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NHPA Insights on E-Commerce and Retail Technology

Because the landscape of retail technology and e-commerce has changed dramatically in the last few years, the North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA) asked independent retailers to share their insights on how their approach to or thoughts on retail technology and e-commerce have changed in that time. Read a recap of the data below and click here to sign up to receive more exclusive data and participate in future surveys from NHPA.

The survey found that 61 percent of independents are currently offering e-commerce options as part of their operation’s online strategy, and 63 percent report that e-commerce contribution to overall sales is “up significantly” in the last two years. For independent retailers who don’t currently offer e-commerce options, 52 percent plan on adding it to their operations, and 83 percent plan to add it within the next year. 

Of the retailers who do have e-commerce capabilities:

  • 82 percent offer buy online, pick up in store
  • 67 percent offer buy online, pick up curbside
  • 73 percent offer buy online, ship to home
  • 18 percent offer some type of customized delivery options

The survey found that a major hurdle for retailers is time, with 60 percent not offering e-commerce because of the amount of time to set up and maintain an e-commerce site. 36 percent say they haven’t found a good e-commerce interface that they feel is right for them, and 32 percent say they just aren’t sure how to even get started with e-commerce. Nearly 18 percent don’t feel they need an e-commerce option. 

“To be able to compete with big-box retailers, independents will need to understand the new playing field in our technology-focused landscape,” says Dan Tratensek, NHPA chief operating officer and publisher. “Many retailers still talk about brick and mortar, online and omnichannel as different areas, but to consumers, they are one area. Retailers need to reshape their thought processes to consider online, in-store and a combination as parts of the same whole.”

See how one retailer has found success in e-commerce here and discover the operations and business resources NHPA offers here.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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