High street stores are the lifeblood of housewares brands, says study

Bricks and mortar high street stores are vital for housewares brands as shoppers want to see and touch products before they buy, according to a new report.

‘Shopping Uncovered: Housewares’  was published yesterday (Thursday July 21) by The Market Creative.  It is based on the findings of an online survey conducted in March which asked 1,058 home and leisure shoppers about how they prefer to shop and what influences them to buy.

A total of 364 respondents were shoppers of housewares (defined as linens, decorative accessories, lighting, cookware, tableware, curtains, blinds)

The The report covered buying habits across three generations: Millennials (18-29), Generation X (30-49) and boomers (50-70).

The The study shows that 70% of shoppers visit a store at some stage when buying housewares.

FurtFurthermore while 30% of people prefer to buy online, 44% solely shop instore – 10% higher than all home and leisure shoppers.

MilleMillennials, normally biased towards online shopping, are the most likely age group to do the whole experience instore. The more experienced Generation X, having learned more about what suits their needs, favour shopping online and are less likely to need to see products or want advice.  

The study looked at the impact on buying behaviour of six shopping forces: price (‘I try to find the lowest price and am tempted by a bargain’); need to touch (‘I need to see and touch a product’);  experiential (‘I get pleasure from browsing and the whole shopping experience’); educational (‘I benefit from advice and education when making purchases); brand (brand names matter and influence what I choose); and social approval (‘I find the opinion of others reassuring and like to see reviews’).

Having the opportunity to see and touch products before buying is the most influential force in this category. The overall experience was also important to housewares shoppers, particularly women. Men were more likely to look for social approval.

While getting a good price was important, shoppers were less likely to expect a sale or bargain when buying housewares compared with other categories.

Sue Benson, managing director of The Market Creative, said: “With desire to see and touch products before buying the most dominant force in this category, it’s clear to see why physical stores play such a big role. Successful brands are those that give shoppers an enjoyable experience, while making it easy to get close to products and imagine them in their own homes.”

She suggested the following marketing tips:

-Make the shopping experience in-store as authentic and ‘homely’ as possible, particularly for women who want to enjoy it and imagine products in their own homes

-Make it easy for men to get what they want quickly; it’s unrealistic to expect them to linger

-Minimise packaging or have display samples to play with so shoppers can get close to products

-Advise Millennials, who are new to the category and will become advocates if you help them avoid mistakes

-Shoppers are less likely to need the same level of education as required for technical goods, but they do want a story. There’s an opportunity to romance products, adding value and avoiding commoditisation

– Encourage upselling: move shoppers away from essentials to items that will delight for their quality, functionality, style or uniqueness

– Help those less confident in design by bundling complementary products

‘Shopping Uncovered: Housewares’ is available to download at themarketcreative.com

The Market Creative was established in 2011 ‘to help brands and retailers inspire shoppers to act by delivering a seamless approach to marketing across the entire shopper journey’. As well as strategic and brand planning services, it delivers integrated advertising, design, content, packaging and in-store solutions. Based in Manchester, it works with regional, national and international brands including Sharps and Silentnight.

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