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Who's Really Winning the Online Battle?

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For some time, we’ve been searching for a new way to provide a level of regular market insights and intelligence for the Home Improvement industry; something that delivers real value to both retailers and suppliers.

As the sector has changed and developed over the last decade, the remaining big box stores  B&Q, Homebase and Wickes have been bombarded with new competition, who have been hungry to take their share and it is the single reason why over 230 big box stores have closed in the UK over the last five years.

And it’s no surprise when you look at just some of the developments:-

  • Screwfix and Toolstation have accelerated their store opening plans, with each opening on average a new branch every week for the last three years.
  • The discounters B&M Bargains, The Range, Wilko and Home Bargains have made significant moves into the Home Improvement and Gardening categories as they’ve opened new stores, many of them B&Q’s and Homebase stores that have closed.
  • Market places, online specialists and brands selling direct to consumers have become established so quickly that today they are the first-choice for many consumers searching for home and garden products.

Surprisingly, there is currently no source of consistent market share data for the entire market and as a result, the market shares of Amazon, eBay and ManoMano remain a total mystery.

We felt it was essential to lift the lid on this market, to find a new way of revealing which retailers are actually winning the online battle across the key DIY and Garden categories in 2020 and that’s why we’ve decided to partner with Kaiasm.

Who are Kaiasm and what do they do?

Kaiasm offer a new way of understanding what's possible, a change in how we see the world, through the knowledge of the specific, expressed needs of our consumers. 

Their data shows what people need by understanding what Home Improvement and Garden products they are asking and searching for online. From whole categories all the way down to individual product features, the data shows what they want, how they express it and how that is changing week by week, month by month. You could call it a new kind of knowledge capital, as expressed by a whole nation of people through Google and other search engines.

Kaiasm have been close to our industry for some time and are not short of glowing references from their clients, including:-

  • “Kaiasm's intelligence provides the clarity to make smarter decisions.” - Dave Elliott, Commercial & Marketing Director, Homebase (2020).
  • “Kaiasm helped change the way we see our marketplace and how we understand our customers. It's brilliant and surprising. We buy and merchandise differently as a result.”Andrew Livingston, CEO, Screwfix (2016).

The Insight DIY/Kaiasm Report

Each month, Insight DIY will be using Kaiasm to track over 16,000 products Home Improvement and Gardening consumers ask for when searching online within the UK Home Improvement & DIY sector. This information is expressed in over 140,000 different ways, and we then track how well this demand is being met online by the leading retailers, suppliers and brands. 

You can access the summary report here -

Each month, we’re going to be tracking retailers performance across the following 12 subsectors and the results will be charted through our own Insight DIY Top 30 Market Leaderboard:

  1. Power Tools, Hand Tools, Garden Tools & Access
  2. Flooring, Tiling & Doors
  3. Lighting
  4. Heating, Plumbing & Ventilation
  5. Paint & Decorating
  6. Ironmongery & Fixings
  7. Home Furniture
  8. Garden Furniture
  9. Garden Buildings
  10. Plants, Lawns & Plant Care
  11. Bathrooms
  12. Kitchens

Here’s the link to the Power Tools, Hand & Garden and Access Report for August 2020 -

Find out where Amazon has lost its crown. Spot who is coming out of the pack to make a challenge for top places. See who is in decline and leaving space for others to compete. Additionally, each month one of the 12 leading categories gets its own additional in-depth focus, to see which components of demand are driving performance, and which are declining. Additionally, one of the retailers will receive analysis of its own growth or decline within the sub-sector. Kaiasm will provide the world's most sophisticated map of the Home Improvement market, delivered to you by the most influential and most-read news website for the Home & Garden industry, Insight DIY.

The Technical Bit

It starts with the 'K set', the aggregated and de-identified internet search history of millions of internet users, across over 20 billion expressions of need and half a billion websites subsequently visited. The K set has been continually enriched and built outwards with semantic scraping of major retail websites ('market archetypes'), on-site search tracking for sites such as Amazon and eBay, together with mass-scale Google trends, Google Ads, Google Search Console and Bing data analysis.

Top retailers and government agencies use Kaiasm data to achieve a deep understanding of human categorisation and choice. across entire sectors, as well as the particular competitive expression of a particular brand or website -- how well they align their range, language, categorisation and product data to the needs their products and services can serve, and to identify the adjacent demand they may serve as they evolve. 

The First Report

The August report is available here. We hope you enjoy the higher level of insight and intelligence that this partnership will deliver to the industry and if you’d like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the Steve’s below:-

Steve Collinge – Managing Director Insight Retail Group Ltd –

Steve Johnston – Founder & Director of Client Services Kaiasm -

For all the very latest news and intelligence on the UK's largest home improvement and garden retailers, sign up for the Insight DIY weekly newsletter.

25 September 2020
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I find the news and articles they publish really useful and enjoy reading their views and commentary on the industry. It's the only source of quality, reliable information on our major customers and it's used regularly by myself and my team.

Simon Fleet - Sales & Marketing Director, Thomas Dudley Ltd

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