explore our market researches

Market reports

See all

News I published 22 March 2022

Did contractors’ usage of digital media increase in two pandemic-infested years?

Digitalisation is a major trend that affects the construction sector on several levels. Increasing usage of BIM is changing the construction process, for instance, and the rise of online ordering is affecting purchase channels. Digitalisation also affects the ways construction professionals gather information on products and solutions, which means that the usefulness of media channels that manufacturers use for the marketing of construction materials and products may also change.

That is why we regularly interview contractors on what media channels they use for information gathering and orientation on construction products and brands. In a previous article, we discussed the virtual trade show, which has appeared as a digital alternative to the physical trade shows that were cancelled due to the pandemic.

What about contractors’ usage of the other media channels though? Can a trend of digitalisation or a disruptive effect of the pandemic be seen in them as well? That is what we interviewed 950 European contractors about for the H1 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s Contractor monitor, which focuses on the media orientation of contractors from eight European countries.

Contractors’ usage of media channels did not change much over two years

European contractors’ usage of six of the media channels included in our study did not change much in two years. The share of contractors who report to use manufacturers’ websites or representatives as sources of information is still around 90%, for instance. Likewise, the shares of contractors using manufacturers’ brochures, wholesalers’ websites, and printed or digital newsletters was more or less the same in 2021 as it was in 2019.

As for the media channels that do show change in usage, the share of contractors visiting trade fairs dropped most significantly. As we discussed in a previous article, that was due to COVID-19 restrictions. Other changes in usage are rather slim. It seems that usage of trade magazines declined a bit, while wholesalers’ representatives got slightly busier over the last two years. Meanwhile, the share of contractors using social media increased from 49% in 2019 to 57% in 2021, and the most significant increase is seen in usage of mobile apps, from 46% to 59%.

Digitalisation or not digitalisation?

As mentioned, changes are either absent or rather slim and do not show much of a digitalisation trend in media usage at first sight. Sure, the increasing usage of mobile apps and social media can be narrated as evidence of digitalisation of media usage, but it is just as easy to link these increases to the pandemic.

When looking at contractors’ expectations for the time to come, that image changes a bit though. Usage of digital media like websites of manufacturers and wholesalers, digital newsletters and especially mobile apps and social media is more often expected by contractors to increase. Meanwhile, a decrease is more often expected for traditional media, like manufacturers’ brochures, trade journals and printed newsletters. These expectations do betray a gradual move away from traditional and towards digital media.

Although the trend of digitalisation does not appear much in the development of media usage of European contractors shown above, it is essential to realise that behaviour and attitudes of these contractors can vary a lot from country to country. To find out where the digitalisation trend is stronger or in which countries’ traditional sources seem more persevering, we refer you to the H1 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s Contractor monitor.

Fresh Insights Await

Our latest reports

Delve into the newest findings across various market segments, crafted for a cutting-edge overview. Explore our latest reports, brimming with up-to-date data, trend analyses, and in-depth examinations, all tailored to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the current market dynamics.


Home Improvement



BIM Q4 2023

2024 246 pages

Key insights regarding the BIM usage and behaviour of European architects, and our latest future building volumes prognoses


Purchase Channels H2 2023

2024 123

Explore the buying and ordering behaviour among contractors in H1 2023. Uncover the key channels used, share-of-wallet and much more.


Behavioural segmentation and media usage report 2023

2023 75 pages

This report provides a comprehensive overview of purchase behaviour, products, and media usage, specifically focusing on European handymen. It delves into how handymen use media, and for what purposes, and examines their habits and preferences in terms of purchasing behaviour.


Purchase behaviour 2023

2023 64 pages

Uncover the purchasing behaviors among painters in 2023. Understand the factors driving their choices and how they relate to product and brand preferences.


Sustainability Q2 2023

2023 94 pages

Uncover architects' perspectives on sustainability in Q2 2023. Explore the evolving sustainable practices and the impact on architectural designs and project implementations.


Media orientation Q1 2023

2023 95 pages

Unravel the media engagement trends among European architects in Q1 2023. Delve into how different media channels are utilized for information, inspiration, and professional growth.

Home Improvement

DIY or DIFM Q4 2023

2024 70

Explore the prevailing trends between DIY and DIFM in Q4 2023. Understand consumer preferences and the factors influencing their choice between DIY and DIFM.

Home Improvement

Branding Q3 2023

2023 93 pages

This report offers an extensive overview of the home improvement industry, with a focus on branding and the most popular brands within different categories. Within this report, you will gain insights into how customers perceive home improvement brands and what motivates them to buy certain products.

Home Improvement

Purchase channels Q2 2023

2023 114 pages

The European Home Improvement Monitor offers valuable insights on purchase channels in the European home improvement industry, examining the evolving preferences and behaviors of consumers across traditional retail and emerging online platforms.

Home Improvement

Rise of digital natives Q1 2022

2022 120 pages

Explore the impact of digital natives on the home improvement sector in Q1 2022. Discover how digitalization is shaping consumer behaviors and market trends.

Home Improvement

Purchase Channels Q2 2022

2022 124 pages

Uncover the prevalent purchase channels in the home improvement sector during Q2 2022. Delve into consumer preferences and the factors influencing their purchasing decisions.

Home Improvement

Do-it-yourself or do-it-for-me Q4 2022

2022 93 pages

Explore the prevailing trends between DIY and DIFM in Q4 2022. Understand consumer preferences and the factors influencing their choice between DIY and DIFM.


Training needs Q4 2023

2024 110 Pages

This report explores the training needs of installers, both digital and personal. The full report covers all important training needs & aspects and offers a comprehensive overview of business development in the installation sector across important European countries.


Purchase channels Q4 2023

2024 97 pages

This report offers a comprehensive view of the buying and ordering behaviour among electrical installers in Europe. Within the report, you will find key information on the purchase channels installers use, the share-of-wallet per channel, the way of ordering and much more.


Services in the Installation market Q2 2023

2023 111 pages

This report explores the type of support installers anticipate from manufacturers and to what degree. Alongside a thorough examination of installation services, the report presents a comprehensive overview of business development in the installation sector across important European countries.


Sustainability Q1 2023

2023 99 pages

The European Mechanical Installation Monitor report provides a detailed analysis of the plumbing and HVAC industry. This report specifically focuses on sustainability aspects in the industry.


Purchase channels Q3 2023

2023 106 pages

This report provides a comprehensive view of the attitudes of installers toward purchase channels, specifically among HVAC installers. In the report, you will find insights into buying behaviour, which channels are mostly used, which are growing, and whether online channels are gaining acceptance.


Sustainability Q1 2023

2023 73 pages

Delve into sustainability trends in the home improvement sector in Q1 2023. Discover consumer preferences and the shift towards eco-friendly home improvement solutions.