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Physical Stores Beat Amazon for Power Tool Sales

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By Kate Klein, kklein@nrha.org

Brick-and-mortar retailers in the U.S. still garner the majority of consumer spending on power tools, despite the ever-expanding online retail marketplace. 

Recent TraQline survey data from research firm The Stevenson Co. show that more than 80 percent of consumer power tool purchases happen in physical stores. The top three retailers that draw the most consumer spending in the category are Home Depot, Lowe’s and Sears, according to the research.

Nearly a quarter of customers decide where to buy their circular saws, cordless drills and other similar products based on where they happen to be shopping for other items already, according to the research.

More than half of the TraQline survey respondents are members of Amazon Prime, an annual subscription service that provides free shipping options and other members-only benefits. However, the data show that only 7 percent of consumer power tool spending goes to Amazon.

Applied to Retail
Your retail operation has an edge on online retailers by selling in a physical location where consumers can see and touch power tools before they buy them. Play up this advantage.

Keep in mind that customers who are shopping for other products may buy their power tools from your business because they’re already in your store. Nearly 25 percent of consumers purchase power tools based on where they’re shopping for other products, according to the TraQline data.

So, consider product placement. Impromptu buys won’t happen if shoppers were planning to buy elsewhere and don’t see your power tool array because it’s buried in the back of your store.

If your displays are easy to spot, then be sure there’s no reason customers would turn away. Your power tool displays should be clean, stocked and well-merchandised,  reflecting the quality of the products you’re selling.

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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