A lot of things have changed since the start of the pandemic over a year ago. Spending more time in our homes has inspired many to take the time to make home improvements and finish those long-ignored DIY jobs.
Shopping for painting and decorating tools, home accessories and gardening equipment has changed drastically though due to lockdown and various restrictions throughout the year.
The new lockdown shopping experience
Retailers supplying key industries like construction or painting & decorating tradesmen could remain open and trade under strict rules throughout the pandemic. Businesses that weren’t classified as “essential” had no choice but to close their doors and think of other ways to reach their customers.
Businesses without an online shop quickly realised the importance of making their products available via their own online store or third-party selling platforms to not lose out.
Ordering from the comfort of your sofa
The change in consumer buying behaviour is big. There’s been a huge increase in online ordering with online platforms seeing a massive spike, resulting in more and more delivery drivers on our roads.
Contactless is king
Supermarkets and other “essential” shops have improved the way customers can order and buy products safely, encouraging them to use click-and-collect facilities, and smart-shop devices and self-service checkouts when shopping in store.
A switch to contactless payments has also been encouraged to stop the exchange of cash and therefore reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Furthermore, supermarkets and other food suppliers took the opportunity to fill their shelves with high in demand products, enabling customers to buy tools, gardening and home decorating products whilst picking up their weekly food shop.
The future of the Home Improvement & DIY consumer behaviour
As the roadmap to take us out of lockdown has been revealed, we’re hoping to be able to go back to a more “normal” life this year. However, the way we work, live and shop might not return to normal.
Working from home could become the new normal, making our home environment a continuing priority. Industry retailers are therefore forced to improve their customers’ shopping experience and offer better and safer ways to buy from them. Industry expert and executive editor of Insight DIY Steve Collinge believes that to generate loyalty, it is critical for retailers to reach out to their customers and engage with them at every touch point. Steve says “Whether this is through clearly defined customer help areas in store, providing clear contact details on websites or in store or through the provision of QR codes at point of sale, providing more information, price comparisons or videos, there is plenty that can be done.”
We’re looking forward to seeing where the current buying trends are headed.