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Research Shows Lockdown Video Calls Inspire Home Purchases

Around half of U.S. consumers agree that seeing inside other people’s homes in lockdown video calls has inspired them to improve their own living space, according to Nosto.

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Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash
Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Around half (47%) of US consumers polled as part of a new study agree that seeing inside the homes of friends and colleagues in video calls during the pandemic has inspired them to improve their own home environment. And the research suggests 65% of US households has bought at least one product online during lockdown to make their indoor or outdoor living space nicer or more comfortable.  

The research is part of a wide Nosto study, Home & Garden Goes Virtual, that explores the growing interest in Home & Garden and DIY during the pandemic. It includes a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers and 1,000 U.K. consumers. 

According to the data, consumer demand in Home & Garden purchases is set to continue beyond lockdown as well: 63% of US consumers questioned agree that after spending time in lockdown, they are motivated to spend money on making their living environment a more comfortable and fun place to be – with 64% expecting to be spending more time in their homes or gardens even after lockdowns have completely lifted. 

The findings are based on a survey of 1,000 US consumers, which is part of a wider study by Nosto the commerce experience platform. It suggests that lockdown has re-balanced people’s priorities, with 66% of consumers indicating the experience has made them realize the importance of a nice home environment. And 61% indicated someone in their household had started at least one Do-it Yourself (DIY) or home improvement project while locked down. 

Interestingly, the spike in video calls during the pandemic may have made some people feel embarrassed about the appearance of their homes, with 51% of US consumers saying they were conscious of their own home when on video calls.

When asked which online channels they visit for researching home and garden product ideas or recommendations, the top destination (mentioned by 67% of the sample) was Amazon. Next was Google (60%) followed by YouTube (51%) (see below).  

Top Online Channels for Researching Home and Garden Product Ideas Among US Consumers

  • Amazon (67%)
  • Google (60%)
  • YouTube (51%)
  • Online retail stores (35%)
  • Facebook (37%)
  • Instagram (29%)
  • Pinterest (29%)
  • Online magazines/blogs (18%)

Nearly a quarter of consumers (24%) indicated they would be more likely to buy Home & Garden products from an online store if they see clear messaging about the COVID-19 measures an online retailer has implemented to protect employees and customers.

Free delivery (60%) followed by fast delivery (53%) were the factors that most consumers in the poll said would make it more likely that they would purchase a home and garden product from an online store.  Other important  factors included plenty of positive reviews, and good quality images and free returns. Interestingly, free returns seemed less important than free deliveries, suggesting that shoppers find more value in no upfront shipping costs because once they have made the purchase they are confident they won’t be returning the product.

6 Factors that Influence US Online Purchases of Home & Garden Products 

  • Free delivery  (60%)
  • Fast delivery (53%)
  • A large number of positive reviews  (49%)
  • Plenty of good quality images of the products (44%)
  • Returns are free   (41%)
  • Clear returns policies  (40%)

“The pandemic is making people re-evaluate their lifestyles completely, and this survey underlines how turning their house into a home is now a major priority for many,” said Jake Chatt, Nosto’s Head of Brand Marketing. “As demand for these goods continues to increase and shopping in physical stores remains scarce in many places across the globe, I think Home & Garden retailers need to be building trust with shoppers by optimizing their ecommerce experiences. If they don’t, Amazon will continue dominating the vertical online and many retailers may not make it to the other side of this.” 

Nosto commissioned international market research consultancy Censuswide to conduct an online survey of 1,000 U.S. and 1,000 U.K. consumers. The survey was conducted between July 17 and July 21.

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