Changing consumer behaviour

Bethaney Larkman, marketing manager at Distinction Doors, looks at how changes in consumer behaviour have been heightened by the pandemic and the opportunities this presents for composite door fabricators and installers.

It’s believed that, much like the surge in digital usage, the coronavirus pandemic will change attitudes toward lifestyle and mass consumerism; less will be more, as life becomes more about things that matter.

There will be fewer objects cluttering up our lives, and what we do purchase will be chosen responsibly. The throwaway culture of the past 50 years is likely to become a thing of the past.

This shift in behaviour does of course present an opportunity. There is likely to be demand for higher quality products; consumers will care less about options and more about a considered purchase. In other words: an investment.

As a leading entrance door supplier, we can respond to this potential change in consumer behaviour quickly and effectively. How? Well, we already fit the bill.

We have a quality product that homeowners are happy to invest in. Our doors have proven performance: one in four entrance doors installed in the UK is a Distinction door. They offer the ultimate in energy efficiency compared to rival door materials, and we offer 25 years structural warranty.

We work with our fabricators to ensure that our door styles, glass designs and colours stay relevant, and we regularly analyse our ranges and seek customer feedback to ensure that we aren’t offering unnecessary options.

This purchasing revolution is likely to coincide with a more permanent shift toward localism, as travel and lockdown restrictions cause shoppers to seek services and amenities closer to home, a habit the government and many campaign groups are encouraging in a bid to save independent retailers, high streets and businesses.

In August, the government urged shoppers to visit their local high street during Shop Local Week, to help local businesses to rebuild from the crisis; to support the local economy, create jobs and boost local communities. Meanwhile, a campaign by small business representatives and campaign groups asked shoppers to shun Amazon Prime Day and its discount extravaganza in October, and support local, independent retailers instead.

This desire to stay and shop local is a win-win for those installation companies with a showroom. While we understand that online shopping has exploded during the crisis, data for our Showroom Locator shows that consumers still wish to see, touch and handle a physical product. Most recently, views of the Showroom Locator have increased 20% year on year and Request a Brochure is up 29%.

While wariness and restrictions relating to sales representatives in the home remain likely, local showrooms and permanent displays will have a big role to play in the months ahead as the onus is transferred to the consumer to seek out the product.

As we look to acknowledge changes in consumer behaviour, we cannot afford to ignore the internet as a primary research tool. It will be the first port of call for many homeowners and, as such, it is vital that your online presence and experience is current, user-friendly and engaging.

If you have a showroom, for example, make sure your Google My Business listing is up to date. It is also worth spending the time encouraging happy customers to leave reviews and recommendations online, including social media. These are increasingly important as customer engagement tools, helping to build loyalty and boost sales. They also influence search engine results.

So ask yourself: is your business ready to meet the demands of the new-look, responsible consumer?