How Mobile is Changing the Home Goods Industry

Historically, most home related purchases take place in-store and through print or digital catalogues. However, as mobile becomes more and more popular, it’s beginning to change the way people discover and purchase home goods. From January to March 2016, roughly one-fifth of US digital sales in the home category took place on mobile.* And that’s just the beginning of the opportunity mobile has for brands in the home category.

Mobile Over Desktop

With the ubiquity of smartphones, many companies — including those in the home category — are seeing customers make purchases on mobile over desktop. “The narrative a few years ago was that folks would use mobile to do preliminary research on the fly, but they would wait to make that large purchase until they were on their desktop. That’s no longer a general truth,” says Bob Sherwin, VP of Direct Marketing at Wayfair.

And some home brands are experiencing even more mobile growth than the average. Ashley Wahl, Customer Relationship Manager at popular furniture and home accessory company Ikea, recently said that, “Nationally, we see about one in three purchases coming from mobile devices. And that’s continuing to trend up.

Home Goods Consumers Love Instagram

It’s no secret that Instagram is one of the best places customers can discover new products on mobile. With more than 500M monthly actives, Instagram has a community that’s bigger than Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest combined.** And our home category audience is part of that highly engaged community. Instagrammers interested in home goods are active seven more days out of the month and follow 140% more accounts than the average Instagrammer. They also consume 4x more content and have on average 3.5x more followers.***

Home Goods Brands Love Instagram

With such an active audience continually seeking visual discovery on Instagram, brands are taking note. Home retailers are using Instagram as an extension of their showrooms and catalogues to give consumers a more in-depth look of their products. With our new shopping experience being tested on Instagram starting next week, retailers are also sharing posts that let consumers review, learn about and consider products directly within the app before making a purchase.

And we’re seeing several home brands like Home Depot and Lowes Home Improvement taking advantage of carousel and video ads to showcase their products through do-it-yourself project tutorials.

In addition to showcasing products in action, home good brands are making sales on Instagram. To increase sales, online direct-to-consumer furniture company Article turned to Instagram links ads. Through a combination of video and carousel ads, the company showed its furniture in aspirational but attainable settings to express the quality of its products. After the campaign ended, Article.com saw an 8x return on ad spend — 1.6x higher than its original goal. It also attributed Instagram in the path to purchase for 36% of its transactions. “The path to purchase for our customers is often complex, but the proportion of transactions of which Instagram is part of that journey continues to surprise me,” says Duncan Blair, Director of Marketing, Article.

With such an active audience of home goods consumers, there’s no better place to reach your key audience. Whether you’re looking to inspire through highly visual content, be discovered by potential consumers or sell products in store or online, you can with Instagram.

Sources: eMarketer, Furniture and Home Goods Retailers and Digital Commerce 2016: Trends and Benchmarks, October 2016; **eMarketer, US, March 2015; ** Instagram data based on audiences eligible to see ads on Instagram based on a variety of factors. Data based on users that are ages 18–65+, US, using home-related hashtags, based on 28 days prior to Oct 19, 2016.

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