Although the DIY industry, specifically the harder side of DIY, does not generally view the Christmas shopping period as one of its strongest times of year, this year may be different. The retailing landscape in general has seen a revolution in 2020, catalysed by the spread of Covid-19. We have already seen a significant rise in spending on home improvement products, partly due to “cocooning effect” experienced this year and people rediscovering their homes. Who is to say this will not continue during Christmas and even into January?
Christmas for the DIY Market
Although the harder side of DIY does not experience a Christmas boost, the same cannot be said for the “softer” DIY categories. Home furnishings and decoration do see a rise in the Christmas period. Further to this, there are several key categories sold through home improvement retailers relating specifically to the Christmas market. Of course, Christmas trees make up a large share of the market towards the holiday season, as well as decoration products for said trees. There is also the gift market to consider, with numerous large DIY chains marketing these items in the run up to Christmas, see the example from woodies.ie below:
However, as previously stated, many DIY chains do not experience their highest selling period in the run up to Christmas, rather at the start of spring, associated with the longer and warmer days.
How the DIY Sector is preparing for Christmas
The Christmas period might not be the strongest for the home improvement industry, however, this is not due to the industry lacking promotion of special prices and offers leading up to Christmas. Most DIY chains invest in Christmas marketing. Walk into any home improvement store at this time of year and you will likely be greeted by inflatable Santas, Christmas lights and even in some cases associates in costume and entire Christmas markets built to entice customers into stores. These initiatives all tie into creating an emotional and experiential shopping experience for customers.
A trend that has been developing recently and is being promoted heavily this year, in particular for Christmas, is the “creative DIY” sector. These home projects are predominantly targeted towards younger shoppers, including the increasingly important Millennials and Generation Z. These generations have seen this year as an opportunity to exercise & practise their DIY skills, with an observed move from DIFM to DIY.
This has led to various DIY players targeting their marketing towards capturing this increasingly key demographic. For example, OBI have begun collaborating with influencers HeyMoritz & Julia Beautx for their MACH MAL mit OBI channel, Wickes have launched the #MyWickesMyWay campaign on TikTok and the Leroy Merlin France homepage has a number of campaigns for products “made by your own hands”.
Perhaps the key to grasping a tighter hold on the Christmas sales market and increasing the share on the largest shopping season globally is to tap into this creative DIY market.
How to tap into the creative DIY Market
As previously mentioned, it seems that the creative DIY market is being propagated by the younger generations. This is a generation that is environmentally minded, there are more concerned with experiences rather than material products, can be classified as digital natives and prefer to shop authentic brands that share their ideals.
Luckily, selling a creative DIY project ties very easily into selling an experience as customers complete the project themselves. The Christmas period offers ample opportunity to sell kits that customers can make at home. For example, a recent campaign by HORNBACH encourages customers to “Build a Christmas tree yourself”, K-Rauta have produced a guide for customers to create their own Christmas wreaths and CAINZ in Japan produced a whole magazine with a variety of creative projects. A further advantage of HORNBACH’s tree campaign in particular is that it ties into the environmentally friendly aspect that is of concern to younger generations. Using an old ladder, or even a kitchen grill, customers can build Christmas decorations for themselves at home.
The use of social media is also key to this market. The millennial/Generation Z target audience are heavy social media users, most likely to use YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat. These channels are key to targeting this audience. Further to this, using the assistance of influencers and collaborating with them can also help brands connect with potential customers in an authentic manner. When working with influencers the emphasis must be placed on collaboration. These influencers must be left to present the products as they see fit, in the end they know their audience best.
Although the focus of the Christmas market for the DIY industry has been towards the softer side of DIY and home improvement, there can also be potential seen in the “creative DIY” area, with millennials and Generation Z key to unlocking this market. Offering ideas and kits for customers to build at home could see a boost in sales around the Christmas period, and targeting this market is benefitted from the use of social media channels and presenting the correct message to the target audience.