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Home Improvement Products: Where Customers Choose to Shop

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.

In Search of the One-stop Shop

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.

In-store or Online?

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.

Opportunities for Retailers

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:

  1. It cre­ates a stead­ier stream of traf­fic to the store.
  2. It gives the retail­er more chances to step in and help their cus­tomers’ projects go more smoothly.

Want more insights into con­sumer project plan­ning? Join HIRI today for 247 access to all of our home improve­ment research and indus­try insights.

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