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Seven trends to watch in DIY Retail

Mum & kid painting

The nation’s love affair with DIY is set to continue as research from Plentific revealed that nearly a quarter of homeowners are planning to spend more this year on home improvements in at least one area of the home. 

To capitalise on this period of growth it’s vital that DIY retailers stay ahead of changing shopper habits. Sue Benson, Managing Director of marketing experts The Market Creative explains: 

“Customers are demanding more and more from retailers and there’s an expectation that they will be serviced and marketed to in ways that are personalised and convenient to them. To ensure that you keep on attracting and engaging customers, it’s important to keep ahead of the latest behavioral trends and taking inspiration from both in and out of category is also helpful.”

The Market Creative has delved into the latest shopper and retail trends to identity ways DIY retailers can better engage customers and drive sales.

On Demand

Task-rich yet time-poor customers mean retailers are pursuing new ways to make their experience ever more convenient. DIY retailers are meeting this challenge by starting to think beyond the product on offer. Re-thinking formats and services is a key opportunity area for the DIY market and various brands, such as Topps Tiles smaller ‘boutique’ store format, are already proving this to be a successful move.

Community Culture

The Market Creative found that 55% of DIY consumers shop mainly online. As e-commerce becomes a go-to for many, physical stores have to evolve. This means providing added value and an experience in-store that you can’t get online. Stores are now being seen as places for people to come together, be inspired or learn something new. The survey found this trend particularly relevant for millennials, who stated their lack of skills and confidence in this area require extra support. 

Seamless Convergence

Shoppers now hop between multiple platforms and expect a superior level of customer service at each stop. The brands that are winning in this area are the ones that are offering a consistent and seamless shopper experience through digital, in-store and in some cases outdoor. For inspiration, DIY retailers should look out of category at, who are experts in this territory.

Knowledge Economy

This is a trend particularly relevant to millennial DIYers. A recent Poundland survey found that one in three struggle with basic household tasks. It revealed that 60% can’t put up shelves and 39% can’t decorate. Educational marketing materials and workshops instore can help engage and build trust among unconfident shoppers.

Customisation Culture

Customisation has been around for a long time however, what’s becoming increasingly interesting is that it is shifting from simply putting a stamp on something to designing products to meet personal and unique specifications, often digitally. NikeiD offers DIY retailers fantastic out of category inspiration in this area.

Female Empowerment

Many mainstream brands are now tackling the issue of female empowerment with Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign being a prime example. The bold and highly integrated campaign empowers women in general to exercise regularly and attempts to tackle some of the stigma attached to women and sport. More than half of New Zealand DIY store Mitre 10’s customers are women and it’s seen a soar in shoppers attending its ‘Ladies Nights’ with 600 women attending in cities like Auckland to hone their DIY skills.


According to the Global Brand Simplicity Index, 64% of consumers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences. Ensuring simplicity is a mandate throughout the customer experience journey is not only essential, but expected. DIY retailers seeking inspiration should look to IKEA, which lives and breathes this simpler ethos.

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Source: Insight DIY Team & The Market Creative.

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06 July 2017

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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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