Another year gone – can you believe it? 2022 packed some interesting twists and turns (Wordle, anyone?), but it’s time to sit back, pour another eggnog, and watch the end-of-year lists and 2023 forecasts roll in. We’ve never been one to disappoint, so we’ve got the home improvement retail trends we’d like to see in the new year.
What Market Trends Are Telling Us
Before we make any predictions, let’s take a moment to look at what the economy’s doing. Currently, the outlook isn’t quite as dire as it was in the summer, but one thing we know for sure is that inflation will be with us – for the first half of the year, at least. And with recent hikes in interest rates, folks are less inclined to borrow, which means that they’re less likely to sell their home and mess with a mortgage.
The effect of this may reverberate within the home improvement market as well. According to the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), forecasts show that the home improvement market’s growth is expected to continue slowing from 7.2% in 2022 to only 1.5% in 2023 as core personal consumption prices rise in the beginning of the year before leveling off. There will also be a slowdown in remodeling spending and activity.
Doesn’t sound great, right? Don’t tune out just yet. HIRI also predicted that the consumer market would rise by 0.6%, and the professional market would grow by 3.6%, down from the 10.2% gains in 2022. It may not be as much as last year’s, but growth is growth! Furthermore, people with previous plans to remodel will likely move ahead, preferring to use professionals rather than doing it themselves.
In Plain English this Time?
To summarize: With inflation and rising interest rates on deck, everyone would do well to think twice before making any drastic changes. We may be in a recession now, but with the home improvement market’s projected growth, the future isn’t looking totally bleak. As long as you plan carefully, things should be smooth sailing.
Of course, we have our idea of what ‘careful planning’ looks like. So, let’s dive into our recommendations.
4 Predictions for Your 2023 Marketing Strategy
Cut Your Marketing Budget at Your Own Peril
Remember what we said about not making any drastic changes? Sure, it might be a quick way to shore up your finances but check yourself before you chop your marketing budget. Your customers might not be writing blank checks in this economic climate, however, they still want to hear from you, and your best way to keep in touch is through marketing. As we’ve discussed before, in times of economic uncertainty, customers like to stick to the brands they know rather than gamble on unknown products. So, give them something to talk about, and they’ll reward you.
Find Low-Cost Ways to Connect with Customers
There are plenty of ways to boost your brand without breaking the bank. For example, if you’re selling in online retail spaces, you can retool your product information page (PIP). Compare your page to some of your competitors’: Is their copy a little more punchy? Do their photos look a little more polished? Conversely, does your PIP tell customers everything they need to know, or could there be more information added? Are you hyping everything you can possibly promote?
This would also be a great opportunity to harness seasonality in your marketing. Everything, from food to mathematical concepts (sometimes both), has a holiday, observance or industry awareness-raising event. It costs nothing to invent an event. All it takes is some creative marketing, some ingenuity and a decent budget.
Cater to Folks Tethered to Their Homes
As we previously discussed, people will stick close to home and go through with previously planned projects rather than sell their homes altogether. Therefore, ensure that you offer your customers the most value for your product. You might not be able to persuade them to make any major purchases, but you may be able to tempt them with promotional offers like rebates, especially for customers hoping to save costs on energy heading into seasons with extreme heat or cold.
Keep an Eye on the Pros and Influencers
We’ve already written about the power of the Pro in home improvement marketing, but we won’t stop. The Pro is an essential part of the retail market ecosystem! And we’re not the only ones who think so: Lowe’s has reported that their business driven by the Pro and commercial audiences has grown by nearly 19% in the last quarter alone, and they project that remodeling will be here to stay in the new year.
The Pros aren’t the only ones to keep an eye on. Thanks to the recent HGTV boom, home improvement influencers have been taking the consumer market by storm and tend to affect home improvement trends overall, with big-box store spending rising exponentially alongside viewing trends. Research has shown that these shows have a very real effect on how people see their own homes, and what they’re willing to spend. We’re not saying you should binge all episodes of Property Brothers (we’re not not saying that, either) but keep an ear to the ground. Projects in an episode of Fixer Upper might translate to real-life sales.
So, with these recommendations, what will your marketing calendar look like next year? Will you be connecting with the Pro market to deepen your connection with your customers? Maybe your marketing brain is spinning with new promotions and events to put on with your revitalized marketing budget. Or perhaps you’re finding ways to create rebates and other incentives to pass on the savings. Whatever you decide, we wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, a happy new year and a prosperous 2023.