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Inflation and Supply Chain Turmoil Drive New Home Goods Trends: Report

As supply chain woes and inflation continue to soften the home goods retail market, consumer attitudes and shopping styles are changing, according to new data from consumer research firm Vericast.

According to the firm’s 2022 Retail TrendWatch report—which came from a survey of 2,000 consumers and 270 retailers—consumers are gravitating toward DIY projects, and they’re more willing to switch brands to save money or time. And because of that willingness to look elsewhere when an item is not available or is too expensive, staying relevant and marketing to customers via multiple channels are important.

“We are still seeing a strong desire to nest at home. However, recent headwinds such as increasing costs and delivery delays for home retail and service providers can create challenges for consumers and is influencing shopping behavior,” said Dave Cesaro, Vericast executive director of client strategy.

The survey found that 26 percent of consumers are undertaking do-it-yourself projects on their homes, with 19 percent of those respondents planning to use the money they save by doing it themselves to spend more on home décor. And 29 percent of people plan to delay purchases over the next three months to save money for bigger purchases. Despite inflation, nearly half of consumers plan to invest in home luxuries—products or services to enhance the enjoyment, comfort and/or beauty of their home.

While consumers are willing to spend on luxury, they also are more focused on price comparing and availability, especially since supply chain disruptions and inflation have made many products less available or more expensive. The survey found that 55 percent of respondents are willing to try a new retailer or provider when purchasing a product or service for their home, with price and quality most important to 55 and 57 percent of consumers, respectively.

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Vericast also found that when consumers choose a new retailer or service provider, 37 percent say social and environmental responsibility is a distinguishing factor. This is particularly true for Gen Z shoppers, who prioritize social and environmental responsibility (17 percent) more than other generations (12 percent).

One way to do that is by staying top of mind for consumers by marketing to them via multiple channels. According to the survey,  50 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from a retailer that reaches out at the right time when they need for a product or service. And retailers are turning to an omnichannel approach to reach those potential customers.

According to the survey, 81 percent of advertisers say consumers are interested in deals and discounts more than in the past. As such, 54 percent plan to increase social media use, more than half (53 percent) plan to increase their digital spend, and 40 percent plan to increase the use of print to market to shoppers.

While turning to print marketing may seem outdated, 28 percent of consumers said they are influenced by print coupons, discounts or deals when they’re shopping at a new store, website or home service provider, and 24 percent said they’re influenced by direct mail.

“This volatile environment has produced a ripe opportunity for retailers to sway consumers from their preferred product or brand,” said Cesaro. “Businesses that make the most of this receptive mindset, and focus on strategic approaches to advertising and discovery, will win the hearts of homebodies.”