Home Improvement Spending Tops $440 Billion

There’s no place like home. Earlier in the year, few of us could imagine just how much time we would spend “nesting” at home with little social interactions. However, the quarantine also motivated many homeowners to remodel or complete smaller projects to enhance their living spaces. People are willing to invest money in their homes to make them more comfortable and reflective of their lifestyles. The desire to get things done has significantly increased the amount consumers are spending on home improvement products. 

According to the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), in 2020, sales reached $439.9 billion, an increase of 8.7 percent. Consumers accounted for 71.8 percent of sales, and pros 28.82 percent.

  • 11 percent increase in consumer spending
  • 3.8 percent in contractor spending

The popularity of DIY Projects
Before YouTube videos became wildly popular, parents taught their kids how to fix things around the house. Now, thousands of online videos and tutorials help beginners, and skilled DIYers get the job done. Plus, there are dozens of home improvement shows, magazines, and industry experts ready and willing to steer them in the right direction. People who are inspired to do their projects can be found in every age group. VENVEO, a marketing firm, conducted a survey that asked consumers questions about their purchasing habits. The DIY Consumer Marketing Trend Report can help retailers better understand these customers and what is important to them when making a purchase. 

  • 26 percent are between the ages of 31-40
  • 24 percent are between the ages of 21-30
  • 19 percent are between the ages of 51-60
  • 15 percent are between the ages of 61-70

It’s not surprising that 34 percent of DIYers are over the age of 50. Many homeowners have opted to age-in-place rather than sell their homes or downsize. 

Quality and Planning are Key
DIYers are necessarily looking for the cheapest products. It’s more important that they get the results they want to achieve. The survey found that people are willing to take on big-ticket projects that may typically require a contractor. Eliminating the cost of paying a contractor enables homeowners to upgrade to better quality materials. Additionally, creating a budget helps consumers manage expenses. Many manufacturers and retailers post pricing calculators online to help calculate the price of materials.

  • 67 percent of survey respondents create a budget for each project
  • 42 percent plan to spend $2,500 and $10,000 on renovations
  • 71 percent believe quality is more important than price
  • 56 percent value durability and reliability

Inspiration Starts Online
By the time they head to the store, 78 percent of respondents have done extensive research online. Retailers and manufacturers who want to connect with DIY customers must have a robust online presence. Shoppers want information that helps them select the best products for their project. The complexity level determines how much research is required before taking the next step towards making a purchase. Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration and get creative ideas. Forty-one percent of respondents used this social media platform. However, when it is time for them to roll up their sleeves and get started on their projects, 90 percent headed to YouTube. Manufacturers and retailers can easily increase their visibility and promote their products or services by posting short videos on YouTube. 

What Information Is Helpful to Consumers
When it comes to collecting information online, content is king. The more information manufacturers provide, the more likely consumers are to purchase their products. The goal is to help consumers select the right products for their project. According to VENVIO, the most important information for manufacturers to post on their websites are pricing, customer reviews, and how-to videos.

Pricing should be simple to understand since consumers are often working within a budget. However, they may be willing to upgrade to higher-priced products to get the results they want.

Shopping In-store Still Enjoyable 
Although online shopping has experienced tremendous growth in the past five years, the in-store shopping experience continues to evolve at home improvement stores. According to the NPD Group’s Checkout information Report, online spending is primarily targeted to major home appliances, storage, hardware, plumbing, and air filters. “While most home improvement purchases are still in-store, as industries mature online, the omnichannel mix begins to shift,” said Leen Nsouli, home improvement industry analyst for NPD. “Increasingly consumer demand for convenience and retail advancement in digital capabilities, e-commerce platforms, and the supply chain are key drivers of this shift.

The report also mentions that 30 percent of home improvement consumers don’t shop online because they want to see the product before purchasing. These shoppers also enjoy the in-store shopping experience at stores like Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, and True Value.

Whether shopping takes place online or in-store, manufacturers and retailers must exceed consumers’ expectations by anticipating their needs and making shopping convenient, simple, and enjoyable.

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