Christmas and New Year is a time to relax, put your feet up and watch seasonal TV with your loved ones, right? Not so for time-poor consumers looking to use the holiday period to use the time to make home improvements - either before the family descends or after Christmas when there’s less chance of disruption and there are bargains to be had in the retail sales.
This is good news for retailers in the home improvement market. According to a Forbes article earlier this year, despite slow retail spending overall this year, home improvement has been a growth sector, with US spending at double the rate of the retail sector overall, with 0.6% year-on-year growth.
Analysts believe that the boom has been driven by increasing home value, the age of housing stock or the boom in remodelling which is driving householders to feel more inclined to improve and protect their investments, along with the number of Millennials who are now entering the market and doing up their first homes.
It’s also a sector with a healthy variety of consumers. Retailers will be selling direct to consumer, to general tradesmen and specialists like plumbers, electricians, builders, and designers etc.
With the festive break around the corner, here’s Taggstar’s social proof best practice advice for helping retailers to engage and sell to DIY enthusiasts, sales bargain hunters and trades professionals alike.
Using Taggstar To Convert Home Improvement Buyers
Industry research shows that we are influenced by the behaviour of others, and social proof is regularly listed as one of the top ways to convince us to engage with a product and buy it.
Our social proof messaging software collects and displays real-time trends including sales, views, trending products, stock levels, customer reviews and more. By A/B testing, we’ve proven that retailers displaying social proof on their eCommerce sites see higher sales conversions and revenue. In fact, the enterprise retailers that we work with have seen up to 12% conversion rate uplift.
Retailers like Aldi already using the messages on their DIY Specialbuys line, including drills, paints and other home improvement tools, and we’ve seen how displaying crowd-sourced shopping trends can be a powerful way to convert customers in the face of lots of product options.
- Crowd opinions are powerful in the home improvement sector
Home improvement sales rely heavily on recommendations from other tradesmen and consumers. If you’re a member of a local community social media group, as I am, you can see from the volume of requests for reviews and recommendations that people are looking for guidance. Home improvements can be costly, with an average basket being anywhere from a minimum of £3k upwards, so buyers don’t want to make an expensive mistake. Tradesmen will also buy from other tradesmen's recommendations
Where the buyer is a consumer, they’re rarely experts, and when a product search for a shower head or light switch can turn up hundreds of search results, previous customers’ behaviour and feedback, can simplify and demystify the shopping experience.
Online, there are no in-store assistants to sell and advise. Good advice and recommendations will help to inspire customers to engage with a product and to buy. By helping them to make the right product choice first time also helps to reduce product returns and negative online reviews. With relatively high average basket values compared to other retail sectors, retailers also stand to gain from higher basket volumes and from any upsell.
Because third party opinions are important to home improvement sales, Taggstar can be integrated with BazaarVoice review data, to support customers making a more considered, expensive and long-term purchase by meeting their need to have their choices affirmed by other trusted peers.
- Engage with Hyper-Local Messaging
Home improvement retailers tell us that tradespeople tend to be fiercely loyal to the particular store or depot they shop at. If they shop online, it will most likely be to click-and-collect at their local depot. Marrying this with the previous trend of looking for peer recommendations, social proof messaging can be used to surface trending products and local reviews.
Taggstar has more message combinations than any other social proof messaging supplier, and we’re experts in which type and combination of messaging creates the best retail results. We’re able to display geo-targeted messages that are also time specific, highlighting hyper-local trends to both trade and consumer buyers, for example: “TRENDING! 95% of others at our Derby depot purchased in the last 48 hours.”
Trade buyers aren’t browsing at leisure, but for the purpose of completing a job, so they want to make a decision and buy the product quickly. Retailers can use social proof throughout the sales funnel to highlight popular products, real-time sales, views, reviews and add-to-basket trend data to create confidence and speed up the purchase decision.
- Upselling and Cross-Selling to Brand Loyal Buyers
Tradesmen tend to stick with one type of product range they are familiar with installing, and they’re not impulse buyers but are buying to a specific job list. Home improvement retailers therefore have work to do to encourage them to try different products and lines, and to upsell and cross-sell products to builders who will be buying to a specific list.
By using social proof on the product list page to highlight popular products, customers can be helped to engage and consider other brands which might be selling faster, viewed more often or higher-rated than their regular brands.
2019 research however finds that homeowners however are slightly different. They’re both buying for home remodelling projects and are taking on larger lifestyle projects inspired by social media trends, rather than just necessary home maintenance. A report found that per household home improvement spending rose by 17% year-on-year with a significant chunk of this spend driven by what one Forbes writer calls ‘want-to-have’ projects.
For these consumers, highlighting trending products on the product list also has the added benefit of encouraging them to add other items to their cart - or to add higher value items. This is important for the retail bottom line, because products showing social proof messaging are proven to convert to a sale than products without.
According to consumer research, social proof messaging can increase confidence in a product choice, therefore confident shoppers are more likely to buy. In home improvement sales this could mean the difference between adding more expensive brassware when they buy a washbasin and an increase in the average order value (AOV).
- Sell to Specialist Tradesmen
While we’ve bundled ‘home improvement’ together as a broad retail segment, we recognise that this includes any number of subcategories and project-specific sales. Attached to each segment are very specific tradesmen who deserve to be sold to according to their expertise.
Commentary about personalising the customer experience has been building for some years. It’s now recognised that adapting your customer messaging and your experience in real time, in terms of the offers provided and the overall customer experience, is a smarter way to engage the buyer and to secure the sale.
Taggstar has also introduced a new message type, which further injects urgency and prompts customers to make a decision. Returning customers are shown what’s happened since they last visited a page. This gives them specific, real-time personal data about how many times a product has been viewed, added-to-cart or sold since an individual last visited a product page. E.g. “Since your last visit 2 days ago, 22 others bought this” or, “Since your last visit 1 day ago, 12 others added to their bag.”
This has the benefit of giving the tradesman richer product information about the items they’re regularly interested in and can be effective for converting uncertain home improvement consumers who typically look at a product two or three times before deciding to go ahead and buy.
It’s another way to nudge shoppers towards the basket, and to increase online conversions and revenue.
Taggstar is the only social proof message provider to offer personalised social proof. It’s just one of the message types that are available as standard to all our customers as part of our fully-managed service. They’re another way that we can help you to drive conversion rate uplift by as much as 12 per cent.
With consumers planning their holiday DIY projects, find out how Taggstar can help you increase your home improvement sales conversions, contact us here.