Which channels do consumers use when researching and shopping for products and materials for the home?

As a specialist home interiors PR agency and building materials PR agency, we recently undertook our own research as part of our Homes Unhooked PR and Marketing Guide.

Here, we take a look at some of the findings that reveal the most effective channels for marketing directors and teams to consider as part of their PR strategies.

Research: Consumers seek both digital and bricks-and-mortar shopping for home products

New findings reveal the need for businesses in the home interiors and renovations markets to develop both online and offline buying strategies to ensure they’re capitalising on spending from quality-conscious shoppers.

The insights from the new Homes Unhooked report reveals that while 60% of people want to research products or materials for their home online before making a purchase, 64% also want to see them in person before buying them. 

Having access to reviews and testimonials (54%), knowing they’re supporting a local business (51%) and being able to speak to product designers, retailers and other experts (31%) is also key to ensuring shoppers commit to a purchase.

The research from Unhooked Communications found that consumers use a variety of channels to find information and insights about different products and services for the home, including brand websites, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and TV, while others favour asking friends and family for recommendations. 

However, the most popular route for people to take when looking for appliances, décor and furnishings, smart tech, and advice on refurbishment or DIY projects, is a general online search, cementing the benefits of finely tuned SEO content and working with the media to generate coverage and links on high domain websites. 

Claire Gamble, MD of Unhooked Communications, said: “Online shopping is a common habit for lots of consumers today, with £110bn spent on e-commerce in 2022. But when it comes to purchasing products and materials for the home, turning to digital channels is only part of the decision-making process.

“While proving both online and bricks-and-mortar premises both have a purpose for today’s shoppers, more importantly, the findings highlight the need for brands in the home interiors and renovations industries to join up their digital and in-person buying strategies to ensure they’re capitalising in busy markets with more quality-conscious shoppers. 

“We also know that when it comes to content, it’s essential to go beyond basic product details and specifications. Buyers want to be reassured of quality and performance by engaging with experts, to know your product is reliable by hearing from people just like them, and to tap into conscientious priorities like buying local. It is this – rather than mastering how to use a specific channel – which has the power to secure a sale. 

“There is a huge opportunity on offer to businesses today, especially those who can combine the power of showroom or in-store experiences with the limitless potential of digital marketing. In a competitive landscape, this will be the key differentiator to help brands stand out from competitors, build trust and boost sales.” 

The full Homes Unhooked 2023-2023 PR and Marketing Guide is available here

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