MEMBER CASE STUDY: EDUCATION AND SUPPLY PROVE KEY FOR DK TOOLS
2020 was a dramatic year for the DIY sector with the pandemic meaning a range of challenges and opportunities.
Lockdowns and travel restrictions meant people reconnected with DIY and home improvement in 2020. One of the sectors benefitting from the stay-at-home rules is tools and fixings and success depends on the ability of suppliers and retailers to reach the tools and fixings end user – professional or consumer – regardless of restrictions. It goes without saying that ecommerce – supplier platform or retailer platforms, ideally both – has already proved key. The positive sales projections from many BHETA members have most commonly been from those who were able to access their end customers via these routes; and this will no doubt continue to be the case. But it is not the whole story.
At least as crucial is a) customer education and b) the ability to get the product – physically – to where it is needed. One tool company that has had a success on both those fronts and as a result has seen business flourish during 2020 is BHETA member, DK Tools. The Greater London-based company manufactures and distributes hand tools and power tools for the home, garage and garden under the Amtech name, selling to both wholesale and retail trade customers.
Throughout the first Covid lockdown, it saw the huge surge in enthusiasm for DIY projects; and one of the company’s key strategies was to focus not just on making the sales, but on educating end users about the skills they needed to use the tools correctly. With the renewed interest in DIY spearheaded by those who have traditionally been very hesitant – 56% of those who made changes to their interiors were aged 25 to 54 with the second most prominent group being those under 24 (GlobalData) – this approach proved key.
DK Tools used its dedicated consumer website to feature both detailed Q&A and personalised video tutorials to demonstrate how products are used to best effect. Ricky Johal, head of marketing, commented: “We were aware of a generational skills gap in DIY and developed online tutorials to assist the younger consumers. We saw a significant increase in watch time on our YouTube channel, showing the value our customers see in these videos.”
At the same time, DK Tools made sure it was able to supply product to meet the demand using its dedicated business-to-business (B2B) web portal, supported by its warehouse operation. Such was the success that the company was able to action a major push to encourage new stockists to come on board. Johal continued, “This has been incredibly successful; and we’ve seen a huge interest in potential new stockists registering, because of the service levels we were able to deliver. We’ve also ramped up our B2B email communications by creating a weekly newsletter to keep customers informed about the latest trends, products and industry insights.”
As DK Tools has proved, suppliers need to invest not only in the way consumers and professional end users now shop, but also in the way they make decisions about purchasing one product as opposed to another. Inspiration and education are both key. As is easy, instant product availability.
BHETA Chief Operating Officer, Will Jones, said: “2020 was a year of challenges and opportunities and it is great to see BHETA members such as DK Tools with their Amtech brand responding to the challenges and thriving in a difficult year”.