Venveo and The Farnsworth Group teamed up to survey nearly 2,000 industry professionals and DIYers from across the United States to gain insights on what's shifted in how they research, select and purchase building materials, home improvement, and lawn & garden products. The results on shifts in DIY channel behaviors are available in our annual Building Product Customer Guide.
While channel behaviors are often fluid among DIYers, COVID expedited the shift to online by a decade. It also resulted in DIYers being more selective on who they used for products. Why? It’s pretty simple — Availability, Comfort and Convenience. Consumers are using suppliers that have the product they want, when they want it and how they want.
While this economic shift happened in a short period of time, the effects of these changed behaviors will be long-lasting.
DIYers Are Using Fewer Suppliers
26% of DIYers stated they are using fewer suppliers Post-COVID vs. Pre-COVID when buying home improvement and building material products. Only 7% are using more suppliers, bringing down the average number used when shopping and making purchases.
How can this be when we’ve seen home improvement retailers have 30% YOY comps in 2020?
Think about the basic retail revenue equation: Traffic x Purchase Rate x Purchase Amount = Revenue. Purchase Amounts have increased and there are more customers in the market than ever before due to COVID driving up DIY activity.
While all home improvement retailers are reaping the rewards because there are more customers spending more money, online retailers (specifically Amazon) have seen the biggest swing regarding channel share gains of DIY purchases for home improvement and building materials.
What Is Driving Channel Shift
Nearly every conversation The Farnsworth Group has with manufacturers and retailers involves supply chain to some degree. Supply chain issues will remain throughout 2021 and beyond. This is a critical factor because it’s impacting behavioral changes among Consumers in our industry.
Of those DIYers that have recently used a NEW supplier for home improvement and building materials, 60% stated it was due to availability. Three of the top five reasons for using a new supplier were because that supplier allowed them to purchase in ways most convenient and comfortable for them: Online Ordering, Delivery, Curbside Pickup.
What DIYers Expect
The customer experience has changed dramatically in 2020. Customers have found ways to make the Path to Purchase more convenient, more efficient and with less friction along the way. DIYers expect suppliers to continue providing many services introduced during COVID.
Summary: Supplier Use & Expectations Have Changed
Availability, comfort and convenience caused many DIYers to change home improvement and building product suppliers, try new suppliers or use some suppliers less/more often. The role of channel has quickly evolved. DIYers are finding new, better experiences to get what they want, how they want. Manufactures and suppliers share responsibility in meeting those customer needs if they want success going forward.
Want to understand your customers’ needs, supplier preference and how DIY channel behaviors vary by segment? We utilize custom research with 30+ years of industry expertise to provide you detailed recommendations that help you improve your market strategy. Contact us to discuss how our industry research expertise can help.
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