Although the majority of home improvement products is bought offline, an ever increasing part of the customer journey is happening through digital channels, including social media.
About half of the European consumers search for information on home improvement products online, and the brand choice is increasingly made before going to a store to purchase. Therefore it is very important for brands of home improvement products to catch the eye of the consumer during the early orientation phase of the customer journey.
Clearly, digital channels are increasingly important to reach consumers in those early stages of their journey. Social media are part of those digital channels, but to what extent are they used for orientation on home improvement brands and products? And which channels are used the most? That is what we found out for the Q1 2022 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Home Improvement Monitor, which focuses on media orientation.
YouTube has the highest general usage among consumers of home improvement products
First of all, we asked over 6,600 European consumers of home improvement products which social media platforms they use on a regular basis. Three quarters reported to use YouTube regularly, followed by Facebook and WhatsApp (both used by 70%). In fourth place, Instagram is used by around half of European consumers. Based on general usage, YouTube is clearly the winner here, but that is not what is shown in the above image.
We followed by asking consumers which social media platforms they expect to use for inspiration for, for instance, renovating their living room, kitchen or bathroom. The answers show a slightly different top of most used social media platforms. Based on their expectations, YouTube is still at the top (expected by 37% to be used for inspiration) but is then followed by Google Images, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. Again, this is not what is the above image depicts.
Instagram is effectively considered the most inspiring for home improvement projects
Of all consumers we interviewed, 28% of reported to ever have been inspired by social media to change something in their home. Instead of general usage of social media or expected usage for inspiration when consumers already have a home improvement project in mind, the above image shows which social media platforms actually inspired these consumers to start a home improvement project.
The top five shown is different from what we mentioned before. As an early source of inspiration for home improvement, Instagram has actually inspired the most consumers (44%). YouTube is now in second place followed closely by Facebook and Pinterest. Google Images has only inspired 17% of these consumers to do home improvement.
Social media offer opportunity to target consumers early in the customer journey
As brands are more often chosen before consumers reach the shop where they purchase, it is important for brands to catch the eye of consumers in early stages of their customer journey. Channels like advice from acquaintances and physical points of sale will stay important in the customer journey, but digital channels play an ever increasing role in the early orientation phase.
The above shows that social media platforms are of significant importance in that digital part of the customer journey and offer opportunity to reach consumers in the earliest inspiration phase of the customer journey. However, the above also shows that usage of certain platforms can vary and depends on the purpose and stage of the customer journey the consumer is in. This shows that to successfully use social media platforms or actually any channel for marketing purposes, it is essential for manufacturers and brands to know exactly at which stage in the customer journey and for what purpose consumers use which channels and platforms. For an overview of media orientation of consumers of home improvement products from 11 European countries, we refer you to the Q1 2022 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Home Improvement Monitor