The importance of online orientation for home improvement products

The amount of consumers that orientate themselves online before purchasing a home improvement is steadily growing year over year. The online information that consumers come across has an effect on the consumer decision making later on in the process. For this reason, it’s important to know to what degree and how consumers are using online sources to orientate on a specific product. The European Home Improvement Monitor measures online orientation and decision making for over 100 home improvement products. In this monitor 26,400 European consumers are being interviewed each year since 2014.

Online orientation is still growing

Depending on the type of home improvement product, consumers decide whether or not to orientate online. Overall, in 39% of all home improvement purchases the consumer has oriented online. Nevertheless, it strongly depends on the product which they need whether they’ll start the online orientation or not. When buying paint brushes, only 15% of the European consumers orientate online before their purchase. In contrast, when buying power tools more than half of the consumers orientate online.

It seems logical that once a consumers started his orientation online, the chance that he will end up buying online is bigger. This is true in most categories. However, there are some exceptions. For instance with insulation materials almost half of the consumers orientates themselves online. Yet in most countries the share for online buying of insulation materials is below 5%.

Millennials start their orientation online

In general the younger generations have less experience and less knowledge when it comes to home improvement. Their need for information on this is higher when they start a home improvement project. This reflects in the share of consumers in the millennial age group that orientate online before purchasing a home improvement products. Also the fact that this group consists of digital natives makes the online channel the first source to start their customer journey.


The importance of online information on home improvement products is becoming bigger each year. Especially among the younger generation. We expect that within two to three years, half of all home improvement purchases has an online touchpoint during its customer journey. This orientation phase is influencing purchases decisions and brand preferences.

In most categories the increase in online orientation is driving the growth of online buying. Although there are remaining some specific category exceptions in which online orientation is high but online buying is not.

Brand awareness in DIY is known to be lower among the younger generation. By focussing marketing efforts more and more online, suppliers can build up their brand strength among this target group.

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