Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers continue to feel the effects of the pandemic, as consumers rely heavily on the ease of online shopping options. Lowe’s, however, has been among the lucky few that have seen continued growth in sales throughout 2020, as consumers gravitated toward the brand for its “essential” items that appealed to those stuck at home. According to the brand’s Q2 earnings report, Lowe’s saw 30% revenue growth year over year (YOY), with ecommerce sales rising 135% YOY.
Now, Lowe’s is taking what they’ve learned about consumer shopping trends, the audience they’ve gained in recent months and the momentum they’ve accumulated as a result and is leveraging all three to capitalize on the recent ecommerce boom. Lowe’s will soon showcase an expanded ecommerce selection with plans of growing revenue even more — especially during the 2020 holiday season.
Lowe’s New Ecommerce Offerings Reflect Pandemic Shopping Trends & The Upcoming Holiday Season
With so many consumers staying home during the pandemic, shopping habits and the ways in which people spent their free time quickly changed. Increased demand for home improvement products, at-home fitness, cookware, kid’s toys and more skyrocketed during the quarantine. Lowe’s has taken note of these growing trends and is centering their enhanced ecommerce offerings around these items that consumers are gravitating toward.
Additionally, as the holiday season approaches, Lowe’s will offer new holiday-specific product options, like the new option of fresh Christmas tree delivery to customers. By expanding its ecommerce products and services, Lowe’s is positioning itself as a one-stop-online-shop for holiday shopping needs. “Statistically, we’ve seen a focus on home like never before,” said Lowe’s chief marketing officer Marisa Thalberg. “In the year of the home, Lowe’s is a total home gift-giving destination.”
The spring season is widely known as the prime shopping time for any home improvement projects. However, ModernRetail reporter Anna Hensel notes that “this year sales of home goods are projected to rise more than that of other product categories.” This change in consumer shopping patterns allows a retailer, like Lowe’s, to better compete with the typical holiday winners like Amazon and Walmart. By leveraging the new customers Lowe’s accumulated throughout the pandemic, the retailer can encourage repeat sales and build on these newly formed customer relationships for the holiday season.
Lowe’s Has Seen Impressive Growth Since Its Initial Investments In Ecommerce
Lowe’s has reportedly been investing in the expansion of its ecommerce offerings in recent years, gauging consumer interest by selling non-traditional products, like select fitness items, online in 2019. But, since the start of the pandemic, the retailer has kicked its ecommerce initiatives into high gear, offering products that consumers were craving. For example, the retailer began selling office desks online, as many consumers transitioned to a remote worklife. “The goal is to use the website first as a testing ground to see what kind of reception there is to these products online,” noted Hensel. The testing of new and relevant products seems to be paying off, as Lowe’s ecommerce growth went from a mere 3% rise YOY in Q4 2019 to 135% in Q2 2020.
“While Lowe’s has come from behind online, its investments are allowing it to catch up with Home Depot,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail. “The main areas of improvement left [for Lowe’s] are making the website more inspirational and engaging, but this always had to come after making the site work better.”
The Ecommerce Boom Makes Way For Traditional Retailers To Broaden Their Reach This Holiday Season & Beyond
Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have long relied on their in-store experience during the holiday shopping season to garner sales and connections among customers. This year, however, will inevitably look different. Even as many stores have re-opened their doors, the shift to an online shopping experience has not slowed, and the likelihood of consumers relying on ecommerce throughout the holiday season and beyond is very likely. MarketingDive reporter Caroline Jansen shared that eMarketer anticipates that during the holiday season, ecommerce sales will increase 13.9%. Similarly, Deloitte predicts an increase of 25% to 35% YOY for digital sales.
Brick-and-mortar retailers, like Lowe’s, can benefit from expanding their traditional offerings in order to capitalize on the ecommerce boom and reflect consumers shifting habits, particularly their gravitation toward online shopping. While there may be heightened competition in the ecommerce ring this holiday season, brands should remember that by leveraging a strong online presence, they have an opportunity to reach a much broader audience and connect with consumers looking to discover new items and make a purchase.
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About the AuthorMore Content by Carolyn Harding