Technology has undoubtedly transformed the way DIY consumers shop. What’s less clear is exactly how and when DIYers use digital mediums when they shop for home improvement and hardware. We know consumers research products online, but which products do they research? Which sites do they visit, and what information are they looking for?
Furthermore, how often does this online research takes place on a mobile device vs. in a physical store? And what about the role of social media in the DIYer purchase journey?
To address these questions, we surveyed 1,200 home improvement decision-making DIYers across three generations. We captured information about their online media usage relating to home improvement and hardware shopping. Here are some of our key findings:
1. Where do DIYers go to shop or research online?
Over three-fourths of DIYers said they shop or research on home improvement store websites, while just over half said they use Google or another search engine. 44% reported using Amazon, and around a third said they use manufacturer websites.
2. Which products do they research and shop for online?
When DIYers were asked which products they researched or shopped for online before buying in-store, big-ticket items like smart home devices, major appliances and kitchen and bath remodeling products were most popular. Outdoor power equipment, home fashion items, patio furniture and flooring were also common. Gen Y shopped online more than any other generation, with over 80% going online for several home improvement categories.
3. What information are they looking for?
Information needs continue to revolve around pricing information and product information and reviews. 65% of consumers go online to check prices, and 50% seek product reviews. Nearly half are looking for sales or promotions, and 42% are checking availability and stock. 36% are looking for install instructions or how-to videos. This last behavior is generational — twice as many millennials as baby boomers reported looking for how-to videos or install instructions online.
4. How often does this research take place over mobile in a physical store?
58% of consumers regularly use their phones while shopping home improvement in-store to compare prices with other options. 85% of millennials, 61% of Gen Xers and 27% of boomers report this behavior.
5. Do DIYers use social media for home improvement information?
The generational differences continue with social media use for home improvement products. Overall, 46% of DIYers using social media follow home improvement retailers or manufacturers. 36% of millennials frequently or always use social media for information on home improvement products, compared to 29% of Gen Xers and only 8% of baby boomers.
The top social media sites where consumers seek home improvement information are Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. They mostly look for how-to articles or videos, product and project photos, and information about sales and promotions. This is especially true for Gen Y.
This data is just the surface level of our research. For a full presentation on how DIYers consult online resources and what it means for your business, click here. If you want to have a discussion on how research can help your business, click here to contact us.