3 Ways to Leverage Surge in Online & Big Box Store Sales

Home has never been more important for Americans. As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, we have seen a trend of cocooning in the past four decades from homeowners in the US but the pandemic has accelerated this trend.

In the past few weeks, big box stores like Target and Home Depot have seen record sales, driven specifically by online sales and categories such as home improvement and home essentials. In some instances, these stores are up more than 30% year over year! Homeowners are taking money slated for vacations, dining out and other activities, and using it for home improvements.

Beyond this increase for home improvements and essentials, the housing market has seen large huge increase driven by historically low interest rates and a shift of home buyers to the suburbs. This July, housing starts were up 23%, which is the best month-over-month improvement since October 2016.

With all of this in mind, you can see why that there is a huge opportunity for our industry—especially on the residential side. Now that we’re heading into fall when the season generally slows down, how can you continue to leverage the existing surge?

Check out these 3 tips to make sure you can maximize this continuing trend through the rest of 2020 and beyond:

1. Consistent & Ongoing Communication

Throughout this year we’ve discussed the importance of consistent and ongoing communications with your customers this year. Over the spring and summer, consumers have seen a large increase in the amount of correspondence they are receiving from businesses and retailers either in the form of email, social media ads, or other digital advertising.

When it comes to marketing and advertising, a consumer needs to see or hear a message seven times before they will consider taking action. This is why it’s more important than ever for your messaging to be ongoing and consistent to your customer. Don’t be afraid to send that email, post on social media, or put together a digital advertising program. Make sure your message is consistent and looks similar across all the channels you use whether that’s your website, Google My Business, email, social media, or digital advertising. Take a look at these six tips for marketing to see what types of messages can resonate with your customers.

2. Timing is Everything

In the past, we’ve spoke about timing in reference to launching a new service. Timing isn’t just important for launching a new service but also important for when to promote your existing services—the right timing will help you capture new and existing customers at the height of when they want to purchase your service.

To get the timing right you’ll want to consider when is the service typically in demand, when your existing customers usually start inquiring about these services, and what does the timing look like from an industry standpoint. This will help you put together a marketing calendar on when you’ll need to start promoting these services and for how long you should continue the messaging. Remember there are three types of consumers: The Early-Bird, The Average Joe, The Late Bloomer, and they all have different habits for purchasing.

So, how much communication is enough or too much? This will depend on the type of communication and the value that is perceived by the people you are marketing to. As long as you are hitting the right person, with the right message, at the right time, on the right channel you’ll be able to communicate your message effectively. This is why its important to make sure you are utilizing personalization and marketing automation when you can.

3. Make it Easy

Big box stores and other online retailers have been so successful during this time because they have made it easy for the consumer. They quickly adapted to make online purchases and delivery or pick up as simple and straightforward as possible for their customers. This is key! And this is what you should focus on to maximize future sales and capitalize with this ongoing home improvement trend. Easy, simple, straightforward.

When it comes to marketing focus on your website, Google My Business pages, and email. Make sure everything is easy-to-use and easy-to-access. Consumers should be able to know exactly what services you provide within the first three to seven seconds of visiting your website. They should be able to easily find what they need whether that’s scheduling an appointment, requesting a quote or estimate, purchasing directly from your website, looking for reviews, or looking at before and after photos of your work. When you make it easy, everyone wins!


Rely on Central to help, whether it’s questions about marketing strategy, strategic purchasing, or business planning. Central is the right partner for your business. We stay at the leading edge of the industry and we’re ready to help you grow!