What today’s consumers really want

By Gregg Hicks—Whether you’re a flooring salesman or contractor, it’s important to have a good sense of where our market is and where it’s headed. To that end, it’s helpful to take a step back from your perspective and take an objective look at the flooring market.

At Modernize, we strive to better connect homeowners with home improvement professionals. As part of that effort, we regularly send thousands of surveys to homeowners to find out what they are interested in, where they get information from and how they choose their project partners. Here’s what we’ve learned from some of our recent studies.

1. Nearly a third of homeowners surveyed plan to invest in flooring. We recently took a sample of 5,000 people to learn more about their floor plans and asked, “Do you plan to renovate the floor in any part of your home in the next 12 months?” Thirty-two percent answered “yes”.

The takeaway: The good news is that a large number of homeowners who plan to invest in home improvements consider flooring to be important.

2. A quarter of those surveyed expect to spend up to $5,000 on flooring. For the homeowners who responded that they expected to invest in flooring in the coming year, we asked about their budget plans. Following are the results:

  • 56% answered “less than $2,500”
  • 26% answered “between $2,501 and $5,000”
  • 2% answered “more than $5,000”
  • 15% were unsure

The takeaway: Our research shows that more than 15% of your prospects probably claim they don’t know their budget. If that happens, tell them about recent statistics or personal experiences you’ve had with similar homeowners.

3. Bamboo is gaining popularity. After asking consumers who were planning to invest in flooring, we inquired about preferred materials. While only 5% currently have bamboo floors, 12% of homeowners said they plan to invest in bamboo.

We also asked homeowners what flooring products they planned to install in their homes. survey said:

  • Carpet: 17% (vs. 30% currently installed) Hardwood: 16% (20% currently installed)
  • Laminate: 16% (vs. 12% currently installed) Bamboo: 12% (vs. 5% with bamboo floors currently installed)

• Tile: 11% (16% currently installed)

• Vinyl: 6% (7% currently installed)

  • Linoleum: 5% (7% currently installed)
  • Uncertain: 15%

The takeaway: Retailers should seize opportunities to promote bamboo in their showrooms and on their websites.

4. Consumers want information about floor types. In our latest survey of respondents who said they are planning a flooring project, homeowners identified the content/information they believe would be most helpful prior to their flooring project. Thirty-six percent replied, ‘flooring costs and budgeting’, while 33% said they ‘would like more information about floor types, especially the pros and cons’. Ten percent said they want information about “installation and how to continue to care for floors,” while 5% said they want more information about floor contractors.

The takeaway: It is clear that consumers want to be informed. We recommend that you create your own comparison/buying guide for the floors you wear.

Gregg Hicks is vice president of Modernize, which helps homeowners navigate a wide variety of home improvement projects. He has 20 years of experience in web analytics, SEO, social, SE and affiliate marketing.

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