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Online Home Improvement Products Purchaser

Why, What and How: Consumer Online Shopping Behaviors

Online consumer purchasing habits can’t be evaluated without mentioning the mammoth in room: Amazon. The online retailer has fundamentally changed consumer expectations about how much shipping should cost (free) and how long it should take to arrive after purchase (less than one week). Perhaps most importantly, 33% of consumers indicate Amazon has better prices, helping the retailer hold onto its top spot in the online home improvement products market.

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DIY to DIFM in Home Improvement

INFOGRAPHIC: DIY to Do-it-for-Me Home Improvement

How do homeowners use the products they purchase? The answer sheds light on how they are planning to improve their home — and what they need and want from you.

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Omnichannel in Home Improvement

It's an Omnichannel World

Thriving omnichannel businesses don’t just sell through multiple sales channels — they create a continuous experience for consumers. From brick-and-mortar stores to online-only storefronts, print media and social media, omnichannel businesses make it easy for customers to find and interact with them and their products.

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Home Improvement Generational Insights

These Generational Insights Can Boost Your Home Improvement Business

How prevalent is homeownership from generation to generation? Will this be the year millennials close the gap? What are the biggest motivators for home improvement projects? How long do homeowners from different generations think about a project before taking the plunge? These are just some of the generational insights you can glean from the newest Generational Age Group Analysis. This original, proprietary research provides a comprehensive picture of generational attitudes and behaviors, from millennials to matures.

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Project Priorities of Recent Home Buyers

Which projects do recent homebuyers prioritize?

When it comes to learning about the home improvement projects new homeowners — especially first-time buyers — undertake and the projects completed or planned for newly purchased homes, there’s no better resource than the Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI) Recent Home Buyers Study. Conducted every other year since 2004, the study tracks recent homebuyer behavior regarding home improvement projects.

So, who are these buyers? First-time homebuyers (36 percent of buyers within the past year) tend to buy older, less expensive homes. They are also more likely to be millennial-aged females with lower incomes. Lower incomes translate into less buying power, which translates into more price constraints and offers a valid reason why older homes are often a more realistic option. Not to mention that low credit scores and hefty down payments can also be problematic for first-time buyers.

Learn more about the differences between homebuyers and their motivations, challenges and home improvement plans when you join HIRI. As a member, you’ll have unlimited access to this study and other in-depth, exclusive research, peer-to-peer networking, event registration discounts and more. JOIN NOW

Making a House their Own

When does your house start to feel like home? For many, it's not when you put your final signature on the stack of paperwork that never seems to end. Rather, a house starts to feel like home when you put your own personal touches on it. The time spent around this is often filled with a flurry of activities around the house. HIRI’s newly released Recent Home Buyer Study examines those who have purchased a home within the last year and digs deep into what type of work they have done and plan to do to their house.

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What to expect for Home Improvement

HIRI/IHS Markit forecast expects 6.3% growth in home improvement products market in 2018 after a strong 7.3% in 2017.

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Media's Influence in Home Improvement

Consumers rely on the media for information and inspiration for home improvement projects. 

From traditional advertising in magazines and on the radio to modern social media channels, blogs, and websites, consumers turn to the media for many home improvement-related needs. Like many other aspects of society, media has changed over the years, transitioning from newspapers and radio to social media and the internet.

Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family were the top source for project planning information in 2011. Websites eclipsed friends and family sources with a subtle 3 percent growth between 2011 and 2017, making the internet the top source for project planning information. But when it comes time to gather inspiration for projects, nearly 30 percent of consumers are still more likely to visit a home improvement retailers’ store for ideas compared to 18 percent of consumers who would browse the website instead.

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Smart Home Technology in new Homes

Todd Tomalak, Senior Vice President of Research at John Burns Real Estate Consulting took time out to talk about the future of smart home technology and tell us how builders are utilizing "smart home" products in their homes. Smart home tech features are changing at an incredible pace, and homebuilders are taking note.

John Burns Real Estate Consulting is the industry leader for housing research and is HIRI’s preferred partner for new construction insights and works hand-in-hand with most of the major builders, developers, product manufacturers, and investors as they plan for their future.

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What's stopping home improvement projects

What’s stopping home improvement projects from getting done?

HIRI’s Barriers to Home Improvement research details the various factors that contribute to home improvement projects being put on the back burner. From lack of time and financial resources to indecision about the right products to buy or professionals to hire, around 32 percent of projects are postponed or completely disregarded — with bathroom and kitchen remodels at the top of the list.

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Infographic: Life Stages and Home Improvement

The level of home improvement activity varies by life stage. Home improvement projects have been delayed for millennials who are entering marriage and homebuying later in life than their parents. However, the oldest millennials are now in their 30s and making moves. Now the largest generation, millennials are undertaking more home improvement projects today than they were two years ago, beating out their older counterparts by at least 19 percent.

But one thing millennials have in common with Generation X is the weight they place on self-expression. After moving out of the adolescent phase, they tend to let their independence and self-expression influence their decisions. This importance of self-expression can explain why almost 80 percent of people believe their home is a reflection of who they are, and 83 percent of recent homebuyers make improvements to their new home.

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How to Better Serve Your Customers in a Dynamic Home Improvement Landscape

The home improvement industry is no stranger to change, and today it’s quickly evolving parallel to emerging social, technological and economic trends. These fast changes mean that more than ever, brands must carefully consider what’s happening now, next steps and the evolution of consumers’ motivations and marketplace expectations. 

Here are highlights from our recent Building the Future study.

The role of social factors in home improvement

Traditional life stage trajectories are changing. Today, businesses must think about consumers according to their life stage, rather than age. Life paths are increasingly becoming more flexible, especially when it comes to millennials. For example, millennials’ delayed movement to family formation is increasing the average age of first-time parents. And while nearly 15 percent of the U.S. population is more than 65 years old, age isn’t their only defining quality.

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