The idea of "home" has always been a critical foundation for our understanding of self: It helps us define our place in the world. The home is where we feel most comfortable, a sanctuary where we choose to root, relax, and nest.

The home, it turns out, is also where nearly all important purchase decisions are made.

That makes sense, of course. The home is where families connect to discuss not only their work or school days but also their consideration of retail products, home goods, financial products, the next family car, etc.

Over the recent December holidays, my three-year-old daughter got a hold of a Target catalog and demanded I read it to her each night before bed so she could plan out her holiday gift requests. The next day, I'd find her plotting her purchases in her room, quietly commenting on each item in the catalog. (Needless to say, she got the Barbie Dream House).

Clearly, the experience of being together in a home with targeted conversation starters like the toy catalog can naturally ignite conversations that lead to purchase decisions. We and the team at PebblePost, a company that harnesses online interest and intent data to send relevant direct mail, knew this was the case. We could see it in our own homes, and we could see it in our consumer data.

We wanted to take these insights a step further, however, and quantify the role of the home to better understand the full impact it has on purchase decisions.

So, our team at Murphy Research partnered with PebblePost on a quantitative study of 3,250 consumers to understand how direct mail influences consumer purchase decisions, and whether those purchase decisions involve other members of the household. (For some of the findings, see the infographic at the end of this article.)

There were a number of fascinating findings relevant to the purchase journey, but one of the key findings was that the home plays an outsized role in driving purchase decisions:

  • Fully 88% of purchase decisions involve the home.
  • 67% of shoppers say the decision to purchase was made at home.
  • 64% of shoppers say they discussed the purchase with immediate family.

Here's what it looks like at the category level:

  • 94% of automotive purchase decisions involve the home.
  • 91% of financial purchase decisions involve the home.
  • 82% of retail purchase decisions involve the home (88% for home goods; 83% for luxury retail).

For the purchases that are discussed at home, the decisions are far more likely to involve group decision-making with family members:

  • Over half (53%) of all shoppers involve their spouse in purchase decisions.
  • The spouse plays an outsized role, with 73% of shoppers saying their spouse is influential.

The research also found that those who discuss purchases with their family are more likely to plan ahead and spend more time discussing and planning purchases; and they are generally more engaged shoppers all around. In fact, 89% of key category purchase decisions are pre-planned.

Are you, as an advertiser or brand marketer, fully considering the role of the home in decision making? The study insights indicate you should be.

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The Home Is at the Heart of Commerce Marketing [Infographic]

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image of Devora Rogers

Devora Rogers is vice-president of account management at Murphy Research, a full-service, primary market research firm specializing in a wide array of B2B and B2C quantitative and qualitative research.

LinkedIn: Devora Rogers