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New Study Shows Home Improvement Professionals’ Propensity to Purchase Products Online


April 8, 2015

A new study from The Farnsworth Group found that most architects, builders, remodelers and specialty trade professionals are purchasing home improvement products online, emphasizing the importance of strong e-commerce websites and online marketing for manufacturers and retailers.

“For some home improvement professionals, the manufacturer or retailer’s website is the storefront they see most often,” said Kent Panther, vice president of strategic planning at Wray Ward. “A robust website with clear navigation, helpful content and a seamless e-commerce or dealer finder component is critical in order for manufacturers and retailers to continue capturing this important audience.”

The study examined online purchasing behaviors among home improvement professionals across a variety of categories such as hardware products, tools and tool accessories, fashion plumbing and kitchen and laundry major appliances. Insights included overall online purchasing habits, top categories purchased online and in-store, type of information sought online and future spending projections.

It turns out that 76 percent of home improvement professionals purchased home improvement and/or construction products online within the past 12 months, and 40 percent of those are purchasing products online at least once per month. Top categories purchased online and in store were fashion plumbing, at 43 percent, followed by fashion lighting and ceiling fan fixtures (40 percent), home-related products (35 percent) and tools and tool accessories (34 percent).

Additionally, the study found that when professionals shop for or research home improvement products online, they are most often seeking product information, followed by prices, specific products, product reviews and in-store availability. While professionals are visiting a broad range of websites to research and purchase home improvement products, manufacturers’ websites lead the way at 89 percent. Home improvement store websites are not far behind, capturing 75 percent of pros during the purchasing journey.

“This study underscores the importance of having a sound strategy for reaching home improvement professionals online,” said Brad Farnsworth, president and CEO of The Farnsworth Group. “Having data that is both industry- and category-specific will help retailers and manufacturers understand their customers’ online purchasing tendencies and do business more effectively and efficiently.”