Building Product Use and Purchasing Behaviors in a Post-Pandemic Market

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Supply chain issues and pricing challenges are increasingly driving builders, remodelers and home owners to seek out and use alternative products. Many are trying new products simply out of necessity because the products they used in the past are no longer on the shelves 

“For a manufacturer, that’s either exciting or scary, depending on their position in the market,” said Grant Farnsworth, president of the Farnsworth Group, a company that provides building product manufacturers and suppliers with customized research on customers, products and brands. “Purchasers are frequently discovering new channels and/or products that they are very satisfied with and will want to use again.” 

And it’s not just availability that’s causing shifts in the marketplace. Evolving home owner demographics – particularly household size — make a significant impact when it comes to identifying the project scope the desired types of products. 

“An earlier assumption was that age and income were the most influential factors in determining project parameters,” said Ed Hudson, director of market research at Home Innovation Research Labs. “However, the latest research indicates that’s not the case.”

To provide a deeper analysis of how purchasing behaviors have shifted in recent years and what manufacturers and marketers can anticipate in the years ahead, Farnsworth and Hudson will lead back-to-back presentations during the upcoming Leading Suppliers Council (LSC) “Connections” meeting. The presentations will take place June 16 during the NAHB Spring Leadership Meetings. 

Hudson will kick it off with “How the Pandemic Changed Remodeling and Where the Industry is Going from Here.” He will discuss which sizes of households are likely to seek certain products and why. He will also outline growth opportunities that suppliers could take advantage of and specific characteristics of the market that are not yet widely known.

Farnsworth’s portion of the meeting, “Shifting DIY and Contractor Product Purchase Behaviors,” will examine the major influencers among both building professionals and home owners on where, when, how and why they make their buying decisions. Specifically, Farnsworth will look at how to capitalize on the online shopping segment, which accelerated during the pandemic and is likely to keep growing long term.

“For the past two years, we’ve been ‘putting out fires’ because of limited availability; but that’s not going to continue forever,” Farnsworth said. “So there’s a need to be more strategic and get back to understanding the intricate behaviors of pros and DIYers because the market is evolving.”

The LSC Connections meeting will be held Thursday, June 16, from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Washington Hilton Hotel in the Lincoln East, Concourse Level. The meeting will be open to all NAHB members. Recordings and virtual viewing opportunities will not be available for this meeting.

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