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Survey Finds Ecommerce Is Most Important Software Feature for Lumber & Building Material Businesses

LBMH businesses are optimistic about the promise of online shopping and are increasing investments in ecommerce solutions, according to survey

ECI Software Solutions, a leader in cloud-based business management solutions, today released findings from a Lumber, Building Material and Hardlines (LBMH) industry survey that examined how organizations in the LBMH sector have responded to recent growth and where they are seeing opportunity in the future.

The LBMH industry is expected to face headwinds as so much activity in the space revolves around home construction and DIY projects, both of which are expected to slow down as interest rates and prices increase. However, LBMH businesses are emerging from a strong year of growth. Sales volumes, margin, and revenue have all been trending in the right direction. Online sales, in particular, rose dramatically as a result of the market-wide shift to web-based, socially distanced shopping. With extra capital on hand, LBMH leaders have been able to invest more in technology to keep up with digital trends and expand online capabilities.

According to the survey, like many other industries, LBMH business owners are currently concerned about three primary threats:

  • The cost of materials/goods (65%)
  • A potential recession (55%)
  • The ongoing pandemic (49%)

However, many businesses have increased investment in technology infrastructure (55%) to address these concerns, specifically to enable them to expand ecommerce offerings (58%) and maintain a competitive advantage in the market (54%).

The LBMH industry witnessed an ecommerce explosion during the pandemic as customers grew more comfortable with purchasing building materials online and other forms of socially distanced shopping. Consequently, business leaders have adapted their strategies to prioritize online shopping experiences. The survey found that 63% of LBMH professionals consider ecommerce to be one of the most important features in running their businesses, ahead of customer relationship management (41%) and cloud functionality (36%).

Although many expect a performance dip in the coming year, LBMH businesses have good reason to be optimistic. Consumers have readily accepted new ecommerce channels, and companies that launched effective solutions were able to take full advantage. The good news is that any investments in online capabilities will continue to generate attractive returns in a post-pandemic world.

“LBMH businesses that hope to compete during and after the coming recession will need to lean further into digital tools, like ecommerce, that boost revenues and lower costs,” said John Maiuri, President of the LBMH Division at ECI. “Being online will not only be the status quo in the future, but it will be a critical driver of innovation and differentiation. To do this at scale, leaders will need tools that integrate seamlessly with other business software.”

To read the full report and learn more about how technology can help you stay on top of these trends, visit: https://www.ecisolutions.com/campaign/lbmh-2022survey/

Survey Methodology

Commissioned by ECI Software Solutions, OnePoll surveyed 200 U.S.-based software decision makers in the Lumber and Building Materials industry in July 2022.

About ECI

ECI Software Solutions provides industry-specific business software solutions and services, focusing on cloud-based technologies. For 30+ years, ECI has served small to medium-sized manufacturing, wholesale/retail distribution, building and construction and field service organizations. Privately held, ECI is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, with offices throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, England, the Netherlands and Australia. For information, email info@ecisolutions.com, visit www.ECISolutions.com or call (800) 959-3367.

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