Consumers may pick Coke over Pepsi, prefer their Ford to a Honda, or limit their tech hardware to Apple products. But a new report from market research firm Integer finds that they are less likely to prefer one brand of windows, doors or floors to another.
Surprised? Integer cites that it’s not the size of the investment that causes buyers to forgo preferences but rather the length of time between purchases of big-ticket home improvement items. Brands’ losing touch in the interim likely contributes to this fluidity in identity, Integer says, compounded by the emergence of the retailer as a point-of-sale source of expertise amid increasing options and the digitization of the marketplace. That means buyers are primed to be swayed in the time it takes their floors to start creaking, their windows to begin to leak, and a rogue hockey puck to put a permanent dent in the side door.
Seven in ten consumers surveyed said they did not have “prior experience” with the brands of windows, doors and floors they purchased, a near-flip from the 62.7% of respondents who said they had experience with major appliance brands.
But purchasing habits differ even among windows/doors and flooring. Whereas flooring shoppers are prone to make a trip to a retailer, even if they’re shopping online, window and door purchasers venture out only when they’re ready to buy. That’s because flooring brands are hard to compare and consumers “are looking for expert help to expand their options, interact with the product, and find inspiration,” the study says. Plus, floor-purchasers are considering how the purchase will boost the look or value of their home. Window and door buyers know they’re making a big investment and want to minimize the anxiety brought on by options. Yet for both products, consumers went online roughly double the number of times that they visited a retailer during the purchasing process.
And all buyers aren’t the same. According to Integer, some struggle with purchases while others seek interaction with brands. The study profiles four shopper-types:
The Experience Lover is likely a white female in her late 40s. A talented shopper, she does her research and is more likely to repeat brand purchases. When it comes to purchasing, her type comprises about one-quarter of the market in flooring, windows/doors and appliances, but is responsible for less than 20% flooring and windows/doors expenditures, and just under 30% for appliances.
Slightly younger and likely male, the Fretting Frugal delays purchases or finds someone else to do it for him. He’s worried about price and making the right choice amid endless options. And his personal frustration could be a contributor to his being the leader in spending among buyer profiles for flooring (31%), appliances (34%) and windows/doors (37%). When it comes to the purchasers, he is the plurality in floors (34%) and windows/doors (32%).
A no-frills experience in which research is not a likely starting point and brand loyalties aren’t probable conclusions is the ideal path for the Passive Purchaser. Likely an older male with a high income, he makes the most appliance purchases (35%), and the second-most in flooring (29%) and windows/doors (30%). He ranks as the second-highest spender in appliances (31%) and windows/doors (30%), and the third in flooring (22%).
The Social Adventurer enjoys shopping, feels comfortable spending, and likely has a diverse ethnic background. His social media engagement can be either good or bad for the brands he uses. The smallest floor purchasing segment, he shares the lead-spender title (31%), falling significantly below the other types in purchasing and spending.
For more information on the survey, visit http://www.integershoppermarketing.com/considered-purchase-study.html.