Online orientation has become incredibly important in the overall consumer market. Ever more consumers start their customer journeys by searching for products and product information online, regardless whether that journey leads to buying online or in physical shops. Consequently, major players are out for a piece of the action, and major shifts in the usage of search engines can be seen. In the US, for instance, Amazon has recently overtaken Google’s dominant position, as more US consumers now use Amazon to search for products.
Trends online searching behaviour
In light of these developments, it is interesting what trends in online searching behaviour can be seen in notoriously conservative markets, like the construction, installation and DIY markets. That is why USP Marketing Consultancy focused on consumers’ orientation and new ways of searching for home improvement products in the Q1 2019 report of the European Home Improvement Monitor.
Our results show that, although the majority of European consumers still prefer to buy their home improvement products in DIY stores, indeed reflecting a somewhat conservative market, almost half of them search for information online and about one third of the consumers already have a brand in mind when entering a DIY store. All the more reason to focus on their online searching behaviour and preferred ways to start searching for information on home improvement products.
Websites used as starting point
On average, about two thirds of European consumers use Google to start searching for information on home improvement products. With an average of only 13% of the European consumers reporting to prefer Amazon, the abovementioned status quo of the battle of product search engines in the US is not at all seen in the European home improvement products market. That does not mean that Amazon is not getting a foothold, however. In Italy, Spain and the UK, almost one in five consumers report to prefer Amazon to start their search for home improvement products. France, Germany and Austria are around the European average. In the rest of the countries though, Amazon’s share remains tiny or is even almost non-existent.
What is more interesting is comparing Amazon to the position of websites of DIY stores. In Germany, the Netherlands and Austria, these are relatively popular, as between 15% and 18% of the consumers prefer to start searching using websites of DIY stores. However, in Germany and Austria, Amazon is steadily gaining ground on them. Additionally, in four of the eleven countries, Amazon seems to be doing better than the websites of DIY stores altogether. Looking at Europe as a whole, Amazon has actually overtaken the DIY stores’ websites as preferred search engine to start a product search. Given the fact that the majority of European consumers still prefer to buy their home improvement products in DIY stores, these outcomes are even more interesting, and indeed show that Amazon is gaining valuable ground.
It is clear that the majority of European consumers looking for home improvement products or product information ‘just google it’. Given the dominance of DIY stores as purchase points for said products, it seems that many a customer finds the DIY store through google. As specialists in home improvement products, however, it is remarkable that DIY stores’ websites are now less popular starting point to search for products and product information than Amazon. This indeed shows the rise of Amazon in Europe, which may have implications for Manufacturers, Brands and DIY stores alike regarding their marketing strategies. For more information on consumers’ orientation and new ways of searching for home improvement products, we refer you to the Q1 2019 report of the European Home Improvement Monitor.
Source : Insight DIY & USP Marketing Consultancy