Dissecting patterns in consumer behavior can be tedious. There are an infinite number of factors that affect how a customer makes decisions during his or her purchasing journey. Narrowing down the right product, brand and even shopping location all depend on the customer’s personal preference. But do professional contractors follow a simpler customer journey?
To explore this question, the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) studied contractors’ preferred channels for home improvement purchases. Data from over 500 remodelers and general contractors helps shed light on where home improvement professionals shop most often, the biggest incentives for their preferred channel and the products that are in the highest demand.
Take a look:
The greatest percentage of spending from respondents in the last three months occurred at retail locations:
Of the purchases from retailers, home centers accounted for the greatest spend:
What’s the draw toward retailers? HIRI dug further to find out why home improvement pros prefer one channel over another.
Clearly, professional contractors have ample reasons they may prefer one shopping channel over another. But one major channel is not listed above:
As the internet becomes a more ubiquitous marketing and sales tool, online storefronts are more readily accessible for home improvement product seekers to scope out their needs. However, according to HIRI data, a majority of pros (90%) still prefer to purchase products in-store. This lines up with the percentage of in-store purchases (82%) made by respondents in the last three months.
Respondents were also asked whether they think online shopping is better or worse than one year ago. While most (52%) thought the experience is the same, some had reasons that it seems better or worse:
Regardless of channel, respondents provided details on which product categories they purchase from most often. Here are the top seven:
Contractors have existing perceptions about the channels they use to shop. If your business operates in one of these channels to sell products, make sure your customers are getting the experience they expect. You may also consider expanding with a retail partnership, or simply use sales and marketing techniques to emphasize the advantages of your current channels.
For even more insights into contractor purchasing journeys, join HIRI as a member and get access to $1 million worth of home improvement industry research.
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