's goal isn't to strive valiantly for Klem's to become progressively more like Amazon. Instead, she wants to make the website a high-quality service that meets customers' changing expectations. "We know that our online presence, especially our e-store, has a very long way to go," she says. "I think that customers might give a little leeway when you're a local business, but there's only so much leeway when it's 9 p.m. and they're trying to figure out what to do first thing in the morning." Prioritizing the doable things customers are asking for is important, she says. "Their time is really valuable," she says. "The big thing going forward is, how do you save them time? It's quite a percentage of our online orders that are picked up in store. It saves them a walk through the store." Klem's likely won't sell products worldwide, but can do better at keeping inventory up to date and marketed well on the website, Bettencourt says. Starting Online, But Ending Up in Stores of consumers say they research or shop online for home improvement products more than once a month. Source: The Farnsworth Group of the time, shoppers will make their purchases in a local store, even if they researched products online. of the time, purchases happen online, but mostly through the website of a store with a physical presence. 38% 73% 27%

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