2021 has been the year of the upgrade for living spaces — ranging from sensible to lavish — to improve comfort, aesthetics, or both.

As a result, home improvement brands are sitting pretty. To remain so, however, brands need to adjust for current ecommerce home improvement trends.

According to home improvement supplier Kitchen Infinity, Google searches for home remodeling more than doubled between 2020 and 2021. Market forecasts predict an 8.5% increase in revenue for home improvement companies this year.

So, what’s the catch?

As shopping shifts away from brick-and-mortar stores to online offerings, home improvement brands need a way to capitalize on the transition from historically in-person purchasing to accommodate ecommerce home improvement trends.

In this post, you’ll learn about three of the top trends for home improvement ecommerce in 2021 — and how the right online strategy can help build better brands.

Want to Build Your Brand? Don’t Be Nailed Down

There’s no doubt that the home improvement market is on the rise. Recent data from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University shows annual home improvement spending growth of one to 13% in 42 of 46 major metropolitan areas across the country.

Therefore, companies can’t simply hammer away at the same selling strategy if they want to see reliable results.

Consider the recent rise and fall of lumber prices. In spring 2021, lumber climbed to an all-time high, priced at 300% above pre-pandemic levels.

As noted by Fortune, however, the slow return to relative market normalcy prompted a rapid fall. By July 2021, the price had fallen 49% and continues to decline.

But even as demand for lumber falls as some supply chain connections are restored, others are getting worse, leading to longer delays for products and potential problems for retailers, according to CNN.

For home improvement brands, the message is clear: flexibility is essential if you want to succeed in the unpredictable world of post-pandemic ecommerce.

Here are three trends to watch as this market evolves.

1. Measure and Maximize Mobile Impact

Mobile makes the difference when it comes to effective home improvement ecommerce.

As Retail Dive reports, consumer downloads of mobile apps from popular home improvement suppliers such as The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Menards hit record highs in April 2020, and downloads of mobile tools like Room Planner were up more than 200%.

As a result, it’s critical for companies to have mobile apps that not only live up to consumer expectations but also handle the sheer volume of searches and transactions.

Here’s why: just over half of consumers will abandon sites if mobile loading takes longer than three seconds or mobile pages are hard to navigate. Slow load times lead to bounce rates that are consistently higher than their desktop counterparts.

What Brands Should Do

For home improvement brands to succeed in this mobile-first market, it’s critical to design and deploy apps that are responsive, reliable, and quick, as well as naturally integrated into omnichannel customer experiences.

Potential buyers should be able to pick up where they left off on desktop devices or get in touch with customer service agents directly without having to restart their entire purchasing experience from scratch.

2. Power Up Personalized Experiences

Ecommerce home improvement trends also include the prioritization of personal experiences.

According to Accenture, 75% of consumers prefer brands that offer personalized online experiences.

Consider recent data from NPD, which found that overall sales in the home improvement industry grew 22% in 2020, with kitchen and bathroom sales up 28% and paint sales growing by 16%.

The most-sold items in this home improvement scramble? Faucets, toilets, and kitchen cabinets.

What Brands Should Do

For home improvement ecommerce, this speaks to the need for intelligent personalization.

Given the sheer number of faucets, toilets, and kitchen cabinets available, it’s easy for consumers to get overwhelmed by the variety and feel unsure of what differentiates one brand or style from the next.

By deploying intelligent and adaptable artificial intelligence (AI) tools across ecommerce sites, however, it’s possible to help prospective customers zero in on what they want and streamline the sales process.

3. Lay the Framework for Flexible Shopping

Customers want flexible shopping options such as buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) to speedy and cost-effective last-mile shipping.

While the initial drivers of this change were tied to pandemic pressures around health and safety, 43% of consumers say they’ll shop more online even after the pandemic.

An overall impact to consider: the pace of physical to digital transition has accelerated by approximately five years, according to experts.

What Brands Should Do

For home improvement brands to succeed in this new market, flexible shopping is a must.

Your brand should offer a variety of shipping and pickup options as well as integrate real-time supply and inventory monitoring.

This will help keep customers in the loop and notify them of potential delays tied to ongoing shipping and logistics challenges.

In practice, this means deploying tools capable of collecting, curating, and collating inventory data to provide on-demand insight for staff and consumers alike.

Take a Constructive Approach to Ecommerce Trends

As online growth for home improvement brands continues, a constructive approach is critical. Prioritize digital sales and maximize your brand’s potential by keeping up with ecommerce home improvement trends and implementing recommendations.

Want to keep building up your home improvement brand? Check out Salsify’s 2021 Holiday Shopping Trend Predictions report to better understand your target market and make the most of holiday season spending.

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Posted by Contributor