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: https://hardwareretailing.epubxp.com/i/945288

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Page 50 of 114

HARDWARE RETAILING | March 2018 44 D ouble-digit sales increases, a website that's easy to shop, tech experiments like drones and a steadily growing product mix make Amazon more formidable by the day. Amazon has transformed customers' expectations for retailing with convenience and near-instant gratification in the form of cheap same-day or free two-day delivery. Traditional big-box retailers, including Home Depot and Lowe's, have also become e-commerce giants in their own business sectors through the years. The implications are plentiful for independent businesses, in ways that aren't always obvious. Recent research from the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) shows that 95 percent of independent home improvement businesses have websites and 55 percent sell products online. Some independents got into e-commerce decades ago and have developed momentum in online retail. Many others have more recently begun to dabble in online selling using distributor platforms or building their own. But how can you position your business to stay relevant online in an era when that's the place where more and more consumers are beginning their shopping cycle? How are retailers finding success in a busy online marketplace? NRHA surveyed nearly 400 retailers in the independent home improvement sector to learn how they answer those questions. The Farnsworth Group, a research firm in Indianapolis, conducted a consumer study to supplement NRHA's retailer data. Read on to learn what consumers want and how independent retailers from across the industry are striving to serve them in the evolving e-commerce marketplace. Competing Online in an Amazon World Retailers Are Expanding Their In-Store Experience Online hint

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