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A Generational Analysis of Today’s Home Improvement Customers

During the pandemic, the relationship between homeowners and their homes fundamentally changed, as lockdowns, social distancing guidance and quarantine protocols left many consumers with an abundance of time to stare at their own four walls. These homebound tendencies ignited a fervor for redecorating and DIY home improvement that, by all accounts, is continuing strong into 2022.

If brands want to be top of mind when it’s time for consumers to bring their Pinterest boards to life, they need to be equipped with fresh insights into the sentiment, buying intent, shopping behavior and product preferences of their target buying groups. Using the Resonate Ignite consumer intelligence platform, we recently examined home improvement trends through the lens of three key generational segments. Here’s what our analysis revealed.

Gen X Homeowners Making Improvements

Sitting right between millennials and Baby Boomers, Gen Xers boast many of the same tech-savvy tendencies of their younger counterparts, but they’re often fortunate to be settled into home ownership. This makes them a great target audience for brands in the home improvement space. According to our analysis, Gen X homeowners who are making improvements are:

  • 43% more likely than the average American consumer to buy home improvement products entirely online.
  • 65% more likely to pick up their order in-store.
  • 283% more likely to say a home improvement purchase is in their near future.
  • 134% more likely to anticipate making a garden or outdoor purchase.

Gen X homeowners tend to be family-oriented individuals — ones who eat dinner at home with their families and consider family time the best part of their day. Knowing how important family is to these homeowners, brands should look to use values-driven messaging that evokes a welcoming, safe home environment and encourages family togetherness and tradition.

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You’ll also want to focus ad spend on channels where this audience watches. HGTV is a natural fit, given it’s their top-viewed TV channel. Additionally, you’ll find them on ESPN+, so you might want to consider how a home improvement ad fits in during major sporting events.

In terms of social media, these consumers are scrolling through Pinterest more than others, so it might make sense to work with influencers to create sponsored content while also placing paid ads. Gen X homeowners are also 21% more likely than the average consumer to receive marketing messages in the mail and 30% more likely to use coupons — so don’t abandon your direct mail flyers yet.

Boomers Making Major Renovations

This might come as a surprise: As a result of the pandemic, 19% of Boomers decreased their home improvement projects. Compared to other generations, Boomers are not interested in tackling DIY projects — but they are interested in upgrading their homes. So which categories will they shop for this year? They’re more likely than the average consumer to indicate they’re shopping for outdoor furniture, mattresses, kitchen appliances, bed and bath goods and garden items. Consider:

  • 95% own a home or condo, while 12% own a second home.
  • They are 15% more likely to choose a retailer based on knowledgeable staff.
  • 71% of Boomers look for the most competitive prices (meaning they’re 25% more likely than the average consumer to compare prices before buying).

While these customers aren’t as interested in taking on their own DIY projects, they are interested in dealing with knowledgeable staff. For brands and retailers, that translates to taking the time to explain the process for home improvement projects and providing content that dives into the details on major home furnishings purchases. After all, Boomers are unlikely to make a decision based on just a brief description.

Major Metro Millennials Looking to Buy

Millennials who live in major metro areas and are looking to buy a home are 49% more likely than the average consumer to look for products sourced sustainably. This green-conscious segment is attuned to walkable city living. They may not have a car, so providing great online shopping experiences is key. Whether they’re looking at downtown condos or shipping out to the suburbs, their city-inspired lifestyles affect their home improvement purchases. Consider:

  • They are 87% more likely to choose retailers based on fast and responsive staff.
  • They are 200% more likely to shop for dining room, kitchen, home office and bedroom furniture in the next 12 months.
  • They are 26% more likely to take on a DIY home improvement project due to the pandemic.
  • They are 116% more likely to buy online and return in store.

Nearly 50% of millennial home-shoppers say that the cost of shipping is influential in deciding whether to buy in-store or online, so free shipping could tip the scales in your favor when they’re deciding between multiple retailers.

In general, these consumers want answers, and they want them quickly. Consider how to implement an effective online chat to answer customer questions in real time. Likewise, with these customers it’s in your best interest to be a one-stop shop. Retain customers by stocking everything they need, indoors and out. Keep in mind that these consumers may look for the best prices, but they also want the best-looking products too. Be prepared to show off your offerings through elevated customer experiences.

Even when consumers begin to emerge from their homes once and for all, that doesn’t mean the nagging projects that turned up on their radar over the past two years will simply fade away. Our data indicates consumers plan to continue their home furnishings and home improvement purchases well into the future. To continue to connect and capitalize on this boom, you need to use hyper-targeted, real-time data to connect with customers through targeted ad placements and messaging, while employing nuanced segmentation to reach the right audience with the right promotions on the right channel.


Heather Bien is Senior Content Marketing Manager at Resonate, a leading provider of AI-driven consumer data and analytics.

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