As the housing market continues to thrive in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, competition amongst home goods retailers has intensified.
Young people may be taking longer to purchase homes, but a Home Depot study actually found that 57% of Millennial renters see home ownership as an important goal, compared to only 38% of Gen X and 34% of Boomers. In fact, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies predicts that the share of Millennials homeowners will rise to 35% this year.
Because home ownership in the US remains costly due to inflation and gentrification, many Millennials are opting to purchase and revive “fixer-uppers.” These up-and-coming home owners are reshaping the Home & Garden industry by taking an active part in home decoration and repair, and by demanding seamless retail experiences, both online and off.
Who are these Home DIY-ers?
Our profile analysis shows that consumers who are seeking to paint, remodel, re-floor and tile their homes lie predominantly between Millennials and Gen X, and many of them are parents. These do-it-yourselfers lean heavily on the internet to research, purchase and plan their home repair journey.
Where is there industry growth?
Interestingly, searches for home DIY and tools have remained fairly stagnant in terms of volume over the last two years. DIY is also the only Home & Garden category where organic search still drives more traffic than paid (see more context in the full Home & Garden report). This sustained organic traffic is thanks in part to the prevalence of how-to content and popular YouTube videos on DIY home repair. It’s worth noting, however, that paid clicks will likely overtake organic within the next year, as paid clicks were up 85% this May compared to the same period last year.
Fast-rising DIY searches during the month of May included saws and router bits, power and pressure washers, and most predominantly wallpaper. In fact, the DIY audience is 3,773% more likely than the average American to search for wallpaper.
Who are the top players in this space?
Home Depot pulls the largest percentage of downstream traffic from DIY and home repair searches. Between 2016 and 2017, all of the top five players in this space increased the percentage of their traffic coming from search engines. The third largest downstream website is YouTube, which hosts popular home repair vlogs and channels. YouTube’s ranking could also be the result of tab switching; as consumers research tools and DIY products, they simultaneously look up how to use and install them.
This year, paid search appears to reign supreme when it comes to DIY and home repair. With the exception of YouTube, all of the top brands pulled at least half of their traffic from paid search. Home Depot spends relatively less on paid search than other websites, such as Build and BuildDirect (which rely solely on e-commerce, and pull as much as 90% of their traffic from paid efforts).
Meanwhile, YouTube’s traffic remains almost wholly organic, which is nearly unheard of within the increasingly competitive Home & Garden industry. This suggests a rare opportunity for brands to carve out organic engagement with their audience by investing heavily in supporting their home DIY ambitions via YouTube.
This post is excerpted from our 2017 Home & Garden Report, which also covers furniture, appliances and garden audiences.
Methodology: Demographic and attitudinal data based on DIY searchers, pulled in AudienceView 4 weeks ending 6/10/2017. Search clicks measured over 3 years in Hitwise Intelligence. Fast-rising searches measured over 4 weeks ending 5/20/2017. YOY search clicks and paid click rate measures over 52 weeks in Hitwise Intelligence.