Do you return to the same home improvement store time after time, regardless of the specific type of product you are searching for? Do you shop online for some DIY products but prefer to buy others in person? If so, you are not alone. And if you want a deeper understanding of how your own customers decide where to shop for home improvement products, the Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI) recent Home Improvement Consumer Project Planning survey has answers.
It isn’t uncommon for consumers to shop at one store for all of their home improvement needs. In fact, 60% rely on a one-stop-shop. While several factors are likely at play here, consumers surveyed report that when they can cover all of their shopping needs at one or a few stores, this leaves considerable time for the project itself or leisure activities.
That being said, consumers generally do not hesitate to shift their purchasing to other stores if what they need is out of stock at their first-choice retailer. Indeed, most will not wait for stock to return at their primary purchasing location. And because project planners are careful about how they spend their limited time, they often (unsurprisingly) turn to home centers such as Home Depot or Lowe’s.
When it comes to shopping online, home improvement consumers still show some hesitancy. Nearly one-third surveyed say there are products they would never purchase online. On the flip side, 8% say they would purchase anything online.
While not covered in this survey, other HIRI studies indicate that several factors are involved in the decision between purchasing online or in-store. These include the desire to examine the physical characteristics of products (like paint color) and shipping costs.
No matter what outlet shoppers may choose for their home improvement product needs, consumers are more likely to buy products as they need them, rather than buying everything at the beginning of a project.
This buy-as-needed behavior provides an opportunity for retailers on two fronts:
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