London, UK, March 14, 2019 – New research launched today from Bazaarvoice, identifies a gap in loyalty within the DIY sector. Of the 15 leading hardware and DIY stores in the UK – nine are recognised by less than 10% of the population.
B&Q is the most well-known retailer among UK consumers (81%), closely followed by Homebase (74%) but several leading UK businesses including Maxwells, Pickles, Worleys and Ray Grahams are all struggling to raise awareness at a national level.
Concurrently, just one third (34%) of UK consumers state brand reputation is a factor in their choice of DIY merchant. Instead, UK consumers’ purchasing decisions are overwhelmingly influenced by price (60%) and proximity (45%) to physical stores, allowing no room for the development of brand loyalty.
The study, conducted among 4,200 consumers from the UK, France and Germany, suggests 2019 could be a key year to reverse the trend with consumer spending habits set to grow.
In France, 32% of consumers nationally are looking to redesign the home. In the UK, consumers are putting plans in place to carry out a variety of DIY projects – from decorative interior work (60%) to larger projects such as redesigning a room (39%).
41% of consumers in France expect they will part with in excess of 500€ over the next year purely on DIY products and equipment alone. Similarly, 36% of UK consumers plan on spending over £500. Across Europe, spending has risen 31% on average year-on-year.
The digital opportunity for DIY retailers
A key barrier hardware retailers have yet to overcome is customer experience – from product research to project execution.
While two thirds (66%) of UK consumers stated that they’d be comfortable with simple household maintenance such as changing a light bulb and painting rooms in the house, confidence drops to 46% when it comes to larger projects, such as drilling to fit new fixtures.
“Consumer uncertainty around DIY projects is much the same as it has always been, what has changed is the means by which DIY-ers can seek out advice and the experience they expect from brands” explains Joe Rohrlich, Chief Revenue Officer, Bazaarvoice. “The internet is a melting pot of information, opinions and shared experiences with plenty of systems to ensure the most accurate information is put in front of the consumer when they need it most.”
The affinity with online platforms doesn’t end once the purchase has been made; 37% of consumers look to YouTube for support when carrying out the project itself – this rises to 46% in Germany. Moreover, 44% of British consumers will call on peers for help, with almost a third (31%) heading to the DIY retailer website.
Utilising the voice of the customer to build trust
This tells us that enabling consumers to access the opinions and experiences of others online is a vital part of enabling successful projects and thereby trust. Moreover, brands should be thinking about how best to build trust through the voices of existing customers.
Notably, the level of detail in a review is crucial across all markets (64%). This is because building trust in products is primarily achieved through accuracy around features and functions, according to four in five consumers (79%), a further factor taking precedence over the brand reputation (60%).
“The findings not only prove the power of online customer content, but reinforce the reliance that consumers have on these third-party endorsements in equipping them with valuable information to inform decisions”, Joe Rohrlich explains. “Attesting to this, our most recent Shopper Experience Index found best-in-class Bazaarvoice DIY clients reported a 128% conversion lift for shoppers who interacted with any type of customer content.”
Download the full report with all of the findings here.
Bazaarvoice commissioned investigative research with Morar Consulting in January 2019 among 4,200 consumers from the UK, France and Germany.
A list of the UK retailers included in the study comprises; B&Q, Homebase, Screwfix, Wickes, The Range, Toolstation, Maxwells, Worleys, Ray Grahams, Partridges, Pickles, Lindley’s, Moles, Crocket the Ironmonger, Langbridge Home Hardware, Hunts of Marlow, Firn’s
Bazaarvoice connects brands and retailers to consumers, so that every shopping experience feels personal. From search and discovery to purchase and advocacy, Bazaarvoice’s solutions reach in-market shoppers, personalise their experiences, and give them the confidence to buy. Each month in the Bazaarvoice Network, more than 900 million consumers view and share authentic content including reviews, questions and answers, and social photos across 5,700 brand and retail websites. Across the network, Bazaarvoice billions of shopper signals monthly — data that powers high-efficiency digital advertising and personalisation with unmatched relevance.
Founded in 2005, Bazaarvoice is headquartered in Austin, Texas with offices in North America, Europe, and Australia. For more information, visit www.bazaarvoice.com.