Big-ticket purchases: How consumers shop

Nearly seven out of 10 home improvement shoppers say they are not brand loyal when it comes to buying big-ticket items, according to a study conducted by The Integer Group, along with research partner Decision Analyst.

The category of products examined -- major appliances, flooring, and windows and doors -- can often span between three and 10 years between consumer purchases. Integer and Decision Analyst launched the study in early December and will be conducting it annually to better understand shopper motivations when it comes to purchases between $100 and $1,000.

Among the findings from the inaugural study were:

• Window/door and flooring shoppers both spend the greatest amount of time researching -- often by retail site and not brand -- before in-store shopping.

• The Internet is a critical channel for major appliance shoppers and can affect purchasing decisions at point of sale. It may even drive shoppers online to buy.

• Flooring shoppers researched products online an average of 6.72 times versus going to a store to shop; most shoppers averaged 3.89 in-store visits.

• Appliance shoppers are more likely to respond to a deal -- but the new normal has them closely studying the real price/value equation of their purchase.

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