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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