Helping young homeowners become successful DIYers is a worthwhile goal for every independent home improvement store owner. Offering educational classes that show millennials how to complete small projects builds a loyal following of new customers and helps stores sell more products. Giving people the ability to complete simple tasks around the home helps them save money and builds confidence in their ability to tackle more complex projects. Big box retailers like The Home Depot, Lowes, and Walmart are connecting current and future homeowners with resources that make home maintenance easier and less stressful.
A survey conducted by The Home Depot in collaboration with Morning Consult indicates that home ownership is extremely stressful for young people. Although these consumers are willing to work on tasks around the home, they lack the knowledge required to get them done.
“Our research has shown that lack of proper knowledge, tools, and time were the top barriers for millennials navigating home improvement projects, which is especially stressful for a generation of current and soon-to-be first-time homeowners, “said Molly Battin, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at The Home Depot.
Invest in the Future
While 8 in 10 millennials and Gen Z consumers express an interest in doing maintenance, repairs, renovations, decorating, and décor, they don’t feel confident they can complete the project. Only a few feel “very confident” (25 percent of millennials and 33 percent of Gen Z). The tasks that made survey respondents most uncomfortable were plumbing, electrical work, roofing/siding, and window/doors. However, many of the tasks young homeowners felt confident about completing were in several categories that independently operated home improvement stores have a breadth of experience and product knowledge.
Online DIY information
It’s not surprising that 90 percent (millennials) to 92 percent (Gen Z) of respondents would find it helpful to access information in one central location. While Home Depot has recently launched “The New Homeowners Hub”, many independent retailers who are affiliated with Ace Hardware or True Value can connect their customers to similar online resources. These virtual workshops cover a range of topics related to core categories such as paint, lawn & garden, plumbing, electrical, and more. As with most things related to retail, it’s essential that owners promote their online resources on the store’s website, with in-store signage, and when possible, in kiosks. Although you might think that most young people would seek advice from their parents, the survey indicates YouTube videos are the primary source of DIY information for this demographic.
Getting Started with In-store Workshops
It’s great when customers have access to DIY information online that has a direct tie-in to your store’s brand and business. However, it’s even better to conduct in-store workshops that bring customers into the physical store. They have an opportunity to ask questions, possibly work on a small project, and purchase the products they need for home projects. Conducting workshops should be incorporated into the business’s annual plan to closely align with the promotional objectives for each quarter. Decide on the number and frequency of workshops, and topics. staff requirements, objectives, and resources are required to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Tap into the Expertise of Other Businesses
Many home improvement stores operate with a small staff so it may be difficult to carve out time on a busy weekend to hold a workshop. Yet, tapping into the expertise of your suppliers, local contractors, and professionals like plumbers, carpenters, electricians, veterinarians, local artisans, and other small community businesses can help you provide the knowledge and information customers need with limited impact on the staff. Possible topics include:
The customer journey begins before customers walk into a physical store. However, once they arrive it’s up to retailers to make the in-store experience enjoyable. Conducting workshops and demonstrations that show young people how to save money by completing DIY projects will keep shoppers engaged and provide them with knowledge and information that will help them now and in the future.