Third of consumers ditching holiday plans for home projects

New research has revealed millions of consumers are spending more money than usual on their homes as a result of lockdown, with three-quarters of Brits planning further improvements over the next year, including new kitchens and bathrooms.

The data comes from over 2,000 consumers and was commissioned by home interiors marketing agency Unhooked Communications.

For kbb businesses it provides more reassurance that there is significant pent up demand coming through as the UK eases itself out of lockdown.

However, the research also discovered that almost half of people who want to view items for their home in person are concerned about going to the shops.

Unsurprisingly, it found that 72%of people have bought new interiors products for their home over the last two months. The most popular items include wallpaper or paint (22%), kitchen utensils or cooking items (21%), and tools (16%).

However, over two-fifths (42%) said they’re investing more in their home in 2020 because they have spent less money day-to-day during lockdown. In fact, more than a third (36%) said that because they are no longer planning to go on holiday this year, they are instead able to splash more cash on improving their homes.

For the three-quarters of consumers planning home improvements over the next 12 months, 14% want a new bathroom, and more than one in ten (11%) want a new kitchen.

And compared to 12 months ago, over half (54%) said they’re more likely to want to support local businesses and 44% said they’re now more concerned about cost.

However, two-thirds stated they’re happy to pay more for items if they are good quality and last longer than cheaper items. On top of that, nearly half (46%) said it’s important to buy from sustainable businesses that reduce their impact on the environment.

When it comes to choosing local retailers and suppliers, over half (55%) rely on recommendations or reputation; a half (50%) make their decision based on cost, and 40 per cent want to see proof of previous work and case studies.

Over a third (34%) want to be assured the business will deliver the products or the work within a certain timeframe, just over a fifth (22%) want to work with companies that offer a broad range of services or products, and 19% take into consideration any added value services or extra support the businesses are able to offer.

Claire Gamble, MD of Unhooked Communications, which carried out the research, said: “We know from speaking to our clients and contacts in the kbb wider home interiors market that many have started to see an increase in sales and enquiries as people are spending more time at home and are looking to improve their spaces. With our research showing that many consumers are planning further home improvements over the coming months, these are promising signs for the industry.

“But understandably, some people have concerns about visiting shops and showrooms, so it’s no surprise 42% of those questioned said they prefer to search online for inspiration and information more now than they may have 12 months ago. While we know businesses are doing what they can to make shoppers feel safe in store, the sudden changes to our day-to-day lives and ways of working have emphasised the importance of using digital means to engage with customers.

“When it comes to products for the home, consumers often want to see them in person. But with social distancing and limited numbers in stores, kbb showrooms and other businesses should look at how they can inspire and inform their customers from afar.

“Our research shows YouTube, home and interiors brands’ own websites, social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, and home interior magazines are among the preferred channels for consumers when researching trends and products, and these provide a great first platform for businesses to engage with audiences before welcoming them into their shops. As well as using these channels to showcase products and services, it’s also important for businesses to consider the messaging and stories they convey too as we know consumers are looking for sustainable, local businesses that can deliver quality and reliable products and services.”

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