In the early days of this decade, merchants believed a myth that the home improvement industry will stand nowhere in the eCommerce run. Not just the merchants, even customers were hesitant to buy home improvement products online. The reasons being:
The home improvement industry deals with heavy items, which may not be easy for the online shipping process
This industry needs a well set on-the-floor customer service/support, where fulfillment also was a big issue for small and medium-sized companies
Top brands like The Home Depot, etc. had already acquired the market
But today, looking at the way the home improvement eCommerce industry (also mentioning DIY) is making rigorous progress, these myths have faded away. Let’s have a look at the market growth up the ladder of success. Home improvement and DIY market growthAccording to EDGE^ by Ascential the US online sales for the home improvement and DIY industry grew by 16% in 2018. For the European market, USP Marketing Consultancy says, consumers are expected to spend more than ever in 2021.
Source: European Home Improvement Monitor monthly research – USP Marketing Consultancy
There has been exponential growth in this industry, mainly after the COVID-19 lockdown impositions. Consumers have started spending more on home and furnishings, gardening items than before. Moreover, people were compelled to set up a home office, and the only option available was to buy online. Hence, the eCommerce sector in this industry is outpacing the brick and mortar growth.
Reasons why merchants should go for eCommerce
Emerging technologies complement the home & improvement industry progress
As mentioned earlier, consumers were cautious about buying home products online. Of course, it is not as easy as buying a t-Shirt online within a few minutes. However, this trouble exists no more, as technologies like augmented reality (AR) and Virtual-reality (VR) have emerged. IKEA was the first ice-breaking brand that launched an AR furniture retail platform. At the same time, Amazon lets you design the complete dream home with AR functionality.By introducing these technologies through shopping apps, these brands well understood the consumer’s pain point of being unsure about the product. When buying home products online, customers are always unsure of how they will look, which has to do with its size, shape, color, or style. Or even if they buy, customers have already made up their minds to replace/return just because they are not confident enough. In cases like these, technologies like AR are the best option one can add to help consumers make their buying decisions confidently.
DIY is a trend
The global eCommerce revenue of the entire DIY market was US$413.5 billion in 2019, and it is projected to grow even more. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) is a trend nowadays, where 77% of millennials are DIYing. This age group of DIYers is heavily engaged in social media usage like YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. The social media channels have unlimited supply of such DIY creative content available for free. Today’s younger generation craves to be appreciated on these social media channels; hence, they are in constant hunt to create something original (such as DIY projects), which viewers also demand.
Marketplaces: A great opportunity
It has been observed that the home improvement and DIY eCommerce sales have incredibly gone up, especially where Amazon has already had a substantial foothold in the market. Leaving brands like Walmart, The Home Depot behind, Amazon still takes away the largest market share. For an emerging eCommerce home improvement business, marketplaces like Amazon are a great opportunity. Understanding that today, a significant portion of marketplace/ eCommerce users are youngsters, it is essential to be present at places where this age group shops (or prefers to shop) and is ensured to be available in their free time. Let’s say you have your eStore but you are not on Amazon yet; it takes so much to get the right attention, trust, and traffic which you can easily avail as it is served on the plate at these marketplaces.
Post COVD-19 era
The post-COVID times cannot be ignored, as people have invested in home and improvement more than ever during this period. The more time they spent at home the more they have felt the need to make necessary improvements. The home improvement industry witnessed a growth of 14% during 2020 as people started working and even schooling from home. Not just the interiors, but consumers have also invested in outdoor home improvement such as garden works with the awareness of healthy living due to the pandemic. Shifting your business online is proving to be the right decision considering the current circumstances.