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Consumers value shopping experience over product quality when rating DIY stores

Every year, we focus on branding in the home improvement sector in one of the quarterly reports of our European Home Improvement Monitor. Aside from measuring consumers’ awareness of brands of home improvement products in 14 categories, we also measure their satisfaction with DIY stores they buy such products.  

The results show which DIY stores consumers are most satisfied with in 11 European countries. Currently, the highest-rated DIY stores in Europe are Leroy Merlin, Castorama and HUBO, all getting almost the same general satisfaction rating.  

This is the same top three as last year. Compared to this slightly underwhelming revelation of who is at the top, it is far more interesting to know how to get to that top. What does a DIY store have to do well to truly satisfy its customers and distinguish itself from competitors?  

The shopping experience has the most influence on customer satisfaction with DIY stores 

To understand how DIY stores can distinguish themselves, we did not just measure consumers’ general satisfaction with DIY stores, but also their satisfaction with certain aspects. We also measure how important each aspect is for their general satisfaction with the DIY store. That importance tells us which aspects you need to excel at to be at the very top of European DIY stores in terms of customer satisfaction.  

The aspect that influences consumers’ general satisfaction the most is the shopping experience. The power of this shopping experience should not be underestimated, as this most influential aspect is followed at quite a distance by product quality. So providing your customers with an excellent shopping experience is a good way for a DIY store to distinguish itself. This will turn existing customers into promoters, will raise brand awareness and will attract more customers.   

Sustainability does not seem to influence customer satisfaction much 

In third place, it seems that price is a lot less important. Following closely, the service and advice provided at DIY stores do not seem to influence consumers’ general satisfaction with those stores that much either. At the very bottom of the list, we find sustainability. Despite the fact that sustainability is an enormously hot topic in general, it seems to influence satisfaction with DIY stores the least.  

That does not necessarily mean that DIY stores should not bother with sustainability though. We are merely talking about the influence of sustainability on customer satisfaction. This does not necessarily mean that sustainability has no influence on consumers’ choice of a certain DIY store. We know from previous research that sustainability can indeed sway that choice in a more sustainable direction. 

Focus on the right aspects to optimise satisfaction, loyalty and turnover  

This shows that DIY stores, or any company really, can truly satisfy its customers and distinguish itself from competitors by focusing on the individual aspects that customers find most important. The two top stores are not winning on price, for instance. They are not even in the top five regarding attractive prices. But they do get the highest general satisfaction ratings because they provide their customers with the best shopping experience.  

But what makes a good shopping experience? In this research, we focused on five main aspects when measuring customer satisfaction with DIY stores. For a more detailed picture, these can be broken down into more specific aspects of the entire customer journey. That is what we do in our dedicated customer satisfaction research, which shows our clients which aspects they should focus on to improve customer satisfaction, loyalty and thus, turnover.       

Please contact USP Marketing Consultancy for any enquiries about customer satisfaction research or any of our market research disciplines. For an overview of consumers’ opinions of DIY stores in 11 European countries and home improvement brand performance in 14 categories, we refer you to USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Home Improvement Monitor.  

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