December’s 3 hot topics for home-improvement marketers

We go long on the supply chain, short on Pros’ brand loyalty, and geeky on The Home Depot.
by The Drill Down Team on December 22, 2023

Learnings from a broken supply chain: What’s next for building products and home remodeling?

The pandemic taught many lessons. In housing, one was that disruptions in the things we build homes with can, unsurprisingly, bring the industry to its knees.

As 2023 draws to a close, we ask: Are we finally past all of that — the rising prices, broken supply chains, and interminable waits for everything from a garage door to window latches that forced builders to wait weeks to sell a home that was otherwise ready to go? Can we finally stop using the phrase “post-pandemic” and just move on? More here: (Source)

The S/M Take: 

Does The Drill Down go full nerd on all things data and research? Oh, guilty guilty guilty. So as 2023 wraps, we’re happy to bring you this expert-driven story on where the supply chain sits now, a data-driven story below that unpacks how the disruption altered Pro behavior (maybe for keeps?), and finally, a deep dive into how The Home Depot deploys serious tech to combat empty shelves. Grab some eggnog, friends, this is gonna get good.

9 in 10 Pros are satisfied when they switch brands

The sentiment is clear: modern Pros continue to be less brand loyal than prior generations, primarily due to market forces, increased access to product variety, and satisfaction with new brands and products that they are trying.

For those who remain brand loyal, the primary motivators are quality, ease of use and availability. Price is the leading driver prompting builders to explore new brands. This underscores the importance of a well-crafted pricing strategy, at least in the short term. More here: (Source)

The S/M Take: 

Remember when quality = loyalty? Supply chain disruption shattered those long-held patterns of behavior, and soon, availability = loyalty. But it’s a new day (again), and The Drill Down sees both opportunity and risk. Innovative pricing strategies will act as key entry points, but in a rapid-innovation environment, pricing edges will only endure as long as product advantages and ease of use hold serve. The industry is in a moment of flux. And pricing and brand messaging are more intertwined than ever.

The Home Depot's tech fellow shares computer vision strategy

As consumers increasingly return to physical retail stores to shop and browse, The Home Depot is busy making sure there's inventory on the shelves and that store associates have technology that helps prioritize work tasks as well as prep for the biggest retail season of the year — the upcoming holiday season sale.

The Home Depot technology team built technology called Sidekick, an in-house developed app, to eliminate the gap between supply and demand not just for the busiest shopping time of the year but year-round. More here: (Source)

The S/M Take: 

In Jurassic Park, Jeff Goldblum’s character reminded us that “life finds a way.” Faced with a fits-and-starts supply chain, THD decided that tech finds a way. They empowered their tech wiz, who unleashed a homegrown app that associates can deploy (without training, btw) to keep shelves full and Pros and DIYers happy. Roar.

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