Hardware Market Watch: Consumer Purchase Trends in Hardware and Fasteners

Hardware Market Watch: Consumer Purchase Trends in Hardware and Fasteners

Here are a handful of current trends in the hardware market, as well as future forecasts, to factor into your company’s decision-making process for 2024 and 2025:

Knowing how and where DIY homeowners and industry professionals are purchasing their building products, such as hardware, and what influences their selections is essential for making strategic decisions around product development and marketing.

What is Trending for the Hardware Market in 2023?

Leveraging the data collected by The Farnsworth Group on behalf of the Home Improvement Research Institute, here are a handful of current trends in the hardware market, as well as future forecasts, to factor into your company’s decision-making process for 2024 and 2025:

1. Hardware Market Segment is Growing in 2023, but Growth is Slower than Previous Years

Along with other segments of the home improvement market, the hardware segment is projected to grow in the coming years, but it will be at a slower rate than in 2022. 

According to the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), the consumer hardware market grew at a rate more than double the typical 3% YoY growth rate between 2017 and 2022 as measured by IBIS World. 

Looking forward, the hardware market is expected to get back to historical norms for annual growth rates.

2. Home Centers are the Most Popular Supplier

Despite the increasing prevalence of online shopping alternatives, home improvement professionals and DIYers still frequent physical stores to make hardware purchases. 

In fact, our Consumer research indicates home improvement centers are the most-used supplier. Additionally, in-store purchases still make up 3 out of 4 transactions. Very few hardware and fastener purchases are made via mobile apps and the rest are primarily made online.

3. More Hardware Purchases are Driven by Smaller Planned Projects

Of all purchases, the majority are made for the purpose of a planned repair or replacement to fix up a space or feature within the home, according to research from HIRI. 

About 1 in 4 hardware purchases are for planned additions in residential spaces. Meanwhile, purchases made during larger remodeling projects account for only about 1 in 10 hardware purchases. This means consumers are more often influenced by the need for specific items to accomplish a particular repair or project, rather than purchasing generic products for more comprehensive home remodels.

Consumers and Pros also don’t always purchase the “right” hardware for a specific project if they think they can get by with a different product.

4. Nails, Screws and Anchors are Most Common Purchases

According to data from the Home Improvement Research Institute, the most common purchases in the hardware market, when it comes to traditional fasteners at least, include nails, screws and anchors. These items, used widely by both professionals and DIYers, accounted for about a quarter of purchases in this market segment. The second most common purchases are door knobs and lock sets. When it comes to decorative door hardware, kick plates are the most popular products, followed by door knockers, house numbers, and mail slots.

5. Outdoor Living Projects Have Expanded Demand

Another interesting trend to note is that outdoor structure hardware purchases increased by approximately 280% between 2017 and 2021.

Even now, in 2023, there is a lingering desire for fenced-in backyards, pergolas and other outside living spaces that benefit the overall enjoyability and utility of the home.  For specific metrics on purchase incidence of each of these products, leverage your HIRI membership to download the full report.

6. Durability is a Top Priority for Consumer Hardware Purchases

For homeowners, durability is a top priority when deciding what hardware to purchase. They want confidence that if they invest in a product, it will last. For hardware products, quality is another priority that drives consumers’ purchasing decisions, followed by price. This data suggests that consumers are willing to pay a little more if they believe a product will last longer and make it so they don’t have to do maintenance as frequently. Meanwhile, contractors and other professionals tend to be influenced by price, particularly if they’re on a constrained budget for a project

7. Homeowners Prefer Keyed Exterior Door Knob and Lock Sets to Smart Locks

Despite the proliferation of smart technology, research completed by The Farnsworth Group for HIRI shows that consumers still overwhelmingly prefer standard keyed exterior door knob and lock sets, and in more classic styles. This research further shows that the vast majority of purchases in this segment are keyed locks, compared to keyless/remoteless features and smart/connected exterior door knob and lock sets.

8. The Smart Market is Growing

That being said, there is some growing interest in smart features, biometric features, and keyless/digital features that hardware manufacturers and suppliers should keep an eye on. 

There will be more competition, and from emerging brands and new entrants to the home improvement market, in response to rising demand from homeowners, property managers, and facilities managers who want to modernize residential buildings with emerging technologies. Companies that focus on integration, connectivity, and comprehensive solutions will be in the best position for success.

9. Interior Hardware Offers Opportunity for Creativity

Interior hardware—from cabinet hinges and handles to shelving brackets and hanging devices—offer a cost-effective and simple way for homeowners to personalize their space while doing repairs or small renovations. That’s why homeowners tend to desire more unique and customized looks when it comes to this type of hardware. These items enable them to add their signature touch without making major, long-lasting changes or investments.

Exploring Current Market Trends for Hardware Purchases

Staying on top of consumer trends in various market segments enables manufacturers and suppliers to make informed decisions at every level of operation, from identifying new sales opportunities to developing and marketing products that are tailored to your audience’s unique needs. 

With the help of our recognized team of market intelligence experts at The Farnsworth Group, you can conduct customized market research to further understand what’s most important to your customers and what motivates their behavior and preferences along the purchase journey.

Simply schedule a consultation to learn more about the answers you would be able to get to improve your brand health and market share in the hardware market and the home improvement marketplace in general.