Home improvement giant The Home Depot Inc. continues to bring in big sales gains online and offline, as it reports strong returns on investments aimed at linking its stores with its online business.
Home Depot, No. 7 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, reported this week a 19% year-over-year increase in online sales for its 2016 fiscal year, which ended Jan. 29. The retailer says e-commerce now represents 5.9% of its total sales. While it didn’t report exact dollar figures, this would mean it drove roughly $5.58 billion in online sales last year, up from $4.67 billion in 2015, when the web represented 5.2% of total sales.
Sales in stores are also on the rise, as total sales reached $94.60 billion for the year, a 6.9% increase compared with $88.52 billion in the prior year.
In its fiscal fourth quarter, Home Depot finished the rollout of what it calls Buy Online Deliver From Store (BODFS) capabilities, which let Home Depot pull from physical store inventory to fulfill online orders. This helps speed delivery to online shoppers, Home Depot says, as its stores are often closer to consumers than are its e-commerce fulfillment centers.
“BODFS was built on a foundation of our new customer order management system, or COM, which was fully deployed in all U.S. stores during the second quarter of 2016,” CEO Craig Menear told analysts on a conference call Wednesday. “We are pleased with a positive customer response to this enhanced delivery option, which streamlines the delivery experience for both our customers and our store associates.”
Home Depot says about 45% of online orders are picked up in stores, up from three months ago, when the merchant said more than 40% were collected this way.
During the year, Home Depot made other investments in e-commerce, including a redesign of its e-commerce site to provide better search capabilities and faster checkout, an upgraded mobile app and a feature that gives customers a faster and more accurate delivery date based on their location. “We measure the success of these changes by the increased traffic and conversion rates that we have seen across our interconnected platforms, as well as improved customer service scores,” Menear said on the call.
For fiscal Q4 ended Jan. 29, Home Depot reported:
- Total sales of $22.21 billion, a 5.9% increase compared with $20.98 billion in the fourth quarter of the prior year.
- Net earnings of $1.744 billion, up 18.6% from $1.471 billion.
For the full fiscal year ended Jan. 29, Home Depot also reported:
- Total sales of $94.60 billion, up 6.9% from $88.52 billion in the previous year.
- Net earnings of $7.957 billion, up 13.5% from $7.009 billion.