The fourth annual Home Improvement eRetailer Summit will be held Nov. 6-8 at the Hotel Monaco Chicago. Event founder Sonya Ruff Jarvis shares some of the highlights of the event and what attendees can expect to gain from the 2019 Home Improvement eRetailer Summit.
Hardware Retailing (HR): How has the Summit evolved to address e-retailing trends?
Sonya Ruff Jarvis (SRJ): Internet retailing is fast-paced and one way the Summit has kept up is through feedback and insights from our advisory council members. They’re retailers and digital influencers who are in the e-trenches each and every day and able to give actionable advice in their areas of expertise.
Because the Summit is an intimate, invitation-only event, we are able to have candid conversations with attendees to pinpoint their specific issues, challenges and successes to incorporate into the agenda.
The Summit listens intently to its attendees and, as a result, has added technology service providers as participants. These providers, which the Summit qualifies, offer software, logistics and digital marketing solutions that will assist our attendees in getting up and running or expanding their online businesses.
HR: What sets the eRetailer Summit apart from other industry events?
SRJ: Currently, there is no face-to-face online retail event that’s focused on helping the home improvement category capitalize on the organic expansion of e-commerce in this sector.
Annual online sales of home improvement and lawn and garden products are growing at double-digit rates. But the home improvement market, in general, lags in optimizing the internet as a distribution channel. Currently, this is one market where the biggest e-commerce player is not winning, because that player has yet to focus on these products in a big way. Consequently, there are many opportunities for independent home improvement retailers and suppliers to compete in this arena.
HR: What benefits could a home improvement retailer see by focusing on developing an e-commerce strategy?
SRJ: There are many advantages to considering e-commerce for your business.
Retailers could see incremental growth. By seeing the internet as a distribution channel, you can find new revenue gains for home improvement and lawn and garden categories, especially since online shoppers are looking for more of these types of purchases online.
They can also expand in new ways. Retailers and suppliers have the chance to grow their brand and stay top of mind with customers. It’s worth noting that something like 60 percent of purchases start with online research.
With e-commerce, retailers can also gain a valuable connection with an important demographic: millennials. CouponFollow conducted research in January that reveals millennials make 50 percent of their purchases online. Retailers and manufacturers could be missing out on this gigantic market segment when they don’t engage in online retail in some way.