This article is part of a series of insights that reveal the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on online consumer behaviour. To be notified when new insights or data become available, please click here.
As consumers across Europe adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, Comscore data has shown that many of those confined to home have decided to tackle home improvement projects they may have been putting off. With a combination of bank holidays and the desire to improve our new home office, we have seen a significant increase in visits to online home improvement websites and apps, and this analysis will dig deeper into two of these categories. First, we look at “Home Furnishings Retail”, where consumers can purchase furniture and decorative items. Sites such as Wayfair or IKEA fall into this category. Secondly, we look at “Home/Architecture”, which provide information/reviews on architectural design, decorating, home improvements and gardening. Sites such as Gardeners World or Real Homes fall into this category.
Home Furnishing Retail SitesThe data suggests that many do-it-yourself consumers are utilising time at home during the lockdown to take on new or old projects, as we have seen a marked increase in visits to these websites and apps. Compared to the week of Jan 13-19, 2020, visits to the home furnishings category has increased in all EU5 countries, with a 71% increase in France and a 57% increase in the UK, in the week of April 20 – 26, 2020.
Although for some countries home and hardware stores were considered essential and stayed open, some consumers may have been reluctant to visit them in person, favouring online shopping instead. In the UK for example, big-name hardware stores made headlines as they struggled to cope with the surge in online demand.
Figure 1. Weekly Visits Indices for Retail: Home Furnishings
Home & Architecture Lifestyle SitesSimilarly, when we analyse home/architecture websites and apps, we also see a notable increase in visits. Perhaps due to the sunny weather of early Spring bringing out the green fingers of those fortunate enough to have outdoor spaces or the frustration of staring at the same four walls led to a desire for a refresh, consumers were clearly seeking out information and inspiration on how to best cultivate their spaces both inside and out.
Compared with the week Jan 13-19, 2020 there have been some considerable increases in visits to these websites and apps, most notably a 91% increase in Germany and an 84% increase in France, in the week Apr 20-26, 2020. Although Spain had a decrease in visits during the same period, it has recovered somewhat since hitting its lowest point during the week of Mar 09-15, 2020.
Figure 2. Increase in Visits to Lifestyle: Home/Architecture
As the saying goes, every dark cloud has a silver lining: and consumers might come out of the lockdown with new and improved homes, so much so they might not want to leave them – although some might be calling in the professionals to fix their attempts. As the lockdowns stretch into month two in some countries, consumers are increasingly looking for ways to make the most of their time at home, and the data suggests that home improvement projects are certainly an avenue many have chosen.
Read our ongoing updates on shifting consumption trends and the resulting impact on the advertising and media industries on comscore.com/Coronavirus.
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