Future of Home Improvement HERO

The Future of the Home Improvement Customer

Amplify Your Category’s Growth in 2020 and Beyond

Offered by the Home Improve­ment Research Insti­tute (HIRI) in part­ner­ship with Kan­tar Futures, the Future of Home Improve­ment study aims to iden­ti­fy how con­sumer trends will influ­ence prod­ucts and ser­vices that home­own­ers will demand in the next two to five years.

Over the past decade, the home improve­ment land­scape has grown increas­ing­ly com­plex as con­sumer atti­tudes and expec­ta­tions have evolved, and they are high­ly affect­ed by lifestyle and life stage. For exam­ple, new par­ents may have dif­fer­ent home improve­ment pri­or­i­ties than emp­ty nesters, and those in mid­dle-age tend to fall into one of two buck­ets: those who pur­sue home DIY projects and those who pre­fer DIFM projects. Study results explore the future of the home improve­ment envi­ron­ment through the lens of con­sumer needs and priorities.

Here are three key growth strate­gies for your home improve­ment business:

1. Human­ize Growth

Busi­ness­es must seek to under­stand their audience’s lifestyle and cur­rent pri­or­i­ties. Fac­tors such as finan­cial health, career plan­ning, and major life changes — like hav­ing chil­dren — all have an impact on con­sumers’ plans for home improvement.

Three pri­ma­ry con­sumer seg­ments were cho­sen for analy­sis based on high house­hold income (HHI), high shop­ping fre­quen­cy and dom­i­nance in the total mar­ket. The data digs into each seg­ment, detail­ing the atti­tu­di­nal pro­files, geo­graph­ic loca­tion, age and oth­er demo­graph­ic data that help fill out a robust per­sona profile.

  • Home Hob­by­ists – 20% of the total mar­ket, with an aver­age HHI of $108K
  • Wealthy Wan­der­ers – 26% of the total mar­ket, with an aver­age HHI of $142K
  • Pre­oc­cu­pied Par­ents – 14% of the total mar­ket, with an aver­age HHI of $126K

Rather than tar­get­ing every­one and see­ing what sticks, strate­gi­cal­ly define the best audi­ence for your prod­uct by align­ing the prod­uct with a per­sona. Deep­en­ing your under­stand­ing of cus­tomer pro­files can help you bet­ter reach your tar­get audi­ence by know­ing what appeals to them most.

2. Invest in the Human Expe­ri­ence (HX)

When it comes to shop­per and brand inter­ac­tion, meet­ing expec­ta­tions for a pos­i­tive per­ceived expe­ri­ence proves crit­i­cal. Kan­tar reports that 79% of all mod­ern shop­pers want to feel in charge while mak­ing a pur­chas­ing deci­sion, while 62% want to feel impor­tant to the brand. Addi­tion­al­ly, shop­pers place a high lev­el of val­ue on ease of expe­ri­ence, qual­i­ty prod­ucts, and fair price points. By know­ing what con­sumers expect, home improve­ment busi­ness­es can posi­tion prod­ucts and com­pa­ny cul­ture to align with shop­per expec­ta­tions, ulti­mate­ly pro­vid­ing a bet­ter HX that boosts brand rep­u­ta­tion and sales.

3. Per­fect the Cus­tomer Journey

With this per­sona infor­ma­tion, busi­ness­es can per­fect the cus­tomer jour­ney. Tak­ing the idea of a pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence to the next lev­el, Kan­tar drills down into each of the three main seg­ments to offer spe­cif­ic details about what is sig­nif­i­cant for each. For example:

  • Home Hob­by­ists pri­or­i­tize pro­tec­tion of pri­va­cy and per­son­al iden­ti­ty. They look for prod­ucts that align with these pri­or­i­ties, such as pri­va­cy add-ons for voice assis­tants or spe­cial­ized décor like the Etsy Eth­nic Home Décor Shop, that allow them to reclaim tra­di­tions and bol­ster their per­son­al iden­ti­ty. In addi­tion, these shop­pers seek a per­son­al rela­tion­ship with busi­ness­es that make them feel like a val­ued customer.
  • In con­trast to Home Hob­by­ists, Wealthy Wan­der­ers may active­ly seek more data-dri­ven prod­ucts for self-opti­miza­tion, like cus­tom mat­tress­es or scents, and val­ue home prod­ucts that sup­port effi­cien­cy ver­sus those that are pri­mar­i­ly decorative.
  • As the most time-crunched, expe­ri­en­tial demo­graph­ic, Pre­oc­cu­pied Par­ents seek the high­est lev­el of cus­tomiza­tion. In mar­ket­ing, they are espe­cial­ly open to immer­sive, play­ful acti­va­tions that break up the rou­tine. In dai­ly life, they’re the most open to shar­ing home resources with their com­mu­ni­ty, such as bor­row­ing or rent­ing pow­er tools rather than imme­di­ate­ly buy­ing their own.

What does the data mean for your busi­ness? Become a HIRI mem­ber to access the full report and get six addi­tion­al key action items you can imple­ment in 2020. 

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