What Retailers Need to Know About Today’s DIY Customers

Posted: April 1, 2022
Category: Spotlight on Business

DIYers rolled up their sleeves and tackled a record number of home improvement projects during the past two years. Their buying power caused a surge in sales for independent retailers and big-box chains that prosper when homeowners repair or improve their homes. Although most retailers may believe they know what motivates DIYers, the reality is that these customers have different needs based on their age, income, and skill levels. When store owners have insights into what influences the purchasing decisions of DIYers, they can stock the right products and deliver the personalized level of customer service required to attract these influential consumers.

DIY Projects On the Rise

According to mortgage lending agency Freddie Mac, DIY projects will rise 4.2 percent in 2022. Statista, a research firm, indicates sales in the U.S will reach approximately $624 billion by 2025, with most sales being in home centers. A significant share of these consumer dollars will be spent at operations owned by independent retailers. It’s essential to know that seventy-seven percent of DIY projects focus on the interior of the home, while 23 percent are exterior projects.

  • Painting is at the top of the list for 55 percent of homeowners
  • Landscaping, new flooring, bathrooms, and lighting fixtures are affordable fixes
  • DIYers prefer smaller projects that cost less than $5,000

What Motivates Homeowners to Become DIYers?

The most obvious reason people decide to do projects themselves is to save money. Additionally, DIYers view their home as an investment that is often considered a work-in-progress. According to statistics, the average home has nine projects that need to be done. However, the task can feel overwhelming, and a few are postponed until the following year. In 2021, almost 41 percent of homeowners took on a home improvement project.

  • 37 percent of homeowners give up the project before it is completed
  • 57 percent of DIYers think there is more work to be done on their homes
  • Only 10 percent of homeowners feel there is no maintenance required

There are also emotional reasons that motivate people to spruce up their homes. When the pandemic forced people indoors, they desired to make the space they inhabited more enjoyable. Fixing up also became an outlet for reducing stress and coping with mental health issues that resulted from being isolated and concerned about Covid-19.

The housing market is hot right now. Completing small home improvement projects can increase the value of a home. Sellers know that a bit of paint, lush grass, and the proper lighting can improve their home’s curb appeal and make it more attractive to buyers.

DIYers Will Pay More for Quality Products

With inflation on the rise and costs of materials and goods skyrocketing, it’s natural for retailers to be concerned about higher prices. One way to address the issue is to sell product assortments that give consumers options regarding prices and quality levels. Although 67 percent of DIYers make purchases based on a specific budget, they prefer to pay more for higher quality products instead of lower grade items that are less expensive.

  • Seventy-one percent of homeowners choose to pay more for quality products
  • 65 percent of DIYers want sustainably sourced materials

Millennials are the Busiest DIYers

The popularity of HGTV, YouTube, and other social media channels has made DIY projects a necessity and favorite pastime. Fully 73 percent of millennials have taken on a variety of projects. These may reflect a trend that indicates millennials are buying and restoring older homes that require repair. Consumers ages 21-40 comprise 50 percent of those engaging in DIY projects.

  • YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter are the most viewed social platforms for DIYers.
  • Seventy-eight percent of begin with people doing online research
  • Forty-seven percent of DIYers bought a product or were inspired to start a project based on what they viewed online

As baby boomers age and enter a new phase of life, they are working on a few projects. However, this population accounts for a significant share of DIY sales at hardware stores and home centers. People ages 51 to 70 account for 35 percent of DIYers.

The Bottom Line

What DIYers want and need from retailers is continually evolving based on what happens in our society and the growing influence of social media. Rather than offer these savvy homeowners only the cheapest options, realize they consider their homes an investment that deserves the best products and materials. DIYers enjoy getting inspiring ideas and learning from people who can help them improve their skills. Hardware stores and neighborhood home centers operated by independent retailers can be an excellent resource for DIYers of every age. Add a touch of creativity by holding in-store workshops, posting tutorials online, and building visual merchandise displays that inspire DIYers to buy more products.